Can a Felon Become a Carpenter?

Finding a good job with a criminal background may seem difficult. Many jobs need licenses and background checks to be successful.

Working as a Carpenter will give you several opportunities. If you’d like to build homes or skyscrapers you can do this.

If your family member owns a business building houses you may want to work for them. If you’d like to be your own boss, you can start your own business.

What Do You Need to be a Carpenter?

Carpenters are people who build and fix buildings. They use wood and steel to build on top of concrete foundations.

This line of work means you will have to use your hands and tools to like saws and drills to get the job done. You will have to make judgment calls in situations where things don’t work as they should.

Paying attention to measurements and how to make things fit together are important. Following building codes and laws is necessary for making a living.

Many people become Carpenters because this is a family business. Others see an opportunity to work for a company or make their own company.

A lot of times you will be working outside in all sorts of weather conditions. If you are fixing things for your job, you may have to go into people’s homes.

If you are new to the industry, you may want to look into becoming an apprentice to learn your job skills. Apprenticeships allow you to start working entry-level jobs. With this option, you have the opportunity of making more money with your experience.

Apprenticeships usually mean you have to have a High School Diploma or GED. They often last for four years and need you to do some classroom work.

Becoming a master in your field can mean you’ll make more money and have more job opportunities. Carpenters need to know how to read blueprints and what materials are best for the job.

Carpenters often specialize in certain areas. If you want to build cabinets or lay foundations you will need to get training in these areas.

Mathematics and critical thinking are vital to your job success. If you are trying to fit a 3,000 square foot house into a city lot, you will have to know how to build a tall building. This is going to take a lot of math and attention to detail to make it safe.

Depending on what you’d like to do you can get a job as a carpenter or get an education to become one. Getting an education will bring you more money and opportunities.

What Permits and Licenses Will You Need?

Each state and city has requirements for you to build within its jurisdiction. Many want you to have a General Contractors license and insurance. If you are planning to own your own business, check your local guidelines for information.

California makes you get the license if you are working on a project with a value of over $500. Alabama and Arkansas make you get this license for projects over $50,000.

To make sure you follow laws and your work is safe, you will have to meet requirements and get the right permits. These vary depending on where you’re building.

Getting work will also mean that you want to be an insured and licensed company. Many people looking for Contractors will want to make sure they won’t have any trouble.

Once you’ve become a Licensed Contractor you can manage a construction project. This means that you are in charge and making more money than the guy with a hammer.

To get these licenses you need to make sure that all your previous work is right. You may need to take a test to prove that you understand carpentry work.

You will also have to submit a background check. This is going to check for any criminal background that you may have.

Will a Felony Stop You from Becoming a Carpenter?

It is up to your employer to hire you as a laborer. Depending on their company policies and the type of work they do you may not get the job.

If you’d like to be the boss or run your own business, you’ll have to get licenses. Professional Licenses allow you to work in a specialized field.

Some states will need your criminal background history before giving you a license. Licensing boards will decide if your crimes will stop you from reaching your goals.

If you have gotten into a lot of trouble recently you may have difficulty getting your license. If you hurt someone you may have to work harder to prove you are responsible.

A DUI from several years ago where you completed AA classes may not give you too much trouble. Each conviction gets examined to determine if you will be a responsible Contractor.

Benefits of Being a Contractor?

The average pay for Carpenters is around $44,000 per year. This will vary depending on your experience and the type of work you do.

A Licensed Contractor can make more than $90,000 per year if they have their own business or manage projects. Licensing takes time and money, but if you want to have a career in this field it’s worth it.

Building commercial buildings are more money than fixing someone’s drywall. You may have to start at the lower end of the pay scale to learn your trade.

Carpenters can enjoy benefits too. Depending on the company you work for you may get a retirement plan and health benefits.

Many Carpenters join Unions. These unions negotiate pay and working conditions with employers.


Becoming a Carpenter is a great opportunity for anyone who has a criminal past. If you are starting this line of work, your employer will determine if your crimes should affect your job.

If you’d like to make more money and start your own business, you will need licenses in most places. Following laws and keeping people safe are important for leading building projects.

Carpentry is physically hard work. You will be lifting heavy objects in all types of weather.

Having math and problem-solving skills are important to your success. To finish your projects, you will have to know the city ordinances and building codes. These codes make sure your work keeps people safe and will last a long time.

If you do get your licenses, you may also have to have insurance policies. Licensed and Insured Contractors get better jobs. This is because if something goes wrong your client won’t lose money.


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