Can a Felon Become an Engineer?

Anyone released from prison may realize that finding a good job is difficult. Suppose you had a good job before your crime and now you can’t get back into that line of work. You can explore the option of becoming an engineer.

If you want to create and fix things the engineering field may be for you. These types of jobs are going to grow, meaning there will be a lot of opportunities for you.

It may sound too good to be true, but if you’re interested, you can do it. Will your felony make it difficult for you to get a job as an engineer?

What Does an Engineer Do?

An engineer is a professional term for a person who creates new things or makes old things better. There are many different types of opportunities in this line of work.

Engineers use math and science to solve problems in the world. These problems can be for transportation or space travel. Engineers design medical equipment and ways to clean up toxins.

If you would like to have a job that lets you help people and be creative, explore your options in this field. There are many different types of engineers:

  • Chemical
  • Civil
  • Electrical
  • Industrial
  • Mechanical

Other more specific fields are:

  • Aerospace
  • Oceanic
  • Nuclear
  • Biomedical
  • Environmental

Specific fields mean that you have several skills to perform one task. You’ll also need to have some education; experience will help you too.

How Much Money Can You Make as an Engineer?

As with many jobs, you will make more money with more experience. Experience means you can get better jobs or move up in your company.

There are many different types of engineers. Depending on the field you work in will affect how much money you can make.

The lowest-paid entry-level engineers are those who do land surveying. These engineers use special tools to understand property lines. Beginners usually start at $48,000 per year.

Top Paid engineers can make over $100,000 a year with the right job. Many of these are computer engineers. Developing software or hardware can make you a wealthy living.

If this is the type of work you want to do, and the salary meets your needs, there are some things you need to make it happen.

What Does it Take to Become an Engineer?

To become an Engineer, you will need a few skills. It takes a lot of attention to detail to do this job. Engineers use math, communication, and imagination to get the job done well.

Engineers usually work in teams, so you’ll want to get along well with your co-workers. They also enjoy fixing things or making them work better.

If you’d like to grow in your job you can consider getting a master’s degree, or even a Doctorate. These college degrees usually take several years but it is something you can do if you’d like to move up enough.

Depending on your goals you may also need a license. A professional license is one in which you apply and get approved.

An engineering job that needs you to work with the public means you’ll have to get a license to do this. Once you receive your license, you’ll earn the title of a Professional Engineer or a PE for short.

If you are looking to get a job building things or helping the environment, you will have to get the right licenses. These may take more work and depending on your crime how difficult it will be.

Getting Licensed with a Felony

There are several jobs available for you in the engineering field even without a license. Things like apprenticeship programs and education will help you to get into a job.

The Professional Engineer’s license will give you the title of “Engineer.” If you’d like to make more money and earn jobs with companies who need “engineers” you’ll need this license.

Boards that give people their licenses may vary in requirements. Usually, you’ll need to have four things:

· A Bachelor’s degree from a college with an engineering program

· Passing a test called the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam

· Have four years of engineering experience

· Passing another test called the Principals and Practice of Engineering Exam

Doing coursework and getting ready to take the exams will help you to succeed as an Engineer. Some colleges have restrictions on people with criminal histories. You’ll need to be aware of your school’s policy when applying.

Each board that approves these licenses is state-run. This means that the requirements may vary depending on where you’re at. These boards look at your circumstances before denying your license.

To get approval with a felony consider your circumstances. You’ll have to prove you’re rehabilitated and won’t commit any more crimes.

Rehabilitation means that you’ve finished your sentence. Depending on your crime it may mean that you’ve finished certain programs. Assuming you meet these guidelines, you’ll gain approval in most states.

Your ability to succeed will depend on what type of engineering you’d like to do. It may be more difficult for you to get licenses for some

The important thing for these licensing boards is that you’re able to do your job safely and ethically.

You will be asked about your criminal past when you apply. It is best to be honest about your conviction. Lying on your application is a crime, and you may find yourself in more legal trouble.

If you are able, you may want to explore having your felony conviction expunged. You will have to show that you will no longer get into trouble to do this. Having your conviction expunged means that the conviction isn’t on your record anymore.


There are a lot of job opportunities for felons within an engineering field. Working in these fields may be as easy as getting an education. Earning the title of “Engineer” will mean you need licenses. Whether you can get the licenses depends on where you are and what’s in your criminal history.

Some colleges may not allow you to attend if you have a criminal conviction. To become an Engineer will mean you have to have an education. If this is not an option, you can look into apprenticeship programs. Having your records expunged will work too.

Finding the right support system will be vital to your success. Whether it is your family or an organization that helps felons, this will make it much easier for you to succeed.


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