Can a Felon Get a Union Job?

Living a successful and fulfilling life after prison can be a difficult task for many. It is important to get back to your life and provide for yourself and your family.

Odds may seem stacked against you. How can you overcome past indiscretions, find high paying jobs, and pick up the pieces?

Jobs like electricians and plumbers usually pay a livable wage. With a little work and determination, these are often better options than retail jobs.

These jobs can be great for people who do not have a college degree. You will have to have an education and skill to do this line of work well.

These jobs often use unions to regulate wages and health insurance. Unions negotiate key terms of employment between workers and their employers.

Many lines of work that offer union benefits also make you have licenses. Background checks may also be part of the hiring process. Another point we must consider is; what union jobs are available to felons?

Many skilled trades and communications companies use unions to maintain a balance between employees. These jobs offer pay raises and benefits.

What is a Union?

The benefits of being in a union vary depending on the trade. Often, it promises job security, better wages, healthcare benefits, and regulates hours worked.

A felon may already have a difficult time finding a job. Background checks and employment gaps may be something to consider when applying. There are several factors that may impact a person’s ability to make a livable income.

Considering a line of work that offers these benefits, what are your options?

Joining a Union does not have any guidelines that will address a felony. There are guidelines for obtaining state licenses and previous criminal convictions.

If you want to become the President of a union, your conviction will pose a problem. There are regulations on working for a union. This means that although you can get a job as a welder, you will not be able to be the president of the union.

Landing the job depends on your ability to get certifications. Licensing requirements vary by state. Whether you can land the job depends on your ability to get the licenses required to do it. Some states encourage ex-convicts to apply regardless of current occupation or past experience.

If the license you are trying to get relates to the job you’d like to do, then it will be difficult to achieve success. This is good news for anyone who wants to work in a particular field. Analyze the field with the circumstances of your conviction.

There are several felon friendly companies that you can begin work for. Many companies will hire you if you have the talent and can get passed the interview.

What Types of Union Jobs Can You Get?

Although you won’t be able to hold an official position within a union, the job possibilities are endless. If you’re a beginner in your field look for entry-level jobs. This will help you to fill your employment gaps while getting experience. Welders for instance often hire apprentices. So do auto manufacturers. These lines of work tend to have unions.

Aside from acquiring your licenses, you also have to learn the job. gaining the trust of your employer and making it to work every day will ensure that you keep your job.

Getting to work every day is vital to your success. This is because most unions work out agreements with employers. For example, the union will ask that you get vacation time, but they will agree that you must show up for all your shifts.

If you do not have your driver’s license or a vehicle, you may have difficulty keeping a steady income. For many people who’ve been in prison, this can be a real concern.

Employers want reliable workers, and workers want employers who provide for them. Planning to get to work every day and do your job well is what you’re employer is looking for.

What does it mean to Directly Affect your job functions?

This can mean someone with DUI’s may not be able to work a union job driving a forklift. It may also mean that someone who committed a violent crime or even theft may not be able to be a plumber.

Think about it, if you hurt someone, does your employer want you going into people’s homes to fix their sinks? Completing your sentence and not getting in any more trouble will look good for you.

Each job application depends on the circumstances of your past. If you have the skills and experience the employer is looking for you may still land the job.

It is a good idea to look at your application from your employer’s point of view. Are you trustworthy and reliable? If so, make sure that the hiring manager knows that.

Look for jobs that offer entry-level apprenticeships. Education can cost money that you may not have. Finding a job that will train you means you get paid and you have an opportunity for growth later on.

As long as the employer is willing to hire you, and you are eligible to meet the requirements, this is a great start.

Although you’ll be starting with lower pay in the beginning, it will be worth it when you get the job. Retiring with full benefits and a retirement savings plan is another perk of getting a Union job.


It is not restricted for a felon to join a Union. You may not be able to serve on the Union board, but you can still reap all the benefits of one.

Union jobs are a great opportunity for anyone with a criminal past as long as you can get the licenses. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can even move up in your career. Doing apprenticeship programs will get you experience while collecting a paycheck.

It is helpful to have the support of your family while you work towards your goals. For those without this option, there is still hope.

Many resources are available to get felons back on their feet. Non-profit organizations and grants can help you to achieve your goals.


Leave a Comment