Highest Paying Jobs For Felons

Starting over is the best time to dream big and find out what it is you want to do with your life. You have a second chance to come back and become a productive member of society.

For almost everyone, having a job that pays good is something to be sought after. More money gives you more resources. Having more resources means having more opportunities and choices to do whatever you want!

Don’t let a criminal history get in the way of your opportunities. There are options out there for you to get to where you want to be in life. We will look at those options here.

List of Highest Paying Blue Collar Jobs

We looked at a lot of different jobs and picked the top three for highest pay and how easy it is for a felon to get these jobs. All salary data came from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Website (bls.gov).

The jobs we selected are some of the easiest to get if you have a felony. They require the least amount of certification or extra schooling.

1. Construction

  • Median Annual Pay: $49,850
  • Starting Pay: ~$22,425
  • Special Certifications: None

Construction work is great if you like doing outdoor work. Working construction can put you in a variety of different settings. There are a lot of different types of construction work you could do. In each type there are also opportunities to grow in leadership.

There are 4 different types of construction work: residential, commercial, industrial, and state/government projects.

There are no special courses or classes you must take to work in construction. If you want to move up and earn more money you should get certified in some skills, though this is not required.

Most employers aren’t too concerned with a background check or a criminal history. As long as you are a hard worker and show up on time, then you won’t have any problems. Some projects that work with the military or the government may not allow felons. In general though, this shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Machinist

  • Median Annual Pay: $45,250
  • Starting Pay: ~$29,593
  • Special Certifications: Apprenticeship

Machinists use different types of machinery to produce precision parts. A machinist will take the design specifications of a project and the right materials to make parts.

Being a machinist requires you to focus and pay attention to detail. You must be very precise and accurate to understand the different materials.

To be a machinist you would need a high school diploma or GED. You need to do a 4 year apprenticeship or you could go to a trade school to learn how to be a machinist.

All apprenticeships are paid. They are useful as you build up your skills and have questions. Machinists work indoors, or in open air facilities.

Most employers for machinists aren’t too concerned with a criminal history. As long as you are a good worker and show up there won’t be any problems. You may have some trouble if you apply for a company that produces weapons or other special items, but for general machinist work like in the automotive sector there won’t be a problem.

3. Roofing

  • Median Annual Pay: $43,870
  • Starting Pay: ~$28, 785
  • Special Certifications: None

Roofers work with materials like shingles, metal, insulation, and wood. They build roofs for buildings or homes. Roofers are also responsible for fixing/repairing roofs if they get damaged. Being a roofer means you are going to work in the outdoors.

Being a roofer requires no education degree or special certifications. Having a GED or high school diploma may help. Apprenticeships are also not required, but could give you an advantage. A normal apprenticeship, should you choose to do one, can take about 3 years to complete.

Like the previous jobs mentioned, most companies will hire you despite a criminal history. Likewise, some companies may not hire you with a criminal record. It depends on what kind of work they do.

List of Highest Paying White Collar Jobs

When it comes to white collar jobs, most of these are “desk” jobs than hands-on work. Most of these jobs do need you to have a college degree (either a bachelors or an associates degree).

There are a lot of companies that have taken the “Fair Chance Business Pledge”. This is a program started by the Obama Administration to make it easier for felons get jobs. These businesses understand the hardships many felons face when looking for work. They have promised to give felons a fair chance when applying for jobs.

When you are looking for these kind of jobs, you may want to start with the companies who have taken this pledge.

  • American Airlines
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Best Buy
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • CVS Health
  • Dropbox
  • Facebook
  • Gap
  • Google
  • Hershey
  • Intel
  • Kellogg’s
  • Koch Industries
  • Kroger
  • LinkedIn
  • Lyft
  • Microsoft
  • PepsiCo
  • Prudential
  • Staples
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Tyson Foods
  • Uber
  • Under Armour
  • VICE Media
  • Walmart
  • WeWork
  • Xerox

1. Marketing

  • Median Annual Pay: $70,960
  • Starting Pay: ~$53,400
  • Special Certifications: College Degree (Bachelors Recommended)

Marketers create advertising campaigns that help promote the sale of a product. If you’ve ever paid attention to any advertisement, a marketing team made that.

Marketers generally spend a lot of time researching different audiences and consumers. They want to find out which group of consumers would be most likely to buy a product or service. They also spend time creating advertisements. These ads are likely to influence a consumer to buy the product or service.

All the companies listed above need marketers to help sell their products. There is also a lot of opportunity to move up in a company as a marketer. You may start out working with a team and with a few specific duties. But as time goes on you can move up to be the manager of the teams.

2. Software Developer

  • Median Annual Pay: $104,480
  • Starting Pay: ~$54,000
  • Special Certifications: Bachelors Degree

Software developers create programs that help people complete tasks on devices. Software is a set of instructions that tell a device what to do. Programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are all examples of software.

There are different types of software and it is used on different programs. Most software is either a web application, desktop application, or mobile application. Think about all the apps you use on your phone. A software developer was behind all that.

Software developing can be hard because it requires you to learn coding languages. You also learn about how the languages can all come together to create things. Not to worry, learning how to code is like learning a new language. It takes time and patience.

Being a software developer is very rewarding (especially today). You would be a very valuable part of a company. You help create and install programs that make life for everyone else easier. You could make the next Facebook!

3. Sales

  • Median Annual Pay: $71,490
  • Starting Pay: ~$48,875
  • Special Requirements: Associates or Bachelors Degree

Sales is like marketing because they both help to increase sales for a product. Though marketing handles product promotion on a broader scale. Sales involves a more direct contact with the consumer.

If you’ve ever heard of door-to-door salesman then you get an idea of what salesmen do.

Most people when they think of sales think of scumbags who try and rip you off. They tell you about a bad product and take your money. While this is true in some cases, most salesmen (and good salesmen) aren’t like this.

Salesmen are good at talking to people, and people skills is one of the most important skills you can learn. A lot of successful people have started their careers with sales.

Sales gives you the chance to interact with a lot of people, and if you’re good at it then the sky is the limit. Some sales jobs give you commission based on how many sales you make. The more sales you make, the more money you earn!

So how much you make is up to you!

All Summed Up

All the jobs listed above are possible to get despite having a criminal history.

You can start applying to the companies who have taken the fair business pledge.

It’s always important to dream big and never let a criminal history get in the way between you and your future goals. Getting a college education is one of the best ways to help increase your situation in life. You will get paid more and have more options when it comes to your job search.

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