10 Career Opportunities for Convicted Felons - Part 1

At the end of 2019, there were over 1.4 million people in state and federal prisons, and this number continues to grow every year. Many people who enter the prison system and leave one, five, or however many years later may find it extremely difficult—even impossible—to get back on their feet.


Convicted felons are often ineligible for government assistance, and crucially, many companies in the United States automatically disqualify people with felony convictions. Many find that they have no choice but to commit crimes just to get money. And if you get arrested again after serving a conviction, your following prison sentence becomes longer and longer.


Fortunately, there are still hiring managers and HR professionals out there that are increasingly open to hiring convicted felons. Many companies even offer on-the-job training for those who have no previous experience in a specific field. With a little dedication, determination, and a focused effort in changing your life, you will be able to find a job that pays well.


If you’re wondering what kind of jobs an ex-felon can get, this is part one of a three-part blog series about the ten best career opportunities for convicted felons. Take your time reading through the substantial list and try your best to find a job that will match your skills and interests.


  1. Welding


Welding has a long history of giving work opportunities to felons, and many convicted felons have found that welding can be an enriching career. Some prisons even teach welding trades to inmates, so you are at an advantage if you come into a construction company with welding experience.


The average salary for welders is around $40,000 per year. If you have little to no welding experience, you may have to start as low as $25,000 per year. But with some training and up-skilling, being a welder in a specialized field can yield you more than $60,000 per year. There is a shortage of special-class welders worldwide, so as long as you apply to an open-minded company, your skill will not go to waste.


There’s no reason a felony conviction can prevent you from becoming a welder. Just because you’ve spent time in prison doesn’t mean you can’t learn a trade. Some states even have special programs specifically to train inmates in welding and place them in a job upon parole.


If your company offers on-the-job training, you may start with a smaller salary than most, and you may be required to sign a training bond stating you have to stay in the company for several years. Weigh your options before jumping into a contract.


  1. Oil Rigger


Despite the worldwide push for green power sources, fossil fuels still reign supreme. Oil field jobs can be an excellent choice for felons, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort every day.


In the next decade or so, oil companies will continue to need labor for physically demanding offshore rig jobs. Oil rig operators can earn up to $50,000 a year. You can even opt for an office-based position within a company and work up to becoming a petroleum engineer. If you show great dedication to your work and you’re willing to learn, there is plenty of career advancement to be found in the oil industry.




If you have a criminal record, all is not lost on the career front. Getting back into the workforce can seem intimidating, but don’t let your fear get in the way of the opportunity to get your life back on track.


There are many resources online that can help you get a foot in the door in many industries. This is only part one of our three-part blog series, so stay tuned for part two.


FallenValor has a list of jobs that hire felons in Oklahoma City. We work with over 3,500 employers in the state of Oklahoma to give hope to those who want a better life. We are dedicated to ensuring all ex-felons have free access to our business directory. Find your new job today!

Next Article: 

Fallen Valor - 10 Career Opportunities for Convicted Felons – Part 2