What are the Best Job Opportunities for Felons: Sam Mangel; Federal Prison Consultant

Unfortunately, White-Collar felons – individuals who have been convicted of non-violent, financially motivated crimes – may face challenges when it comes to job opportunities due to their criminal record. This can make it harder to provide for your family, cover ongoing legal obligations, or satisfy any work requirements tied to your sentencing or release.That said, there are many potential avenues for reentry into the workforce, if you know where to look. Here are some job opportunities that may be more accessible for white-collar felons:

1.     Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment: Starting your own business or working as a self-employed professional can provide greater flexibility and control over your employment situation. Consider utilizing your skills and expertise to offer consulting services, freelance work, or establishing a small business in a field where your criminal record may have less impact. When on home confinement or in the halfway house, this might not be possible as most require the person to be a “W-2” employee receiving regular and verifiable paychecks. Self-employment often cannot begin until the period of supervised release starts.

 2.     Industries with Less Stringent Background Checks: Some industries may have less stringent background checks or be more willing to consider candidates with a criminal record. For example, opportunities in technology, creative fields, trades, or certain healthcare roles may be more open to individuals with a white-collar felony. Car dealerships provide excellent salaries and benefits for people just trying to re-enter the workforce with a prior felony.

 3.     Networking and Personal Connections: Tap into your professional and personal networks to seek job opportunities. Personal referrals and recommendations can sometimes outweigh the impact of a criminal record, as employers may be more willing to consider candidates based on trusted recommendations.


4. Consulting and Freelancing: Utilize your expertise and industry knowledge to offer consulting services or work as a freelancer. Clients may be more focused on your skills and qualifications rather than your criminal record. This allows you to leverage your experience and provide specialized services in your field.

 5. Technology and IT: The technology industry is known for its emphasis on skills and qualifications rather than formal credentials. Roles in software development, programming, web design, data analysis, and other IT-related fields may be more open to considering candidates based on their abilities rather than their criminal record.

6. Trades and Skilled Labor: Pursue opportunities in trades and skilled labor, such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, HVAC, and welding. These fields often prioritize practical skills and experience, and some employers may be more willing to consider candidates based on their capabilities rather than their criminal history.

7. Sales and Marketing: Sales roles, especially those focused on commission-based compensation, may be more open to candidates with a criminal record. Demonstrating strong interpersonal and communication skills, as well as a track record of sales success, can help you secure such positions.

8.     Remote Work and Online Platforms: The rise of remote work and online platforms has opened up opportunities in various fields. Explore remote work options, call centers, freelance platforms, and online marketplaces that may have less emphasis on background checks and focus more on skills and qualifications.

It’s important to note that job opportunities for individuals with a criminal record can vary depending on local laws, industry regulations, and individual employer policies. It is recommended to be transparent about your criminal record when appropriate, emphasize your rehabilitation efforts and personal growth, and seek legal advice or support from organizations that specialize in helping individuals with criminal records find employment.





Member: American Bar Association