Jobs For People With Criminal Backgrounds.

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Jobs For People With Criminal Backgrounds

The job search is often more difficult for people who have a criminal record.

The job search is often more difficult for people who have a criminal record.

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People with criminal records usually have a difficult time finding work, regardless of how experienced or skilled they are. According to the National Employment Law Project, one in four adults in the United States have either an arrest or conviction record. Although federal law forbids employers from discriminating against individuals based on their criminal background, employers can refuse to hire ex-offenders if they establish that the ex-offenders would create problems in the workplace or for their business. Still, there are some employers that are willing to hire ex-offenders if they are the best candidates for the job.

Be Employable

Ex-offenders need at least a high school or GED diploma to meet the minimum educational requirements for many entry-level jobs. They should also have one or more years of general work experience and, if possible, the basic skills required to perform the jobs for which they want to apply. To prepare prisoners for future employment, many correctional facilities provide job training and job-search training programs. Ex-offenders can find similar programs with state employment agencies and nonprofit organizations such as Goodwill Industries.

Physical Work

Some entry-level jobs available to ex-offenders require physical work. In the construction industry, employers hire general laborers as well as helpers who assist such skilled workers as carpenters, painters, electricians and brickmasons. The helper positions may lead to apprenticeships in which workers receive several years of paid on-the-job training to become journeyman craftsmen. Other entry-level positions that involve physical work can be found in such diverse areas as hotel housekeeping, food service, gardening, groundskeeping, janitorial services, warehousing and agriculture.

Trucking Jobs

Some trucking companies hire ex-offenders for entry-level positions, providing provisional employees with paid training programs to teach them how to drive big-rig trucks. They also receive classroom instruction to study for the commercial driver’s license test that they must pass to secure their employment.

Work from Home

People who work well on their own might seek telephone and online work as independent contractors. Companies contract with individuals to work from their homes on a part- or full-time basis to do sales telemarketing or make customer service calls. Individuals with professional, technical or administrative abilities might perform their services for clients from home offices as virtual assistants. Individuals with writing and editing skills might seek online jobs. Other online opportunities for the self-employed include participating in market research surveys, doing data entry, teaching online courses, selling handcrafted items, and providing translating or interpreting services.

Join the Military

By enlisting in the military, individuals receive job training as well as gain work experience in occupations in which they usually can find employment after completing their military service. The individual branches of the U.S. Armed forces sometimes grant waivers to ex-offenders based on letters of recommendation from community leaders and how well they have adjusted to life after their release from prison.

About the Author

Susan Echaore-McDavid is a freelance writer. She has authored career books in law enforcement, law, aviation, science, forensics, transportation, engineering, and education, among other areas. She has also written and edited educational materials for adult and adolescent audiences with reading, learning and language needs. She currently maintains two personal blogs.

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