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Top Paying Careers for Ex-Felons

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Finding a job after time in prison can be difficult, and most employers want to know whether you've ever been convicted of a felony. It helps to answer the question truthfully and explain how the mistake positively influenced your life. It also helps to target industries that have been open to hiring people with a criminal history. Many well-paying career fields such as welding and carpentry seek good workers regardless of background.


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Welders start at an entry-level position while learning the different techniques and work into a high-paying position. This position is primarily trained on-the-job, but does require some classroom training if you plan on becoming certified. Welders work in many different fields such as construction, automotive and steel.



All electricians start as beginners and go through an apprenticeship program that lasts four years. No laws prevent ex-cons from entering one of these apprenticeship programs. Apprentices work under the tutelage of a skilled electrician or journeyman electrician, and take additional classes during this four-year training. The apprentice is paid an hourly wage that is well above minimum wage, and full electricians make more. Electricians are found in every industry in the United States including construction power companies, manufacturing, retail and other service industries.


HVAC repair
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Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) is a growing field, with newer and innovative equipment being developed to help the environment. Ex-felons are eligible for an entry-level position in this career and if you gain experience, you can work into a high-paying career. HVAC technicians are found in every industry.


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Ex-felons find that carpentry is an open field that overlooks a persons past as long as they are good workers. There are several fields that pay well in carpentry. As a carpenter, you can specialize in framing, finish work, cabinetry, drywall installation and many other aspects of the construction field. Ex-felon might have to work under a skilled craftsman before moving up to journeyman carpenter. Some of the best paying positions are obtained through the carpenters union, which can be found in every state.