Anyone can make a mistake. That is why, for ex-offenders, there are still a number of options available that will not discriminate based on your past criminal offenses. The opportunities are there but you must make the effort to get behind the past and move forward. These ex offender jobs can offer a significant salary and provide an exciting new life which will open even more doors in the future.
Working After Prison
Most ex offender jobs tend toward manual labor. Most contractors will be relatively unconcerned with any type of prison time a potential employee has served as long as they do not appear to be likely to commit any repeat offenses. Skilled laborers can earn upwards of $50,000 per year regardless of their criminal history. These skilled jobs include electricians, plumbers, specialized carpenters, oil operators, mortar mixers, and other trades.
Of course, not everyone has the skills or training available to them. General laborers can still earn a significant salary of over $35,000 per year. These jobs include construction work, janitorial services, lawn or other landscaping jobs, and many other types of manual labor. However, unskilled labor is often without benefits, so ex offenders looking for work should consider enrolling in some type of trade school to help make their search for work more fruitful.
Not every ex offender job requires physical labor. Some companies, particularly state institutions, are more than willing to overlook a criminal background if other requirements are met. As long as your background does not prohibit working with certain classes of individual as a result of sentencing or state law, many government bodies will hire convicts with little hassle. These include Department of Motor Vehicles positions, some hospitals, and bureaucratic offices. These positions may require additional documentation or skills, so be sure to carefully check all of the listings. Since detailed background checks are widely used, it is your responsibility to mention your offender history. Otherwise, you can expect job termination in your future. Employment for ex offenders is also made easier with federally funded programs.
Federal Prison Industries and UNICOR
UNICOR is a correctional program that gives offenders a chance to gain skills and a trade so they can make the transition back into society. If you worked for UNICOR for at least 6 months during your incarceration, there are insurances that your employer can obtain if they feel wary of hiring you. Essentially, it is a federal bond program that provides theft insurance up to $5000 for employers who will hire ex convicts. If there is a theft of money or property, the bond insurance pays the employer up to the bond value. As an ex offender, you can mention this “incentive” for the company who is skeptical of hiring you. Here is some sample letter.
Being an ex offender doesn’t have to mean the end of any gainful employment. Remember these job tips.
- Be willing to work from the bottom, regardless of the pay.
- Stay honest in the job application process.
- Remove yourself from negative friends, family and environment.
- Stay loyal and network with friends in your work.
By knowing what is available and keeping a positive attitude, it is possible for ex offenders to find jobs that suit them.