Prohibited Careers for Convicted Felons

convicted felon hand locked with handcuff in jail
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Once a person has been convicted of a crime, there are many repercussions. Convicted felons are unable to use many of the social services provided by their states. Most states impose voting and firearms restrictions. In North Carolina, a law enacted in 2004 bans any felon from possessing a firearm, regardless of the crime of which he was convicted. In addition, convicted felons are not allowed to work in a variety of jobs.

Health Care

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If you are a felon, some states will forbid you from working in certain areas of health care. In addition to this, most employers in this field will carry out criminal background checks. Hiring a person who has committed a serious violation of the law causes insurance issues for health-care agencies. Prospective employers may be deterred from employing a felon on this basis. In some states, it is possible to apply for a waiver on these restrictions, though you will need to provide character references, employment references, a finger-print record, and full details of all the accomplishments you have achieved since your conviction, to show that you are a worthwhile risk.

Child Care

Portrait of a childcare professional and child

Felons are not allowed to work with children in most states. Indeed, Indiana prohibits home day-care centers from registering or becoming licensed if a convicted felon lives on the property. Regardless of when you committed the offense, you will be expected to declare any convictions on your application, and most employers who work with children will be legally bound to employ someone else.


Security guard with earpiece

In some situations, a person working in security would need to be bonded. As such, it may be difficult to obtain work in this area. In many states, convicted felons are not allowed to have guns, which would again cause problems for you, if you are applying for work in security. If you were convicted of a violent crime, you are particularly unlikely to be employed in this capacity. However, it may be that the state you live in has a time limit before you can reapply for a firearms license. For example, in some states you can re-apply after 15 years.

Public Office

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A convicted felon cannot run for the office of president of the U.S. Most states also have controls in place that affect the ability of felons to seek offices of public trust. Courts can revoke public-office rights wherever they deem it necessary as well, so even if you are qualified for the role of public office, your ability to seek and hold the office may still be taken away. Check the laws in your state before seeking a public or elective office. Currently, 40 states restrict the right of felons to hold public office.

Miscellaneous Restrictions

Hands holding jail cell bars

The University of Minnesota Department of Sociology advises that, in Florida, a person convicted of a crime cannot be allowed to work in acupuncture, cosmetology or speech-language pathology. A felon living in New York cannot have a career in boxing or wrestling. In addition, he cannot own a barber shop, work as a commercial distributor, or as an Emergency Medical Technician. Check out the laws in your state and seek advice from your legal-aid office or probation office as you make occupation choices after a felony conviction.

Read More: Restrictions for Convicted Felons

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