Manual work fetches better pay in developed countries like the USA. The reasoning behind it is that people are less willing to do such a job. So, here are 25 blue collar jobs for ex-felons.

Ex-felons can fetch way above the minimum wage at blue-collar jobs, and it is relatively easier to get hired at such jobs even with a conviction.

What are Blue Collar Jobs?

Work that requires more manual labor and getting dirty comes under blue-collar jobs. The term was coined in the 1920s based on the clothes they used to wear for the job. The overalls and jeans of darker color were everyday clothes for the profession, leading to the name.

Also, it is in complete contrast to the white-collar jobs where people work in labs, offices, schools, and other such locations.

To get a blue-collar job, you need skills, appropriate training, and high intelligence. Also, the pay is much better than the other jobs available in the market.

Automobiles: For felons interested in vehicles, these are a few jobs to consider

  1. Auto Repairs
  2. Mechanics 
  3. Locomotive Engineer
  4. Oiler Maker
  5. Petroleum pump system operator
  6. Air Traffic Controller
  7. Transportation inspector
  8. Ship operator
  9. Aircraft equipment technicians

Houses: If you want to work at homes, these are some of the jobs to consider

  1. Waste disposal
  2. Food processing
  3. Sanitation
  4. Recycling
  5. Maintenance worker
  6. Plumbing installer/repair

Factory: For work in a dedicated location, here are some jobs to consider:

  1. Textile manufacturing
  2. Electrician
  3. Nuclear power reactor operator
  4. Power plant operator/dispatcher
  5. Elevator installer/repairer
  6. Gas factory operator
  7. Stationary engineer
  8. Iron and steelworker
  9. Pile driver operator
  10. Signal and track switch repair

Blue Collar Jobs for Ex-felons – How Much Do They Make?

Skilled blue-collar workers can easily fetch six-figure salaries. While the payment will differ for each trade, the starting salary can range anywhere between $13 to 25 per hour. So, in essence, blue-collar jobs can bring as much if not more than some of the wages that people get after four years of education.

Also, the opportunity of overtime in the field is abundant. So, it is possible for people who are willing to work more than the dedicated hours to get an excellent earning opportunity well above the salary package.

But, not all blue-collar jobs are equal. Some do not require much training and hence are easy to get. But, the earnings in these jobs are less. Focusing on jobs that offer better pay can allow you to earn a decent living.

The Abundance of Demand

Blue-collar jobs require people who are willing to do repetitive or tedious work. Hence, job opportunities are abundant, and takers are only a few. Also, the older generation that invested time in such a job is retiring. The change is leading to more openings.

Also, the job is comparatively secure as people cannot leave without a leaking roof or freshwater. So, even in the recession, ex-felons can find a relevant job here.

There is a group of people who are leaving the field as they are facing disabilities. Also, children graduating from high school are opting for higher studies.

Blue Collar Jobs for Ex-felons – Benefits of Blue Collar Jobs

Felons who want to live a fulfilling life with a steady, high-paying job should consider the several benefits of blue-collar jobs.

  • Better pay
  • Higher satisfaction
  • Minimum formal education – Normally, only a high school diploma or equivalent is enough
  • Less competition for jobs
  • Abundance of job opportunities in both small and large corporations
  • Overtime pay opportunities
  • Benefits like dental, health insurance, paid vacations, etc.
  • Good hikes every year
  • Low risks of replacement via robots and other machinery
  • Felon-friendly as employers are willing to overlook any charges


Living on your terms becomes challenging with a felony record. But, several jobs offer fair chances to live a better life and have a bright future.

Also, once you have the new skills, starting a business is only a few steps away. Blue Collar jobs for ex-felons include a range of choices. So, one does not have to worry about the available opportunities. 

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