Finding a high-paying job can feel daunting if you have a criminal record. One of the biggest hurdles is passing a background check, but not all high-paying jobs require one. This guide aims to open doors by listing 25 jobs that don’t require background checks. Whether you’re looking for “jobs that don’t require background checks” or searching for “jobs that don’t require background checks near me,” you’re in the right place.

Key Takeaways

  1. Many high-paying job opportunities exist for individuals with felony convictions that don’t require background checks.
  2. Industries such as construction, technology, entrepreneurship, and creative fields often offer promising career paths for felons.
  3. Self-employment and freelancing can be excellent options for those with criminal records seeking financial stability.
  4. Developing skills through vocational training or education can increase job prospects and earning potential.
  5. Networking, honesty about past convictions, and focusing on personal growth can help felons succeed in their job search.


Finding employment with a criminal record can feel like pushing a boulder uphill—difficult, frustrating, and seemingly never-ending. For many, background checks create an insurmountable barrier, perpetuating a cycle of rejection and hopelessness. But here’s the good news: not all doors are closed. This article’s list of 25 high-paying jobs that don’t require background checks is your blueprint for hope and opportunity.

We’ve pulled together various well-paid job options that don’t dig into your past. From the tech-savvy realm of freelance writing and web development to the practical world of plumbing and electrical work, there’s something here for everyone. You’ll also discover roles that demand minimal prior experience, making it easier to start afresh and carve out a stable, financially rewarding path.

Essentially, this guide serves a dual purpose: offering you a selection of viable job prospects and proving that a criminal record doesn’t have to define your future. Buckle up; there’s a brighter horizon ahead.

Understanding the Employment Landscape for Felons

Navigating the job market with a criminal record is like traversing a minefield. Many employers hesitate to hire individuals with past convictions, leading to fewer opportunities and, often, lower-paying jobs. But that’s not the whole story. You can pursue paths that don’t hold your past against you.

  • Job Market Challenges – Felons face a tougher job hunt than most. The stigma associated with a criminal record can be a significant barrier when applying for jobs. Background checks filter out candidates on this basis alone, regardless of their qualifications or skill set. It’s not just about finding a job; it’s about finding a job that pays well and offers stability.
  • The Importance of High-Paying Jobs – Securing a high-paying job is crucial for a stable and positive social reintegration. Financial stability allows individuals to support themselves and their families, reducing the likelihood of recidivism. When a job pays well, it does more than cover the bills; it boosts self-esteem and proves that you’re more than your past mistakes.
  • Legal Considerations – There are guidelines and protections to be mindful of on the legal front. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ensures that hiring practices do not disproportionately exclude individuals based on their criminal records unless there is a business necessity. Similarly, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs how information can be used in employment decisions and mandates transparency, such as informing you if a background check is the reason for not being hired. Understanding these laws can help you advocate for your rights and seek fair opportunities.

Criteria for Choosing These Jobs

To assemble a list that’s both reliable and actionable, we’ve focused on four main criteria that make these jobs accessible and advantageous for those with a criminal record.

No Background Checks

First and foremost, the jobs on this list don’t require background checks. This criterion eliminates one of the biggest barriers individuals with a criminal record face. Whether through independent contracting or industries that place less emphasis on past convictions, these roles provide opportunities without the usual scrutiny of one’s background.

High Pay

High pay is critical for stability and reintegration. We’ve singled out roles that offer competitive salaries. While “high-paying” can be subjective, the positions listed here provide incomes sufficient to support oneself and potentially a family, reducing financial stress and promoting long-term stability.

Skill Requirements

These roles are accessible even without advanced degrees or extensive experience. Many jobs focus on practical skills and certifications that can be obtained relatively quickly. This approach opens doors for those who might lack formal education but possess the capability and willingness to work hard and learn on the job.

Locations Near You

Access to these jobs is another key factor. The list includes roles available across different regions, and we provide tips on finding these jobs locally by using searches like “jobs that don’t require background checks near me.” This ensures that the opportunities presented are theoretical and can be pursued in various locales.

By adhering to these criteria, we aim to provide a realistic and valuable resource for those seeking high-paying employment without the added hurdle of a background check.

Top 25 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Background Checks

Finding a solid, high-paying job with a record can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, we’ve combed through the job market to identify 25 roles that don’t require background checks. These jobs span various industries, ensuring you have options suited to your skills and interests.

  1. Freelance Writer
  2. Graphic Designer
  3. Web Developer
  4. Electrician
  5. Plumber
  6. Commercial Truck Driver
  7. Heavy Equipment Operator
  8. Construction Supervisor
  9. Welder
  10. Solar Panel Installer
  11. Mechanic
  12. Roofer
  13. Landscaper
  14. Sales Representative
  15. Bartender
  16. Virtual Assistant
  17. Event Planner
  18. Fitness Trainer
  19. Cabinetmaker
  20. Tattoo Artist
  21. Chef
  22. Home Health Aide
  23. Pet Groomer
  24. Warehouse Manager
  25. Delivery Driver

This list shows viable paths to economic stability and personal fulfillment, regardless of background. You can find a high-paying job and carve out a brighter future by developing relevant skills and leveraging industries prioritizing performance over past mistakes.

Job Details

1. Freelance Writer

  • Skills Needed: Strong writing skills and time management.
  • Average Pay: $50,000 per year (from $34,685 in Florida to $56,576 in Washington | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: No formal qualifications are required; clients care more about your portfolio than your past.

Freelance writing is a viable option if you have a knack for words and can manage your time well. It’s a field where your past doesn’t have to define your future. From writing blog posts to creating ad copy, the demand for quality content is endless. You can start small—perhaps contributing to local publications or writing for small businesses. As you build your portfolio, better-paying gigs will follow. The flexibility to work from anywhere is a bonus, and numerous platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelance Writing Jobs don’t require background checks. Just focus on delivering quality content and meeting deadlines, and you’ll be on your way to making a solid income.

Here are 3 free Freelance Writer online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Introduction to Freelance Writing (
  2. Udemy: Freelance Writing 101 (
  3. Coursera: Writing in the Sciences (

2. Graphic Designer

  • Skills Needed: Creativity, proficiency with design software.
  • Average Pay: $52,000 per year (from $40,087 in Florida to $65,386 in Washington | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: Your designs speak louder than any background check.

Let your creativity do the talking in a field open to anyone with the talent to communicate ideas visually. As a graphic designer, you’ll work on everything from logos to website layouts, advertisements, and more. Key tools in your arsenal include software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. These tools will allow you to create compelling visuals that can draw in customers for businesses and organizations.

What’s great about graphic design is that your work speaks for itself. Instead of a résumé filled with traditional work history, you can present a portfolio that showcases your best projects. Employers are looking for creativity and skill more than a clean background check. Freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are great avenues to market your skills without worrying about stringent hiring processes.

The pay is solid, averaging around $52,000 per year, and with experience and a strong portfolio, this number can go higher. So, if you’ve got an eye for design and some proficiency with creative software, graphic design could be a rewarding path to a high-paying job without the background check roadblock.

Here are 3 free Graphic Designer online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Diploma in Graphic Design (
  2. Udemy: Graphic Design Masterclass (
  3. Coursera: Graphic Design Specialization (

3. Web Developer

  • Skills Needed: Knowledge of coding languages and problem-solving.
  • Average Pay: $70,000 per year (from $66,059 in Florida to $111,907 in Massachusetts | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: If you can code, you can find work; emphasis on skill over history.

Web development is a promising field that offers a blend of creativity and technical prowess. It is ideal for individuals eager to rebuild their careers without facing the obstacle of a background check.

To succeed as a web developer, you need a solid grasp of coding languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Familiarity with backend languages like Python, Ruby, or PHP can also be advantageous. Problem-solving is a critical skill, as you’ll often be tasked with troubleshooting and debugging code. A flair for design can give you an edge, although it’s not strictly necessary.

With an average salary of around $70,000 per year, web development is both high-paying and highly flexible. Remote work is a common benefit, allowing you to work from virtually anywhere with an internet connection.

Educational prerequisites are relatively minimal. Many developers are self-taught or have gone through affordable online coding boot camps. Platforms like Codecademy, Coursera, and freeCodeCamp offer resources that can get you up to speed. Building a portfolio by working on your own projects or contributing to open-source projects can significantly improve your employment prospects.

Look for freelance gigs on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to build your portfolio and gain experience. Networking is also crucial. Engaging in online communities, attending local meetups, or joining coding forums can provide valuable connections and job leads. Don’t overlook job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn and specialized tech sites like Stack Overflow Jobs and GitHub Jobs.

In summary, web development is a viable, high-paying career path for those with a criminal record. The demand for skilled developers continues to grow, making it a stable and rewarding option for anyone willing to learn and adapt.

Here are 3 free Web Developer online classes you may want to check out:

  1. freeCodeCamp: Responsive Web Design (
  2. Codecademy: Learn HTML (
  3. edX: CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript (

4. Electrician

  • Skills Needed: Certification, hands-on skills.
  • Average Pay: $60,000 per year (from $47,462 in Arkansas to $72,925 in New York | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: A trade where certifications and experience weigh more than background.

Becoming an electrician can be a lucrative path, especially if you’ve got a knack for hands-on work and problem-solving. This job typically doesn’t hinge on background checks, given the high demand for certified professionals who can handle the intricacies of electrical systems.

To get started, you’ll need to complete a certification program, which can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Many community colleges and trade schools offer these programs. Additionally, an apprenticeship is often required, allowing you to gain practical experience on the job while learning from seasoned electricians.

The pay is solid, averaging around $60,000 annually, with the potential for even higher earnings as you gain experience and possibly start your own business. The job often includes benefits like healthcare and retirement plans, adding to its attractiveness.

Jobs in this field are plentiful across various sectors—including residential, commercial, and industrial—so finding a gig near you shouldn’t be too challenging. Plus, advancements in technology and renewable energy sources like solar power are expanding the need for skilled electricians, offering even more opportunities for career growth.

This could be a perfect fit if working with your hands and solving electrical puzzles appeals. It’s also a job where you can see the immediate impact of your work, power lit up, systems fixed, and homes made safe—an experience that’s both rewarding and essential.

Here are 3 free Electrician online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Electrical Safety – Basic Principles (
  2. Khan Academy: Electrical engineering (
  3. MIT OpenCourseWare: Circuits and Electronics (

5. Plumber

  • Skills Needed: Certification, practical experience.
  • Average Pay: $55,000 per year (from $43,539 in Florida to $71,663 in Oregon | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: Plumbing skills are in demand, and solid technical know-how outweighs past mistakes.

If you’re handy and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, plumbing can be a highly rewarding career option. Plumbers are essential workers in every community, called upon to fix problems that range from leaky faucets to major water line breaks. Because of the physical and skilled nature of the work, many employers focus more on your capability and certifications than on any past mistakes.

To become a plumber, you’ll need a trade school or community college certification. Practical experience is incredibly valuable, too, so internships or apprenticeships can be particularly beneficial. Key skills include problem-solving ability, manual dexterity, and physical stamina. You’ll also need a good grasp of basic math and the willingness to comply with local building codes and regulations.

The average salary for plumbers is around $55,000 per year, though this can vary depending on your location and level of experience. Experienced plumbers with specialized skills can easily command higher rates.

Overall, plumbing offers a solid career path with the potential for growth, job security, and, importantly, a steady income without the necessity of a background check. Whether starting anew or rebuilding, plumbing could be the reliable step toward a stable and prosperous future.

Here are 3 free Plumber online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Introduction to Plumbing Tools and Drawings (
  2. Udemy: Plumbing Basics (
  3. SkillShare: Plumbing 101 (

6. Commercial Truck Driver

  • Skills Needed: CDL, clean driving record.
  • Average Pay: $65,000 per year (from $49,709 in Florida to $78,883 in Alaska | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: A field that values reliability and on-time deliveries over scrutinizing your past.

You’ll need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to become a commercial truck driver. Obtaining a CDL typically includes passing a written test, completing a background check for certain endorsements, and proving your skills through a practical driving test. If you have a clean driving record, that’s a big plus. Most companies will also provide on-the-job training to help you get up to speed on their specific routes and protocols.

The average pay for a commercial truck driver is around $65,000 per year. This can vary based on the type of freight you’re hauling, the distances you’re driving, and your experience level. Some specialized hauling jobs, like hazardous materials, might require extra certification but could also offer higher pay. Many truck driving positions also come with benefits like health insurance and retirement plans.

Commercial truck driving is open to people with diverse backgrounds and often doesn’t require background checks, especially through companies willing to give second chances. It’s a job that can provide a stable and high income, making it a solid choice for individuals looking to rebuild their lives. Long hours on the road can be demanding, but independence and solitude can be a good match for those looking to restart without constant supervision.

Here are 3 free Commercial Truck Driver online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Introduction to Commercial Truck Driving (
  2. Smart-Trucking: CDL Practice Tests (
  3. Trucking Truth: CDL Training (

7. Heavy Equipment Operator

  • Skills Needed: Certification, hands-on training.
  • Average Pay: $55,000 per year (from $34,509 in Florida to $57,778 in Massachusetts | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: Operate machinery skillfully, and you’ll find a job; background checks are rare.

Operating heavy machinery might sound intimidating, but it can be a highly rewarding career with the right certification and hands-on experience. As a Heavy Equipment Operator, you’ll handle machines like bulldozers, cranes, and graders used in construction and maintenance projects. These roles typically don’t delve into background checks, making them perfect for individuals with prior convictions.

The demand for Heavy Equipment Operators is rising, thanks to continual construction and infrastructure projects. The pay is competitive, and you don’t need a college degree to get started. You need training—often provided by vocational schools or apprenticeship programs—and a willingness to work in various outdoor settings.

First, you’ll need the appropriate certification, which you can obtain from accredited schools or through union apprenticeship programs. These courses might take a few weeks to several months and often include classroom instruction and hands-on training. Once certified, networking through local construction companies or joining a union can open doors to job opportunities. Tools like Indeed and job-specific sites like are excellent resources for finding open positions near you.

If you’re worried about the upfront cost of training, check for state-funded programs or financial aid options. Many programs are designed to assist those aiming to reintegrate into the workforce, including individuals with a criminal background.

In summary, Heavy Equipment Operator positions provide a solid, high-paying job alternative that doesn’t require passing a background check. You can find stability and success in this field with determination and the right training.

Here are 3 free Heavy Equipment Operator online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Heavy Equipment Safety (
  2. SkillShare: Heavy Equipment Operator Basics (
  3. OSHA: Construction eTool (

8. Construction Supervisor

  • Skills Needed: Experience in construction and leadership skills.
  • Average Pay: $75,000 per year (from $54,230 in Florida to $88,335 in New Jersey | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: Proven project management trumps a questionable past.

Stepping into the role of a Construction Supervisor means you’ve got to bring some serious experience and leadership skills. No one’s expecting a diploma from a fancy university—what matters more is what you’ve done on-site, managing crews, coordinating tasks, and keeping projects on track.

Construction Supervisors are crucial to the smooth operation of building projects. You’ll juggle schedules, resources, and personnel, ensuring that every nail and bolt is where it should be. This job isn’t for anyone faint of heart; it demands not just know-how but also the ability to lead by example and make quick, effective decisions.

What are you looking at pay-wise? A solid $75,000 per year. It is not too shabby for a role that often values hands-on experience and a proven track record over formal qualifications. Jobs like these don’t usually delve into your past—they care about your ability to keep things moving forward safely and efficiently.

If you’ve got a history in construction and an eye for detail, stepping up to a supervisory role could be your ticket. It’s not just a job; it’s a leadership position that commands respect and offers a stable, well-paying career path.

Here are 3 free Construction Supervisor online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Construction Management (
  2. edX: Construction Project Management (
  3. Coursera: Construction Management Specialization (

9. Welder

  • Skills Needed: Certification, technical skills.
  • Average Pay: $45,000 per year (from $35,598 in Arkansas to $54,046 in New York | ZipRecruiter)
  • Why It’s Ideal: Proficiency with a welding torch is your ticket; background is secondary.

Welding is a trade that offers a viable path for those with a criminal record seeking high-paying, stable employment. The job combines metal parts using various welding techniques such as MIG, TIG, and stick welding. It requires a certification, typically obtainable through vocational schools or community colleges, but beyond that, it’s hands-on experience that helps you excel.

One major advantage of welding is that it is a skill-based profession where your work speaks for you. Employers in this field are often more interested in your technical proficiency and less concerned about your past. This practical and in-demand trade provides an average pay of around $45,000 per year, potentially earning more as you gain experience and take on specialized tasks.

Additionally, welding offers the opportunity to work in various industries, from construction to manufacturing, allowing flexibility in job locations and settings. If you’re skilled with tools and have a knack for metalwork, a career in welding can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding without the burden of a background check.

Here are 3 free Welder online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Introduction to Welding (
  2. AWS Learning: Free Resources (
  3. SkillShare: Welding Basics (

10. Solar Panel Installer

  • Skills Needed: Certification, hands-on experience.
  • Average Pay: $50,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Green energy is a burgeoning field that is focused more on capability than history.

Solar panel installation is booming as more people and businesses seek sustainable energy solutions. The job focuses on installing and maintaining solar systems, which requires hands-on skills and often some certification. Don’t worry if you lack experience, entry-level positions are available, and many companies are willing to train on the job. The pay is around $50,000 annually, making it a solid choice for a career pivot.

You’ll work outdoors, often on rooftops, so physical fitness is a plus. The role involves assembling panels, securing them in place, and ensuring everything is connected properly. You’ll need to understand basic electrical systems, but you don’t need an advanced degree to get started. Certification programs are short and to the point so that you can be job-ready fairly quickly.

Why is this job suitable for those with a criminal record? The renewable energy sector is growing fast, and companies are often more focused on practical skills and reliability than background checks. They need people who can get the job done swiftly and safely, so if you’ve got the knack for hands-on work and are willing to learn, this could be your ticket to a stable and rewarding career.

To find openings near you, search “Solar Panel Installer jobs,” followed by your location. Many firms are hiring, and given the sector’s rapid expansion, job stability and growth prospects are excellent.

Here are 3 free Solar Panel Installer online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Alison: Solar Energy Systems (
  2. edX: Solar Energy Engineering (
  3. Coursera: Solar Energy Basics (

11. Mechanic

  • Skills Needed: Certification, problem-solving skills.
  • Average Pay: $45,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Fixing cars requires knowledge and skill; records take a back seat.

If you have a knack for fixing things and enjoy getting your hands dirty, working as a mechanic is a solid option. The role typically requires certification, but it’s a trade that you can enter without the need for extensive formal education. Mechanics diagnose, repair, and maintain vehicles, which means good problem-solving skills are crucial.

In terms of pay, mechanics earn around $45,000 per year on average, but this can increase with specialty skills or by working in more lucrative markets. Plus, as cars continue to evolve with advanced technology, there’s always something new to learn—keeping the job interesting and dynamic. The best part? Many employers focus on your ability to do the job rather than your background, prioritizing hands-on skills and efficiency.

Here are 3 free Mechanic online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Car Mechanic Training (Alison):
  2. Auto Mechanic Safety (360training):
  3. Introduction to Automotive Service (Coursera):

12. Roofer

  • Skills Needed: Physical stamina, on-the-job training.
  • Average Pay: $45,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Roofing is physically demanding but forgiving regarding background checks.

Roofing might not be the first job that pops into your mind when thinking about high-paying jobs, but it’s a solid option. As a roofer, your primary task will be installing, repairing, and maintaining building roofs. It’s a job that demands physical stamina and a good head for heights, but it doesn’t usually require a background check.

One of the appealing aspects of roofing is that you can often start with little to no experience. Most skills are learned on the job, and many companies are willing to provide the necessary training. A typical day involves climbing ladders, handling materials like shingles or tiles, and ensuring that roofs are watertight.

Despite the hard work, the pay is quite rewarding. The average annual salary for a roofer is around $45,000, but experienced roofers can earn even more. There’s also a sense of accomplishment in seeing a job through from start to finish, knowing that you’ve contributed to a building’s structural integrity and safety.

If you’re physically fit and enjoy working outdoors, roofing could be a perfect fit. Plus, you’ll often work as part of a team, which can provide camaraderie and support, making the challenging days a bit easier. This is one of those trades where commitment and a good work ethic can pay off, literally and figuratively.

Here are 3 free Roofer online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Roofing Basics (Alison):
  2. Roofing Safety (OSHA Education Center):
  3. Introduction to Roofing (SkillShare):

13. Landscaper

  • Skills Needed: Physical fitness, knowledge of plants, and gardening.
  • Average Pay: $40,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Getting your hands dirty means less worry about your record.

Becoming a landscaper offers a promising entry into a field where the past doesn’t dictate the future. As a landscaper, your primary tools are your hands, your creativity, and a good amount of physical stamina. No degree is is required; instead, you’ll need a solid understanding of plants, gardening techniques, and basic landscape design principles.

Your tasks will vary from mowing, pruning, and planting to more elaborate projects like designing and implementing garden layouts. The work can be demanding but equally rewarding when you see a space transform under your care. Some basic knowledge of operating lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and other gardening tools will come in handy.

While the pay averages around $40,000 annually, there is room for upward mobility. With experience, you could move into specialized areas such as landscape architecture and horticulture or start a landscaping business to command higher fees. Many landscapers also find opportunities in residential and commercial sectors, giving you flexibility in your projects.

In terms of job satisfaction, few careers offer the same sense of immediate accomplishment and tangible results. If you find solace in nature and have a knack for working with plants, landscaping could be your ideal path to personal fulfillment and financial stability.

Here are 3 free Landscaper online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Introduction to Landscaping (Alison):
  2. Landscape Design Basics (Udemy):
  3. Gardening and Landscaping (MIT OpenCourseWare):

14. Sales Representative

  • Skills Needed: Communication skills, customer service.
  • Average Pay: $50,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: If you can sell, they’ll hire you; past misdemeanors matter less.

Sales is a field where your ability to communicate and close deals holds more weight than what’s on your background report. As a Sales Representative, you’ll be the face of the company, tasked with reaching out to potential clients, presenting products or services, and ultimately driving sales. This role demands strong communication skills, persistence, and understanding of customer needs.

While having previous sales experience can be beneficial, it’s not always required, making it accessible for individuals looking to start fresh. Training is often provided on the job, covering everything from product knowledge to sales techniques. This ensures that anyone with the right attitude and soft skills can excel.

Sales roles often come with a base salary supplemented by commissions and bonuses, allowing high performers to earn significantly more than the average pay. This field rewards those who are driven, persuasive, and able to build relationships quickly.

Sales positions are available across numerous industries—ranging from tech to retail—providing a wide array of opportunities to find a role that suits your interests and strengths. By leveraging your people skills and determination, you can carve out a rewarding career path without needing a background check.

Here are 3 free Sales Representative online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Sales Training: Practical Sales Techniques (Coursera):
  2. Fundamentals of Sales (edX):
  3. Sales Prospecting and Lead Generation (LinkedIn Learning):

15. Bartender

  • Skills Needed: Certification, customer service.
  • Average Pay: $40,000 per year plus tips.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Bars look for personality and drink-mixing skills, not your background.

Being a bartender can be rewarding and lucrative for those with flair and excellent people skills. The primary skills needed are certification and strong customer service abilities, typically obtained through a short course. Bartending allows for creativity in crafting drinks and can offer a dynamic and exciting working environment.

While certification might be required to mix and serve alcoholic beverages, the heart of bartending lies in customer service. Being friendly, attentive, and able to handle high-pressure situations is critical. Additionally, a basic knowledge of drink recipes and an ability to memorize them quickly will serve you well. The base salary for a bartender averages around $40,000 per year, but this can be significantly augmented by tips. Good bartenders can earn more from customer gratuities in busy establishments, sometimes doubling their income.

Bartending offers high earning potential and a flexible schedule that can accommodate other pursuits or responsibilities. Evening and weekend shifts are common, which can be a great fit for those who need or prefer non-standard working hours. The social aspect of the job can also lead to valuable networking opportunities, helping you build connections in various industries.

For those with a criminal record, bartending can be an ideal choice due to the relatively low barrier to entry and the focus on hands-on skills and personal interaction rather than background history. Local bars, restaurants, and clubs are often looking for reliable staff, making it possible to find jobs that don’t require background checks near you.

Here are 3 free Bartender online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Bartending 101 (Alison):
  2. Mixology: Bartending and Cocktails (Udemy):
  3. Bar Skills (BarSmarts):

16. Virtual Assistant

  • Skills Needed: Organizational skills, computer proficiency.
  • Average Pay: $45,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Remote work that relies on your organizational prowess rather than your past.

If you’re well-organized and tech-savvy, a Virtual Assistant (VA) role might be the right fit for you. This job offers flexibility and the ability to work remotely—ideal for those looking to rebuild their lives without the pressure of traditional employment settings.

Organizational skills are key for a Virtual Assistant. Proficiency in basic computer applications, email management, scheduling software, and some knowledge of social media platforms can give you an edge. Strong communication skills are also essential since you’ll often manage client interactions and coordinate tasks.

Your income can vary depending on the complexity of tasks and the number of clients you manage. Some VAs charge hourly rates, while others prefer project-based fees.

The demand for virtual assistants has skyrocketed as more businesses move online and look to outsource administrative tasks. From handling emails to managing social media accounts and booking appointments, the scope of work is diverse. Best of all, many employers in this field don’t require background checks, allowing you to demonstrate your capabilities purely based on your performance and reliability.

Finding virtual assistant positions isn’t too hard. Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and frequently list VA jobs, and they often cater to freelancers who want to build a portfolio and client base. If you search “virtual assistant jobs near me” or “remote VA positions,” you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get started.

Becoming a Virtual Assistant allows you to convert your organizational skills and computer proficiency into a viable, high-paying career path without the usual hurdles of a background check.

Here are 3 free Virtual Assistant online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Become a Virtual Assistant (Udemy):
  2. Virtual Assistant Training (Skillshare):
  3. How to Become a Virtual Assistant (Coursera):

17. Event Planner

  • Skills Needed: Organizational and negotiation skills.
  • Average Pay: $55,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Coordinate successful events; your past won’t matter.

Becoming an event planner can be a lucrative and fulfilling career for felons, especially since many clients and employers prioritize a proven track record over a clean background check. The role involves coordinating events such as weddings, corporate meetings, and parties.

To succeed as an event planner, you need stellar organizational skills. This means juggling multiple tasks at once, from arranging venues and catering to managing guest lists and liaising with vendors. Strong negotiation abilities are also crucial to get the best deals and stay within budget. Moreover, excellent communication skills are indispensable for understanding client needs and delivering events that meet their expectations.

As for the pay, event planners typically earn around $55,000 annually, but experienced professionals can command even higher wages, especially for high-profile or large-scale events. Starting out might require taking on smaller gigs to build up your portfolio, but the potential for income and growth is substantial.

Overall, if you have a knack for organization and don’t mind the occasional high-pressure situation, event planning is a viable and rewarding option that doesn’t typically require a background check.

Here are 3 free Event Planner online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Event Planning Fundamentals (Alison):
  2. Introduction to Event Planning (Coursera):
  3. Event Planning and Management (edX):

18. Fitness Trainer

  • Skills Needed: Certification, knowledge of fitness programs.
  • Average Pay: $40,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Help others get fit; your past is not a concern.

If you’re passionate about fitness and love encouraging others to reach their health goals, becoming a fitness trainer could be the perfect high-paying job for you. Certification is typically required, which involves completing a course and passing an exam. Organizations like the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) offer well-recognized certifications that can build your credibility and skills.

A fitness trainer needs a comprehensive understanding of various fitness programs, from weight training to cardio and flexibility routines. Having solid knowledge of anatomy, exercise physiology, and nutrition will set you apart. Effective communication and motivational skills are crucial, as you’ll be guiding clients through their fitness journeys and helping them stay committed to their goals.

On average, fitness trainers make around $40,000 per year, but those who build a strong client base or specialize in niche areas (like high-intensity interval training or yoga) can make significantly more. Don’t overlook opportunities to offer private training sessions, which can command higher rates and provide a boost to your income.

This role is flexible too, with opportunities to work in gyms, community centers, or even start your own training business. If you’re looking for a job that lets you stay active and help others lead healthier lives, fitness training is a solid choice that doesn’t require a background check.

Here are 3 free Fitness Trainer online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Fitness Instructor Basics (Alison):
  2. Essentials of Strength Training (Coursera):
  3. Introduction to Exercise Science (edX):

19. Cabinetmaker

  • Skills Needed: Carpentry skills, attention to detail.
  • Average Pay: $45,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Craftsmanship is key; a good piece of furniture speaks for itself.

For those with a knack for craftsmanship and precision, becoming a cabinetmaker can be a solid career choice that doesn’t require a background check. This role demands strong carpentry skills and an eye for detail to create quality pieces of furniture and cabinetry. You’ll be measuring, cutting, and assembling wood into cabinets, furniture, and other wooden products. While formal education in carpentry can be a plus, many cabinetmakers hone their skills through hands-on experience and apprenticeships.

Why it works: Cabinetmaking is a trade where your skill set and output speak louder than your past. Employers in this field are often more interested in your ability to produce finely crafted items than any mistakes you might have made in the past. It’s a profession that rewards those who can deliver precision and quality, offering a stable income and the chance to grow into higher-paying positions over time. If you’ve got a criminal record but possess the skills and dedication to create beautiful wooden works, this could be a fulfilling and lucrative path to pursue.

Here are 3 free Cabinetmaker online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Introduction to Woodworking (Instructables):
  2. Cabinetmaking Basics (Skillshare):
  3. Woodworking 101 (Udemy):

20. Tattoo Artist

  • Skills Needed: Artistic skills, licensing where required.
  • Average Pay: $50,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Your art and steady hand matter most.

Tattooing offers a creative pathway that’s not restrained by the typical 9-to-5 grind while allowing a fair amount of freedom. Many tattoo studios prioritize an artist’s portfolio over their past. If you can show you’re talented with a needle and ink, your past won’t loom as large.

Artistic skills are a must. You should have a good understanding of design, shading, and color theory. Hands-on experience is invaluable and can be gained through apprenticeships. Additionally, you must have good interpersonal skills since you’ll be working closely with clients.

Some states require tattoo artists to be licensed or certified, which often involves passing a health and safety course.

On average, tattoo artists make around $50,000 per year. This can vary widely depending on location, reputation, and experience. Some seasoned artists with a strong client base can earn significantly more.

Tattooing is more than just a job; it’s an art form that allows for personal expression and client interaction. It’s a career path that rewards skill and creativity, and it’s relatively forgiving of past mistakes. So if you’re artistically inclined and ready to turn a blank canvas into a masterpiece, consider picking up the tattoo machine.

Here are 3 free Tattoo Artist online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Tattoo Artist (Alison):
  2. Introduction to Tattoo Art (Skillshare):
  3. Tattoo Design Basics (Udemy):

21. Chef

  • Skills Needed: Culinary training, creativity.
  • Average Pay: $50,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Kitchens care about your cooking; not your past life.

Becoming a chef is a fantastic avenue for those with a criminal record who want to build a career without facing the obstacle of background checks. The culinary world is more focused on skill and experience rather than past mistakes.

As a chef, your primary responsibilities will include preparing meals, developing menus, and supervising kitchen staff. Culinary training is a must, but many paths can lead you there: formal schooling, apprenticeships, or working your way up the ladder in a kitchen. Creativity and a passion for food are essential, as they’ll drive you to experiment with flavors and create unique dishes.

The pay is competitive, with the average chef earning around $50,000 annually. However, in higher-end restaurants or as an executive chef, that number can go significantly higher. Additionally, positions are available all over the country, from small towns to big cities, making it a versatile job option.

Certainly, though, working as a chef can be demanding. Long hours, physical exertion, and a fast-paced environment are par for the course. But for those who love cooking, the rewards—both personal and financial—can be substantial. If you’re searching for stability and a way to reintegrate into society, pursuing a career as a chef could provide just the right mix of opportunity and passion.

Here are 3 free Chef online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management (Alison):
  2. The Science of Gastronomy (Coursera):
  3. Introduction to Food and Health (Stanford Online):

22. Home Health Aide

  • Skills Needed: Certification, empathy, and care skills.
  • Average Pay: $30,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Care agencies look for compassion and competency first.

Becoming a Home Health Aide offers a meaningful career path for those who enjoy helping others and have a compassionate disposition. This job primarily involves providing essential assistance to individuals who are elderly, disabled, or recovering from illness. Responsibilities include helping patients with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and meal preparation, as well as monitoring their health conditions.

Because this role focuses heavily on practical, hands-on care, the demand for formal education is relatively low. Typically, a certification course is sufficient to get started, and some states even offer free training programs. The average pay is around $30,000 per year, and there’s often the potential for overtime, which can boost your earnings.

Moreover, the job market for Home Health Aides is booming given the increasing aging population. You can find these positions through local healthcare agencies, nursing facilities, or even through direct employment with a patient’s family.

While it may not be the highest-paying job on the list, the role provides immense job satisfaction and stability. Additionally, it usually doesn’t require a background check, making it an excellent option for those with a criminal record looking to make a fresh start in a supportive and impactful profession.

Here are 3 free Home Health Aide online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Home Health Aide Training (Alison):
  2. Foundations for Assisting in Home Care (Coursera):
  3. Caring for Older Adults (edX):

23. Pet Groomer

  • Skills Needed: Training, love for animals.
  • Average Pay: $35,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Making pets look pretty is your main goal; background checks are rare.

Pet grooming can be a rewarding career if you enjoy working with animals and have a knack for attention to detail. The primary skills required are a genuine love for pets and some grooming training, which you can usually complete through short courses or on-the-job training. Along with grooming skills, you’ll need good customer service abilities to keep both pets and their owners happy.

The average salary sits around $35,000 annually, but experienced groomers who work for high-end salons or provide mobile grooming services can earn even more. It’s a role that often doesn’t require a background check, making it an accessible option for those with a criminal record looking to rebuild their lives and careers. The demand for pet grooming services continues to grow, so job security is another added benefit of this profession. Plus, the physical and emotional connections with pets can provide daily job satisfaction that many find fulfilling.

Here are 3 free Pet Groomer online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Pet Grooming Essentials (Alison):
  2. Dog Grooming Basics (Udemy):
  3. Introduction to Pet Grooming (Skillshare):

24. Warehouse Manager

  • Skills Needed: Organizational and leadership skills.
  • Average Pay: $55,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Inventory management and operations precede background checks.

A career as a Warehouse Manager can be particularly rewarding for someone with a criminal record, mainly due to the minimal emphasis on background checks in this industry. The job entails overseeing day-to-day operations within a warehouse, managing inventory, and ensuring that products are stored and dispatched efficiently.

Success in this role hinges on several key skills, including strong organizational abilities, leadership to coordinate and motivate staff, and an attention to detail to maintain accurate records. Practical experience in logistics or warehousing can be invaluable, but many organizations are also willing to offer on-the-job training.

Warehouse Managers often find roles in various industries, from retail and manufacturing to logistics companies, providing ample opportunities. With an average yearly income of $55,000, it’s not just a viable option but also one that can offer financial stability and career growth. Keep an eye on job boards and local business listings for openings, and leverage any previous experience or training to make your application stand out.

Here are 3 free Warehouse Manager online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Warehouse Management (Alison):
  2. Supply Chain Logistics (edX):
  3. Inventory Management (Coursera):

25. Delivery Driver

  • Skills Needed: Valid driver’s license, punctuality.
  • Average Pay: $40,000 per year.
  • Why It’s Ideal: Delivering packages on time is crucial; they care more about your route reliability than your record.

If you’re comfortable behind the wheel and enjoy navigating roads, becoming a delivery driver might be the right path for you. In this role, you’ll be responsible for transporting goods from warehouses to customers’ doorsteps or other businesses. It’s straightforward work that doesn’t require a background check.

As a delivery driver, punctuality is crucial. Companies rely on you to meet delivery schedules, ensuring customers get their goods on time. You’ll also need a valid driver’s license and be familiar with the local area or be able to use GPS effectively.

While the work can be demanding, especially during peak times, it offers a decent pay scale averaging at $40,000 per year. Plus, with the rise of e-commerce, there’s no shortage of delivery driver positions. This job also provides the flexibility of different shifts and locations, catering to your scheduling needs. So, if you’re looking for a job that values efficiency and reliability, driving deliveries might be just what you need.

Here are 3 free Delivery Driver online classes you may want to check out:

  1. Delivery Driver Safety (Alison):
  2. Defensive Driving (National Safety Council):
  3. Introduction to Logistics (edX):

Tips for Finding These Jobs


Networking can be your golden ticket to landing a job without worrying about background checks. Connecting with people you know—family, friends, former colleagues—can lead to unadvertised opportunities. Attend local community events, job fairs, and industry-specific meetups to grow your professional circle. Sometimes, a strong personal recommendation can bypass the need for a background check entirely.

Job Boards

Regarding job hunting, platforms like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Craigslist can be invaluable. Tailor your search by adding keywords like “no background check” or “felon-friendly.” Many jobs that don’t explicitly advertise background check requirements can still be found through diligent searching. Setting up job alerts on these platforms can also notify you of new listings that fit your criteria.

Local Listings

Community boards, local newspapers, and bulletin boards at libraries and community centers can be treasure troves of job opportunities. Local businesses often advertise openings in these venues and may be more flexible about background checks, especially if they’re smaller operations. Don’t hesitate to visit job placement centers aimed at helping people with criminal records—they often have direct connections with businesses open to hiring felons.

Temp Agencies

Temp agencies or staffing companies can often provide quicker entry into employment without demanding a background check. Companies like Kelly Services, Manpower, and Adecco specialize in matching workers with temporary assignments, some of which can lead to full-time positions. These agencies frequently assess candidates based on current skills and immediate availability, making them a viable option for felons seeking high-paying jobs.


Finding a high-paying job with a criminal record is challenging but not impossible. We’ve outlined various roles that don’t require background checks and offer solid financial rewards. The opportunities may be just around the corner, requiring skills or certifications that are accessible with some effort and dedication.

If you’ve felt that doors were closed due to your past, this list shows they can indeed be opened. Each job presented offers a chance for stability and the dignity of work, proving that your future doesn’t have to be bound by your history. The landscape may still be tough, but it’s far from barren.

Your next step is to take action—explore the job options provided, leverage your networks, and utilize job boards and local listings. Start reaching out to temp agencies and don’t hesitate to apply. With persistence and the right resources, you can find a fulfilling job that pays well and respects your journey.

This is your chance to turn the page and write a new chapter. Don’t let a criminal record define your potential. Embrace the possibilities and start your job search today.