Jobs for Sex Offenders -
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Jobs for Sex Offenders

Jobs for Sex Offenders

A criminal conviction can completely change a person’s life with negative consequences for many years. Perhaps the most significant challenge comes in finding a job after a sex conviction.

This blog post will address the issue of what jobs are available for sex offenders.

  • Sex Offense
  • Effects of a Sex Conviction on a Career
  • Careers that May Be Challenging to Enter
  • Careers that May Be Easier to Enter
  • How to Deal with a Sex Offense on a Job Application
  • Making a Case for Employment

Sex Offense

A sex offender is a person who has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, including:

  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Sexual assault
  • Molestation of the child
  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Incest
  • Kidnapping, aggravated assault, murder, unlawful imprisonment, and burglary when there is a sexual motivation

Most offenses involving criminal sexual conduct fall under the jurisdiction of state law.

Federal sexual offenses include:

  • Selling or buying children
  • Sexual exploitation of minors
  • Certain activities involving child pornography
  • Transporting an individual in interstate or foreign commerce with the intention of illegal sexual activity
  • Transportation of minors in interstate or foreign commerce with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity

Someone who has been convicted of any of the following offenses must register as a sex offender:

  • Aggravated kidnapping with sexual battery
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Burglary with sexual assault
  • Prostitution
  • Continuous sexual abuse of children
  • Indecency with a child
  • Indecent exposure (more than one offense)
  • Possession or promotion of child pornography
  • Prohibited sexual content sexual assault
  • Sexual performance by a child

A sex felony is a serious criminal offense involving a sentence of at least one year in prison. The consequences for a felony sex conviction are similar, including:

  • Prison time
  • Probation or parole
  • Fines or restitution
  • Job loss
  • Loss of civil rights like voting or owning a gun
  • Damage to someone’s reputation

Even after the terms of any sentence have been completed, there will still be a criminal record for the remainder of a person’s life along with continuous registration as a sex offender.

Typically, a misdemeanor conviction will remain on someone’s record and be available for public viewing for three years before it can be expunged. A felony conviction will generally remain on a person’s record and be available to the public for five years before it can be expunged.

Effects of a Sex Conviction on a Career

A sex conviction will not absolutely prevent a felon from finding a job, but it certainly makes it much more difficult. Employers are already reluctant to hire anyone with a criminal record, that this is especially true if it is a sexual offense.

One of the difficulties in being hired for a position with any type of conviction is that an employer tends to see all crimes as being of equal severity. With any offense, many employers have the view that a felon is dangerous regardless of the type of crime. If it is a sex crime, the fear becomes even greater.

Sex offenses tend to be viewed as a drastic violation of an individual’s rights and boundaries, resulting in the victim’s loss of self-esteem and trust in others. There will be drastic effects on job opportunities for a felon with a sex offense. There are a number of reasons why it is challenging to get a job with a sex conviction.

Prospective employers will usually ask about a criminal record and conduct a background investigation because they want to hire someone they can trust. An employer will review someone’s criminal record to determine if the type of crime involved in the conviction has any bearing on the particular job position.

Those who have been convicted of a sex crime may have more restrictions on their rights than those convicted of a non-sex crime. One of the major restrictions is on where they can live. Most state laws prohibit registered sex offenders from living or visiting a residence that is within 500 feet of a child safety zone.

A child safety zone may include:

  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Youth centers
  • Athletic centers
  • Daycare centers

Those who have been convicted of a sex crime are also typically prohibited from seeking employment in a business located in any of those areas.

Typically, sex offenders have certain restrictions:

  • Limited or no internet access
  • Having movement restricted to a certain area
  • Restricted contact with minors or a victim
  • Being unable to own or purchase firearms
  • Regular drug and alcohol screening

Employers want to protect employees and customers from any type of harm, which includes keeping them away from people who have committed sex offenses.

Megan’s Law was enacted in 1996 as a response to the death of a child by a sex offender. Megan’s Law requires states to enact laws and have registration of convicted sex offenders so communities can be informed of the presence of these offenders.

In most states, Megan’s Law makes it illegal for employers to use any information for purposes relating to employment or health insurance. Megan’s Law will be upheld for any job that involves children or another vulnerable group.

When deciding on whether or not the job involves a degree of risk, employers may take into account the following:

  • State’s public policy to encourage employment of felons
  • Duties and responsibilities of the job
  • Extent that the crime would affect a felon’s fitness for ability to perform
  • Time elapsed since the offense
  • Person’s age when the crime was committed
  • Seriousness of the offense
  • Information demonstrating rehabilitation and good conduct

Careers that May Be Challenging to Enter

To be eligible for employment with many federal agencies, an applicant must meet certain standards. Situations that may disqualify a candidate for a federal position include conviction of a felony whether it is a sex crime or not.

Most state laws don’t specifically prohibit registered sex offenders from holding certain occupations. However, licensing agencies may deny professional licenses to sex offenders in certain occupations. For sex offenders, this may include:

  • Daycare workers or operators
  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Physicians or other healthcare providers

Careers that May Be Easier to Enter

It’s easy to become frustrated and discouraged when applying for jobs even under the best circumstances. Having a sex conviction makes this even more challenging.

However, there are a number of areas in which a sex offender can find work. Each of these involves some education and training specific to that field.

Some areas that sex offenders may be able to get a job include:


There are many college degrees that lend themselves to felons getting an education and finding employment even with a sex crime. These include areas such as criminal justice and engineering.

A felon with a sex conviction can pursue any degree he or she wants. Although 60% of colleges consider criminal history in their admissions process, there is no standard policy regarding a background check.

Any felon that wants to get a degree can find a college that will accept him or her. The challenge may be in obtaining a job after graduating, but this can be accomplished with perseverance.

Truck Driving

There are a number of truck driving jobs available with companies that are willing to hire felons with a sex offense. It’s generally recommended to attend a school to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) first, which is required for most truck driving jobs.


There are many opportunities in the construction industry. Smaller companies are more willing to allow a sex offender to demonstrate his or her skills in a particular trade within the construction field.

There are various trades within the construction industry, including:


There are a number of restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, that hire sex offenders. Some of these include:

  • McDonald’s
  • Subway

Animal Shelters

Animal shelters are known to hire sex offenders since there is typically little contact with the public.

Temp Agencies

Temp agencies are another good choice for felons even with a sex offense. Since they work with a variety of employers, it can be easier to find one that’s willing to give a sex offender an opportunity.

Sometimes these temporary positions can turn into full-time positions.


There are many opportunities for felons who want to start their own business. Being an independent contractor can offer those with a sex offense a chance to work for themselves and utilize their skills.


There are many opportunities for sex offenders to work online. Those positions that directly employ individuals for a W-2 job often conduct a background check. However, those that create contracts for an independent 1099 position typically do not complete a background check.

How to Deal with a Sex Offense on a Job Application

Many states allow felony convictions to be expunged from a record. If this is available, it would certainly be helpful to clean up a criminal record. The report from court where the charges were filed can be helpful. Checking with county, state, and federal courts is recommended.

When applying for a job, a question of a sex criminal conviction needs to be answered truthfully. Someone may be automatically disqualified if there is a lie that is discovered by a potential employer.

Questions about criminal history may only ask for information regarding felonies. If the question does not ask for misdemeanor convictions, these do not have to be disclosed.

Specific information regarding a criminal record should be clearly stated to a potential employer:

  • Briefly describe what happened with an acceptance of responsibility
  • State what a person did while incarcerated to better him or herself
  • Explain what someone is doing now to move past the conviction
  • Demonstrate having learned from one’s mistake

Making a Case for Employment

A sex conviction should be explained briefly and accurately. Take ownership for the mistake and state what that experience taught, and how he or she has changed since then.

When asked about a sex conviction, it’s important to answer the question directly and honestly. The employer knows that you are aware of what is on your record. Attempts to pretend that you do not know makes you appear dishonest.

Making mistakes is part of life. Showing that he or she is qualified and honest will give the best chance to find employment.

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get hired with a sex offense on his or her record? What was that like for him or her, and how did he or she achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.

4 responses to “Jobs for Sex Offenders”

  1. Ka'atsi says:

    Quite frankly, the ONLY way an S.O. is going to get a job is to start an online business (eBay, import/export, etc) of their own. The town I live in (a podunk, backwater cesspool in Arkansas’s “Upper Delta” region) has a population of only about 15,000 and over 200 S.O.’s. Not a single S.O. in this town has a job. They are actively prevented from obtaining employment of any kind. The “employers” are of such low intelligence that they actually claim, ON THEIR APPLICATIONS, to be “Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action” companies. These things are polar oppisites but they can’t understand that fact. They do background checks for the position of janitor at a convenience store. They expect you to have a Bachelor’s degree to drive delivery for an auto parts store.
    There are changes in the laws coming that are specifically targeted at incarcerating registered S.O.’s… whether they have commited any new crime or not.
    Sex offenders actually have the LOWEST rate of recidivism of all criminals. Drug offenders, murders, etc have a MUCH higher likelyhood of re-offending (even while on probation, parole, or supervised release) of all convicted felons.
    The majority of S.O.’s (especially in the feds) are what is known as “downloaders.” These are people that have downloaded explicit photos of children. @nd most common are native Americans… everything on the reservation is automatically federal.
    The “restrictions” you state in the above article are primarily those used by state and federal PO’s. They only apply as long as the individual is on probation, parole, or supervised release.
    Many states DO actively prevent S.O.’s from obtaining employment in a high number of occupations. Furthermore, even if the government doesn’t prevent the S.O. from getting work, the corporations do… ie- Taco Bell (and MANY other companies) consider themslves to be family restaurants. When they began requiring S.O.’s to inform (in writing) their immediate supervisors of their status… they lost their jobs. The same goes for “call centers” and telemarketing companies such as: Sitel, Hyperion, etc.
    So… even if an S.O. can obtain a job, the rules in place for them (that do NOT apply to ANY other felon) cause them to lose said job. Hence, the ONLY way for a registered S.O. to make a living is to start their own business online where they will have the anonymity to do business without actual face-to-face contact with people in general.

  2. c.s. says:

    I agree with you 100 % I am dealing with that as well even though it was 23 yrs ago and a do i go about startig this business?

  3. Hans says:

    So, basically you’re saying that once convicted as a sex offender, your job choices are menial labor or none, right?

  4. Kyle Wang says:

    In 2001, I was convicted of a crime wrongly mostly because of my skin color, I had rape on my records now and nobody would employ me, I couldn’t forgive myself for being punished of something I didn’t do. I go t help with the aid of mailing rootgatehacks on tutanota dot com that I came across in an ad, they have helped me and now I have a clean slate. You can have another chance too

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