August 26, 2015 By Stephen Klarich

For anyone with a criminal record, finding and maintaining employment is the first step toward successfully re-entering society. Studies show that when former criminals are able to find work once released from jail or prison, they are less likely to wind up back in prison. 1 However, finding a job can be extremely difficult, as many employers discriminate in their hiring practices against those with criminal records.

The process of finding a job is even harder if you have been convicted of a sex-related crime. While California law prohibits the use of sex offender registries in employment decisions and practices, the ability to check online offender lists continues to create employment barriers. 2

Finding a job as a sex offender can be difficult, but it would be easier if you know where to look. These tips could help you find employment if you are a registered sex offender.

Check Industries That Don’t Involve Working around Children

Sex offender's guide to finding a job in California.
Jobs that don’t involve children, such as construction, may be easier for a sex offender to obtain.

Generally, if you are on parole or probation, you should always abide by the conditions of your parole. There also may be certain jobs you can’t be hired for depending on the circumstances of your conviction. If your offense was committed against a victim 16 years old or younger, California law prohibits you from working with minors in an unaccompanied setting. 3 Regardless of the age of the victim in your case, you must notify an employer of your status as a sex offender if you will be working with minors. 4

It is best to apply for a job where you will not be working around minors. Some industries you should look into include:

  • Warehousing
  • Construction
  • Building trades
  • Animal shelters
  • Automotive services
  • Manufacturing, and
  • Trucking 5

Work with Professionals

Restrictions on internet use and parole requirements can make filling out applications difficult. 6 Working with a sex offender therapist to draft plans to present to your parole officer can help you navigate these areas. Documenting a plan detailing issues that might arise when you leave your house can go a long way in assuring your parole officer that you are ready for an expanded set of travel privileges. 7

Government-funded temporary work agencies may be able to help you apply for jobs online even if you have internet restrictions. But the question remains: where specifically should you look for work?

Find Companies with a History of Hiring Sex Offenders

There are ways to make your search for employment a little easier. The first is to network. This may seem counter-intuitive, but networking with other sex offenders can be a good resource for finding businesses that are willing to hire you. 8

Another way to network is to do so online. Some websites and resources ask sex offenders to share their experiences with employers. 9 Companies like CareerOneStop can also help direct you to state services that aid in finding employment for people with criminal records. 10

Some companies that have offered jobs to those with criminal records include:

  • Ace Hardware
  • Avis Rent-a-Car
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Best Western
  • General Electric
  • General Mills
  • Home Depot 11

Finally, there are steps you can take to make yourself more attractive to potential employers. The Federal Bonding Program provides insurance coverage to employers against potential losses from hiring high-risk employees. 12 Informing employers during interviews that you are eligible for bonding and that they are potentially eligible for tax benefits if they hire you can help alleviate some of the anxiety employers may feel about giving you a job.

Obtain Relief from Sex Offender Registration

Depending on the circumstances of your conviction, you may be eligible to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation or California Governor’s Pardon. A Certificate of Rehabilitation will not erase your criminal conviction from your record, but it is an official document that could show potential employers that you have reformed since your conviction.

In addition, obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon could be the first step to ending your requirement to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

Call Wallin & Klarich to Find Out if You are Eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation

Wallin & Klarich sex crimes lawyers
Our team of sex crimes attorneys is ready to fight on your behalf. Call Wallin & Klarich today.

If you wish to find out if you are eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation or a Governor’s Pardon, you need to speak to an experienced post-conviction attorney at Wallin & Klarich. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers may be able to help you reduce the consequences of your sex crime conviction so you can find a job and be removed from the sex offender registry. We have been successfully helping our clients obtain post-conviction relief for over 30 years. Let us help you now.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our experienced sex crimes attorneys can help you no matter your location.

Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.


1. [http://www.sandiego.edu/law/careers/students/job-search-prep/business-cards.php]
2. [http://blogs.sacbee.com/personal-finance-ask-the-experts/2013/08/what-types-of-jobs-are-available-for-a-sex-offender-seeking-employment.html]
3. [http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/registration/minors.aspx?lang=ENGLISH]
4. [Id.]
5. [Id.]
6. [http://www.sexoffenderjobs.com/sex-offender-job-restrictions/]
7. [Ibid.]
8. [http://www.sexoffenderjobs.com/figure-jobs-hire-sex-offenders/]
9. [http://www.sexoffenderjobs.com/companies-that-have-hired-felons-and-sex-offenders/]
10. [http://www.careeronestop.org/ResourcesFor/WorkerCriminalConviction/worker-with-a-criminial-conviction.aspx]
11. [Id.]
12. [http://www.bonds4jobs.com/index.html]

10 comments

  1. trying to start a new life, did 10 years in prison, completed in prison sex offender program, released in 2007, I registered as a level 3. have worked several jobs successfully until employer discovered I am a sex offender, and was fired. mostly interested in construction and landscaping type jobs. what can I do to find out where I may be employed, or what I can do to be more employable.
    thank you

    1. Hi Brian,

      We are sorry to hear that this is destroying your ability to find a job. Do you have to register in California? If so, we may be able to help you. Contact us at (877) 466-5245 so we can discuss your case further.

      Best of luck

  2. I have 20 years of real-world experience on this matter.
    1. No, you cannot be a Truck Driver.
    2. Companies that have “hired Sex Offenders” do not do so intentionally. The only jobs i have had are from employers who just so happened to not do a background check, for whatever reason, usually financial. Background checks are expensive.
    3. The only time i have been fired from a job specifically for being a sex offender is because someone told somebody.
    4. I have never gotten a job when i have revealed my history on an application. Never.
    5. Just because a company hires “felons” does not mean they hire “sex offenders.” Lately it is getting more and more acceptable and even preferred for companies to give felons ie. low income minorities who are “trying to find a way out of drugs and poverty” a second chance and therefore can be hired in a low wage position. The same attitude is NOT given to those with a sex crime on their record. When hiring felons there are two categories Regular Felons and Sex Offenders.
    6. Getting your name removed from the sex offender registry, which I have done, does not help your ability to find a job. Your criminal record is always a part of your background, List or no List.

    working at home in a virtual, low paying, often in a temporary capacity with a company that does not do background checks (usually when hiring for temps they don’t) is the only way, I personally, have ever been able to work long term. I’ve known a friend or two who was a boss and was hired that way, but for reason stated above, that never lasted and always ended in an embarrassing, “sorry, man, you’re my perfect employee, but I gotta let you go.”

    Many think the issue lies with Reforming Sex Offender Laws, and yes that is important work. but in order for someone to really re-build their life and become self-supporting we must remove this stigma of No Second Chances. As long as employers have access to the most horrible mistake i’ve made ever in my life for the remainder of my life, I have no chance to ever work a decent job again. Who here is perfect? Who believes forgiveness is important? Who believes that 2nd chances are important? Until the law allowing background checks covering a person’s entire life is changed to only allow a viewing going back 7-10 years will we see our society improve. We must allow people a second change to rebuild their lives. My opinion.

    1. I am a registered sex offender in SC and I register 4 times a year.
      I was released in 2003 and I went back to truck driving school to retain my CDL that had expired.
      You are totally incorrect when you make the claim that you can not be a truck driver. I have driven over the road for a company and have travelled to California and back many times.
      I have a fellow offender who is driving over the road pulling a flatbed at this moment.
      I know two companies who will hire you right out of school no matter what kind of felony you had and yes even sex offences no matter what you did. no exceptions! They these two companies will give anyone a chance who has a cdl. Sound like your friends when confronted with their knowledge of your past discovered they had little nuts and lacked the back bone to tell these busy bodies to mind their own business or go work elsewhere. In essence what I am saying is that anyone who obtains a CDL can get a job here in SC even though many of the main companies will not touch a sex offender until they are off paper for ten years and others who will never hire you because the person who is in safety is often a woman who has issues about anyone with that label. But first a word of caution. 85 % of all cdl holders no longer are driving over the road after 1 year. They give it up. What you claimed about truck drivers on the registry was in fact an opinion and not a fact. I have the facts. I have a video on youtube titles “Trucking across america” Me and a fellow registrant are working together as a team driving to California and back hauling produce. Not all of us live under bridges and sleep on park benches. I am one of the big success stories and I help other offenders with information on getting a job in the trucking industry.

    2. Hi Will,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. However, your experience is only your experience, and the statements you made are not true for everyone. Being required to register as a sex offender will make finding a job much more difficult, which is why we provide this advice. This article is based on real-world experiences from registered sex offenders. These methods were able to help them find jobs.

      The advice we give is general advice. It does not mean that you will automatically be hired if you follow this advice, but at the very least, it will help registered sex offenders on their job search.

      Best of luck to you!

      1. My experience IS the norm. The experiences on which you based your article are the rare exceptions. A person cannot live on a min. wage job, so those don’t count. Good jobs that pay a living wage upon which a man can support himself and his family, with the even the basics for benefits and retirement, for the MAJORITY of sex offenders in this country are not possible. To imply otherwise is just plain false and you marginalize the criminality of how these citizens have been treated and the tragic circumstance with which they find themselves. It is unlike anything we have ever seen. There are tens of thousands of sex offenders living in camps in the woods of North Florida and under bridges in several cities. 34 out of 50 states have enacted residency restrictions BANNING sex offenders from many of their towns. As a democratic free nation, we have allowed modern day banishment along with the assignment of a Scarlet Letter with the Internet acting as the Town’s Square. And you’re implying it’s possible for them to get a job?! No way, sir. Between 60 and 70% of the nations sex offenders are unemployed. This is how severe this issue is. Articles like these minimize that undeniable and inhumane fact. Want to write an article that is closer to reality? Advise people to find a way to get on Disability because when we’re 80 we’re not going to be able to tar a roof or drive a truck and so we’ll be left to rot and die in the woods. If that’s what society wants, fine. But don’t tell me it’s possible for me to get a self-sustaining job, because it’s not.

        1. Hi Trevor,

          Thanks for sharing your experience with us. We certainly know that it is very difficult for sex offender registrants to find jobs. That is why we provide this general guide. This guide does not reflect everyone’s experience because it is different for everyone. There are many factors involved when deciding who to hire, so this is not a guarantee that you will be able to find a job. This is merely a starting point on where to look and what to do if you are a registered sex offender searching for a job based on the experiences of many.

          Best of luck!

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