Finding and pursuing a medical career is a challenging occupation itself but it is even harder if you have a criminal background.
There are lots of people that break the law by accident or intentionally in some way.
It can be some small issues like speeding and jaywalking as well as serious points that are known as a felony.
Felonies – it is severe crimes that include fraud, driving under the influence, possession of controlled substances, resisting arrest, burglary, and involuntary manslaughter.
Also, there are crimes that are called misdemeanors and mainly lead to less than 1 year in prison.
After the sentence is finished, most felons try to live some “normal” life.
There are lots of felons that remorse and are ashamed of their actions and want to have some regular job so they can pay their bills.
But is it possible to have a regular job especially in the medical field, if you are a felon?
In this article, we’ve collected some medical careers felons can apply for.
Also, we tell you about the jobs that aren’t available for felons and how the type of conviction can influence your career options.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Is It Possible to Get a Medical Job with a Felony?
- 2 What Medical Jobs are Available for Felons?
- 3 Can Felons Enter a Medical School?
- 4 How to Find a Medical Career With a Felony: Useful Tips
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5.1 Can you work in a hospital if you have a felony?
- 5.2 What is the highest paying job for a felon?
- 5.3 How do you get felonies expunged?
- 5.4 What is the most felony-friendly state?
- 5.5 What is considered a criminal record?
- 5.6 Does a criminal record stay with you for life?
- 5.7 How do I get a criminal record off my background check?
Is It Possible to Get a Medical Job with a Felony?
Even if you’ve been convicted in felony there are some medical careers you can apply for.
In fact, there are lots of career options for felons who’ve served their time.
Of course, it can be much harder but it doesn’t mean it is impossible.
Just make sure to prove that you are a trustworthy employee.
Also, there are some careers that aren’t available to people who had convictions in the past.
For example, felons cannot apply for careers related to finances and childcare.
If you need help with your job search after a jail sentence, you can address local and national advocacy groups as well as not-for-profits.
Also, these organizations help felons find and apply for suitable jobs.
Addressing the National Transitional Jobs Network, you can also get training, placements, and support with secure employment search.
What Medical Jobs are Available for Felons?
The medical field has one of the strictest rules when it comes to applying for a job.
There are lots of positions that require work with patients as well as handle personal info and sensitive data.
However, there is a bunch of roles that don’t involve direct public contacts.
Such careers can be a good option for felons who want to work in the medical sphere.
According to the latest data, numerous states tend to increase the number of medical careers available for felons.
For example, in 2017, Illinois’ government decided to allow people with some felony convictions to obtain a professional healthcare license.
The same situation is there in the state of Pennsylvania.
Two years before it, the Supreme Court overturned a law according to which people with felonies couldn’t work in care facilities or apply for home care roles.
However, there are still lots of states that don’t allow felons to apply for medical careers.
For example, in the states of Colorado and Indiana, there are people need to complete a background check if they want to work in the healthcare sphere.
Nevertheless, there are still great options for felons who want to work in the medical sphere.
Just keep in mind that the lest of the available options depends on your location and a felony in question.
Below, you can find some medical careers that are available for convicted felons.
Medical Billing and Coding Careers
Medical billers and coders are very important workers in the medical sphere in the USA.
Usually, these specialists are required to connect healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients.
Medical coders use special codes to describe the medical history and diagnosis of patients.
These codes are used by hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies so they can easily get the info they need.
The list of medical coder’s duties includes such points as:
- medical records analysis;
- proper code determination;
- universal codes’ usage so they can be read by others;
- detailed information management;
- patient confidentiality preservation.
There are lots of medical coders and billers that work in medical institutions however most of them work at facilities that aren’t healthcare providers.
In most cases, they work away from patients which mean they can work independently.
They are obliged to stay in touch with various doctors such as physicians but they mainly work remotely.
If you have a felony, it can be pretty hard to pursue this medical career.
However, it is still possible and your chances significantly depend on the crime you’ve been convicted in.
If you’ve resisted arrest or driven under the influence, you’d have more chances than those convicted in fraud or murder.
Medical Administration Assistant Careers
If you are a felon that is interested in a medical career, medical administration can be one other great option for you.
These specialists help doctors and physicians to deal with various clerical tasks.
They may perform such duties as:
- Maintaining a doctor’s office or waiting area;
- Answering phones;
- Organizing patient files;
- Filing medical records;
- Scheduling patient appointments;
- Submitting insurance forms;
- Keeping the doctor up-to-date on their schedule.
To start working as a medical administrative assistant, you need to get a certification from one of three boards:
- the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA);
- the American Medical Technologists (AMT);
- the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
You need to know that any of these boards doesn’t consider a felony as a reason to not provide you with a certification.
Nevertheless, your ability to apply for this job significantly depends on your location and employer.
In some cases, you may be required to complete a full background check while in some other situations you may be obliged to wait for 5 years after your commitment was finished.
Working in this sphere, you can earn about $30 590 per year.
CNA Career Options
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is one other popular option among felons.
Usually, CNAs work with Registered Nurses (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) that supervise their work.
The list of CNA’s responsibilities usually includes such points as:
- Bathing and dressing patients;
- Checking and recording vital signs;
- Helping patients eat;
- Cleaning and restocking patient beds and rooms;
- Repositioning patients who are immobile.
CNAs are an important part of the medical sphere and they usually work as a liaison between RN, LPN, and patients.
These specialists cannot perform some procedures but still, they spend the most time with patients.
If you want to apply for this career, you are obliged to obtain a certification from the Department of Health or the State Board of Nursing.
Of course, a felony can significantly influence your ability to get a job but in most cases, employers use an individual approach.
When it comes to abuse or neglect, these people cannot apply for nursing careers.
One other felony that can be out of the list is a crime related to drugs.
At the same time, if you were convicted in a traffic violation or financial crimes, you still may be eligible for this job.
Just keep in mind that your ability to get a job will significantly depend on your potential employer and the type of your felony.
Phlebotomy is a popular career option among both people with and without a felony.
These specialists are really important in the medical sphere as they are responsible for blood collection.
However, there is a question of whether felons can really apply for this job?
In fact, there is no certain answer to this question.
First of all, this job requires some specific training that may take from 2 months to 3 years.
After it, you may be obliged to obtain a certification.
Of course, not all states require certification to start working as a phlebotomist.
It is better to discuss with your employer whether you need or not a certification and where it can be obtained.
Some medical facilities give preference to certifications obtained at the American Medical Technologists (AMT) or the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
If you choose the second option, you need to provide the information about your felony convictions in your application form.
Also, you may be obliged to complete a background check.
As you see, there are lots of challenges that you may face pursuing this career.
In any case, there are lots of options that you can apply for including volunteering to gain some useful connections.
Just keep in mind that despite being a hard path, a phlebotomy career is still an available option for felons.
Can Felons Enter a Medical School?
Entering a medical school, applicants need to complete a strict admission process.
There is a question of whether colleges need to reveal talented medical students even if they have some felony or they need to rule out all convicted individuals?
In fact, it is hard to find a proper answer as most schools have their own criteria.
Below, you can find some important factors that may influence your ability to enter a medical school if you have a felony.
The Nature of the Crime
As you understand, there are some crimes that are more serious than others.
Of course, some specific criminal acts have nothing to do with your ability to perform some job including medical care services.
However, such crimes as a drug offense, violence, and sexual crimes can be a signal that patients can be in danger.
When it comes to fraud, it is a tricky type of crime.
Of course, this crime shows that you cannot harm patients but still, it means that you can be dishonest.
In fact, medical schools tend to refuse students that can have difficulties with certification or license.
If you have any concerns about the issue, it is better to discuss the problem with the admission office of your school.
In most cases, to apply for a training program at a medical school, you need to complete a background check.
It can flag up any times all types of crimes even those that don’t lead to a felony.
Admission offices at medical schools use this data to decide whether a student is worth the risk.
Both those who have one serious conviction and a number of minor offenses can have really small chances to enter a medical school.
In some cases, one conviction instead a bunch of minor ones can be seen as a better option and considered as the only black mark.
Also, the point that is very important is that when you were convicted.
If it took place years ago and after that, you’ve been an upstanding citizen, there are more chances that your application will be approved.
At the same time, those who were just released from prison can have difficulties with applying for training at a medical school.
It is important to be sincere about your past and don’t try t hide your criminal background.
If you try to hide something, it can make a situation worth.
Even if you were able to hide your background and get accepted to a medical school, there are high chances that you’ll be revealed later.
In such a case, you can be rescinded or even expelled and it lead to another black mark on your reputation.
In other words, it is always better, to be honest about your criminal past.
Most schools tend to evaluate each application individually.
If you can prove that there were mitigating factors that lead to a felony, you have an opportunity to be eligible to get your education.
Among such factors, there can be bereavement that made you act irrationally or your desire to protect the person you love.
Also, you should be able to prove that you are rehabilitated including such options as various rehabilitation centers and volunteering.
To be able to do it, you need to record all activities that lead to self-improvement you did after your release.
How to Find a Medical Career With a Felony: Useful Tips
You should know that there are lots of opportunities to increase your chances to get a job after a felony.
Use the tips below, to increase your chances.
Check Whether Your Charges Can Be Removed
Certain charges can be removed from your records after a certain period of time.
In some cases, you may be obliged to complete probation or community service, or even to pay a certain fee.
To learn more about it, get in touch with a court or a lawyer.
You can significantly change your job application significantly if there are honest people that can vouch for you.
They can make a written statement to support your application.
Be Ready for Self-Improvement
You need to improve your skills constantly and be dedicated to your job.
In fact, you may be obliged to work even harder than anyone else so your superiors are sure you are a good worker that worth risks.
As you can see, it is really hard to get a job in the medical field with criminal records.
Nevertheless, it is still possible but you should prove that you are a good worker ready to improve and help others.
Also, you should keep in mind that most schools and employer are ready to accept felons under certain circumstances.
You just need to make some research and be patient, and you’ll be able to find your perfect career.
There are some great medical careers for felons and you’ll be able to find some great offers.
Just keep in mind that you should be honest and have some good references.
And of course, make sure you work hard and become better both personally and professionally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you work in a hospital if you have a felony?
Whether you can work in a hospital as a convicted felon depends on several things, but it is possible to work in some positions.
If your conviction involved harming someone, that may disqualify you.
Jobs not involving the public are easier to get into.
A felon could probably get a job working a lab.
What is the highest paying job for a felon?
Welding is a high-paying job that felons can get, and it is a job you can become self-employed once you get the equipment.
Welders average $20 per hour, and in industrial settings, it can be much more.
Pipe welders, aerospace welders, and underwater welders make the most among welders.
How do you get felonies expunged?
It may vary by state, but you can petition the courts to have your felony expunged after a certain amount of time.
Minor felonies may be expunged after three years, and some major ones after five years, and there are some that cannot be expunged.
When this happens, the record is erased completely, and you will have your rights restored.
What is the most felony-friendly state?
California is the most felon-friendly state in the United States.
There is a seven-year limit on background checks regardless of the amount of pay, so after seven years your felony cannot be discovered.
The state also offers a lot of reentry programs that help felons readjust to society.
You may also apply to have your rights restored.
What is considered a criminal record?
A criminal record is a record of your contact with police and will contain information about any arrests or convictions you may have.
If you were arrested and not convicted, that will be noted, as well as any that you were convicted for.
Minor traffic violations are not included, but a DWI would be included.
Does a criminal record stay with you for life?
A criminal record, including felonies and misdemeanor convictions, can stay with you for the rest of your life.
These are public records that anyone can see.
Some states limit how far back a background check can go, so they would not see your conviction even though it would still be on your record.
You may also apply to get your record expunged or cleaned of convictions.
How do I get a criminal record off my background check?
To get your criminal record removed, you may apply to the state to get it expunged.
This can be one for misdemeanors and some felonies.
Law enforcement as well as the victim of the crime will be notified, and they may object.
Often it is denied if the victim objects.
In cases of non-violent crimes, the process is easier.
There is a waiting period after your conviction.