Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes that we make at a young age end up haunting us for many years – in some cases, even for life. Having a criminal record or other problems that could raise flags during a background check can make it very difficult to find stable employment in some lines of work.
Luckily, that’s not the case for all jobs. There are plenty of jobs that don’t require a background check out there. Some of them have a relatively low barrier of entry, while others expect you to bring certain skills to the table. In any case, don’t despair – if you’re looking to start building a career but you’re worried about something from your past blocking your opportunities, you just have to steer your search in the right direction.
What Jobs Don’t Require Background Checks?
Once you start digging around, you’ll quickly find that the number of jobs that don’t require background checks is actually quite high. As long as you don’t insist on working for the government or any companies that deal with classified projects, you have a broad range of options to explore. Polish your resume, start applying, and it won’t be long before you have a contract in your hands! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Customer service representatives are always in high demand, and it’s a classic example of a job that doesn’t require any background checks. You can either work at an office or from home, and the main requirement is to be able to navigate complex situations – often involving irate, impatient customers – with grace.
Customer service specialists get paid around $30,000 – $40,000 on average, with the lower range being more common across the country. If you specialize in rare technologies and solutions, you might be able to bump that up to more than $50,000. Amazon, one of the main employers of customer service representatives, offers around $15/hour in most parts of the country.
You will need a thick skin to make it through some days, admittedly. Sometimes you’ll end up dealing with a customer that just can’t be pleased. On the bright side, many companies provide extensive training courses that will prepare you for these situations. Those can even benefit you outside of work, teaching you to approach conflicts in a different way than what you’re probably used to.
A truck driver with the right qualifications can easily find work, even with a criminal record. You just need to make sure that you have the right driver’s license and any additional certifications that might be required for the specific type of truck and cargo you want to work with.
Truck drivers are paid very well in most parts of the country, with salaries above $70,000 being common. If you’re just starting out, you might have to settle for $45,000 – $50,000 until you’ve gained some experience.
Working as a truck driver is ideal for younger people with no attachments, because it can put a bit of a strain on your family relationships. If you don’t mind being out on the road and away from home for weeks at a time, this is a lucrative career that can set you up nicely for the future.
Even if you do have commitments, don’t discard this option right away. Some truckers work locally and don’t do long hauls, though your options will be more limited if you’re specifically searching for something like that.
There’s a shortage of waiters and other restaurant staff in many parts of the country right now, and it doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon. This is a great opportunity for those who’re quick on their feet and don’t mind taking the occasional longer shift when the restaurant is busy.
The salary of a waiter varies a lot across the board. Some establishments pay minimum wage and expect you to get by on tips, while others offer more than $35,000 just to start.
And if you work on your social skills, you can turn this into a very rewarding career by getting better tips from your customers. This depends heavily on your state and the type of establishment you work at, but the ceiling is quite high in many places.
The best part is that this job often requires no prior experience. Some places might turn you down if they’re specifically looking for seasoned waiters who can work during stressful times, but there are plenty of restaurants that don’t mind taking in someone new and showing them the ropes.
As a landscaper, you’ll help people transform their yards and other exterior areas, implementing their ideas and sometimes even coming up with your own. You’ll need some prior experience to get started as a landscaper in most cases. Some companies might be willing to train you on the go, but those options are usually more limited.
Landscapers usually get around $30,000 – $35,000 with relatively little experience. Progressing can take some time, but the higher ranges of the salary spectrum are quite attractive.
The entry bar isn’t as high as you might think though. As long as you know your way around your basic gardening tools and are in good physical shape, you can get started very easily. Progressing through the ranks as a landscaper depends on how fast you can learn the different aspects of the job. It’s recommended to find a respected company with experienced workers who can quickly help you focus on the important points.
If you’re interested in physical work in general, you should also check out some construction jobs. There are many different specialization paths to pick here, and not all of them require any prior experience. You will benefit from knowing how to work with specific equipment, especially power tools, and having appropriate certifications. But you can easily get started without any of that.
Without any special skills, you can expect to make around $35,000 as a construction worker. Things quickly improve once you’ve started to specialize, with some salaries going as high as $50,000 – $60,000 in some parts of the country.
The job of a construction worker tends to be pretty monotonous. You’ll often be on the same site for months at a time, doing the same thing every day. But for many people in the industry, that’s actually one of the main benefits. It’s stable employment that can bring good money to the table if you can endure the physical stress.
Working as a cleaner is another example of a job that requires very little to get started. Still, don’t underestimate the skill level of good cleaners. You will need to learn some specific techniques and you might have to work with advanced machines like floor polishers, so there’s definitely some room for moving up.
You can earn about $25,000 – $30,000 as a cleaner in most parts of the country. In some areas, the salary is significantly lower, going down to around $15,000. However, there are also opportunities in the $40,000 – $45,000 range.
Some cleaners eventually branch out into working for themselves and setting up their own companies, hiring employees, and expanding the business. It will take a while to get there, but it will be a relatively easy path to follow.
If you have experience as an electrician, you will easily be able to find work with a troublesome record. Skilled electricians are in high demand, especially in some high-paying parts of the country. And if you’re interested in this line of work but don’t have any qualifications to show for it, don’t worry – you can look for apprenticeship opportunities and start there.
Even relatively inexperienced technicians can expect to earn at least $55,000 as a starting salary. Bringing that up to $75,000 and more doesn’t take a lot of time if you’ve got the right mindset.
If you don’t have any experience, it will take a while before you’re stable and can work independently. But the good long-term prospects of this job make the initial grind more than worthwhile. Keep in mind that you’ll need to do a lot of reading along the way. Safety is a major concern for any serious electrician, and the more seriously you take this aspect of the job, the better your long-term prospects are going to be.
Factories are regularly looking for machine operators for different processes. Some of those machines require a lot of prior experience and even certifications, but there are also plenty that don’t. This line of work doesn’t usually require a lot of strength or other physical qualities. The machines do all the heavy work and you just control them by providing appropriate inputs.
Machine operators earn between $30,000 – $50,000 in most cases. If you are trained on more complicated equipment, that can go up to around $65,000 – $70,000.
You’ll need to be highly alert and know how to follow established procedures without any deviations. Sometimes this might involve going through a bunch of annoying safety steps that inexperienced operators are often tempted to skip, but that’s a fast track to losing your job. As long as you’re responsible and understand the safety implications of your work, you can eventually land some high-paying positions.
Food Delivery Driver
Working as a food delivery driver might not be the most exciting job, but it pays the bills and can provide you with long-term stability. It’s also pretty easy to do nowadays, thanks to the integration of modern tech into your workflow. You won’t have to memorize any routes as you’ll use a navigation system to find your customers, and you will often not even have to exchange any cash as people will be paying online.
Food delivery drivers make pretty good money, all things considered. With salaries above $40,000 not uncommon, this is a good opportunity to put your driving skills to good use. In some states, you can even earn $65,000 and more.
An important point to keep in mind here is that you’ll need a clean driver’s record to work at most establishments. A criminal record in general is not going to be a problem, but a DUI or other similar convictions might get you turned down. I would also recommend local delivery services instead of big name brands like Doordash, since bigger companies will actually more likely have background checks since you’ll be hired remotely.
If you know your way around modern computers and smart devices, you should look for IT support openings. Those are available at many companies in all sorts of different industries. As long as you don’t apply at companies that work with sensitive products or data, nobody is going to care about your background. You don’t need a degree to work in IT support in most cases either.
Depending on your skills, you can earn between $45,000 and $65,000 in IT support. Even inexperienced support specialists can start off at a nice salary without any issues.
And despite the low barrier of entry, this is a career path with great long-term opportunities. There will always be a high demand for IT support specialists. If you have certain advanced skills too – such as scripting or programming – this will significantly expand your range of options. It will raise your salary prospects by quite a lot too.
Sometimes, you can even apply to jobs pseudonymously, or at least remotely, opening up an entire world of opportunities beyond what’s available locally.
Another job that requires some prior experience, but can offer you some great opportunities if you’ve got the right skills. Pretty much all auto shops will accept you with oddities in your background, especially if you can provide a reasonable explanation for them. The work involves a good mix between physical labor and problem solving, and is perfect for those who like tinkering with machines.
Auto mechanics earn around $45,000 per year on average. The top earners hover around the $60,000 mark, with some rare specializations earning even more than that.
You should be prepared to spend a lot of time improving your skills and knowledge though. The auto market is moving very fast and there’s a lot to keep up with. Electric vehicles require a whole different set of skills in some regards, and their growing popularity means you can’t ignore them.
If you have a specific skill that you can’t get hired with, tutoring can be a great way to earn some money from that. This can be done with a variety of different skills – math, playing an instrument, programming, woodworking, sports, pretty much anything you can think of that people might be interested in learning.
Your payment will depend on what exactly you’re teaching and your own schedule and discipline. It’s not uncommon to see tutors bringing in $40,000 a year and more.
The best part about being a tutor is that you’re your own boss, and therefore background checks are completely out of the question. Since this is self-employed work, you’ll need to bring a different attitude to it than what you might be used to. You’ll be responsible for finding your own clients and maintaining your relationships with them, and you’ll bear an entrepreneurial risk.
What Do Employers Look for in a Background Check?
A background check isn’t just about your criminal record. Employers might dig into other areas of your life, especially if you claim to have certain certificates or other qualifications. Some examples of information that might be relevant for a background check include:
- Criminal record
- Previous employment
- Credit history
- Substance abuse
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