Work restrictions

Work restrictions

Work restrictions

Find out about restrictions, rules, and other factors that could affect your career options.

Off-limits careers

People with certain criminal records are not allowed to work in some occupations. You may hear the term "barred occupation" to refer to these careers. Don't worry—there are still plenty of careers that are open to you. But it's important to check if you have any restrictions. That way you won't get started in a career that's not right for you.

Examples of Barred Occupations

Offense involving
Careers that may be affected
Working in a liquor store or as a server where alcohol is served
Working where guns are sold, in security jobs, and some law enforcement jobs that use firearms
There may be rules about working in a bank or other financial institutions
Vulnerable adult
There may be rules about working in a nursing home or group home

Job location

There may be additional rules about where you can work. Depending on your record, some of these rules may apply to you:

  • Some people are not allowed to work where a victim works or near certain places like a school
  • Sometimes a parole officer or other agent must be allowed to visit your worksite and/or speak with a supervisor to discuss job performance and accountability
  • You may need permission to leave your worksite or to visit multiple locations during the course of the day


One important aspect of your job search is to think about how you will get to work. Can you walk or bike to work? Can you get to the job from a bus or train line? Does the bus run frequently enough to get you to work on time and home from work by your curfew?

In addition, some jobs require you to have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and be eligible for coverage under the employer's insurance. Usually, ex-offenders under supervision are not allowed to cross state lines for work such as delivery or truck driving.

Understand the rules

The rules about barred occupations and work restrictions are complicated. It is your responsibility to understand them before you apply for jobs. Talk to a job counselor at an American Job Center or other employment service to help you understand how the rules apply to you.

You can also use the Collateral Consequences website (find the link below) to see how types of criminal convictions affect employment in different states. Select your state on the map, then select "employment" in the Search by Consequences list.

Find State Resources
Find State Resources