Can You Work At The Airport With A Felony Conviction?

Finding a job with a felony conviction can be challenging. Many employers are hesitant to hire someone with a criminal record, especially for positions involving high security like those at airports. However, working at the airport with a felony is possible depending on the specifics of your conviction and background.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: You may be able to work at the airport with a felony conviction, but it depends on the type of felony, when it occurred, and the specific job you’re applying for.

Jobs requiring security badges will be very difficult or impossible to obtain.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting a job at the airport with a felony, including: requirements for background checks and badging, which airport jobs may be open to you, and steps you can take to improve your chances of being hired.

Background Checks and Security Badges at Airports

Working at an airport can be an exciting career option for many individuals. However, for those with a felony conviction on their record, the question arises: can you work at the airport with a felony conviction?

The answer lies in the background checks and security measures that airports have in place to ensure the safety of passengers and employees.

TSA Security Threat Assessments

One of the key components of airport security is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security threat assessments. These assessments are conducted on individuals who require unescorted access to secure areas of airports, such as employees working in close proximity to aircraft or those with access to sensitive information.

The purpose of these assessments is to identify any potential threats that individuals may pose to aviation security.

During the security threat assessment process, the TSA conducts a comprehensive background check on each individual, including a review of criminal history records. This check aims to identify any felony convictions or other disqualifying factors that could impact an individual’s eligibility for employment at an airport.

Securing Airport ID Badges

In order to work at an airport, employees are typically required to obtain an airport ID badge. These badges serve as a form of identification and provide access to various secure areas within the airport.

The process of obtaining an airport ID badge involves rigorous security measures, including background checks, fingerprinting, and sometimes even interviews.

The background check conducted as part of the airport ID badge application process is similar to the TSA security threat assessment. It includes a review of an individual’s criminal history records to ensure they meet the necessary security requirements.

If an individual has a felony conviction on their record, it may affect their eligibility to obtain an airport ID badge.

Criminal Convictions and Badge Eligibility

When it comes to criminal convictions and badge eligibility, each airport may have different policies and guidelines. While some airports may have strict rules that disqualify individuals with felony convictions, others may consider the nature of the conviction, the time that has passed since the conviction, and any rehabilitation efforts made by the individual.

It is essential to note that certain felony convictions, such as those related to terrorism, drug trafficking, or violence, may result in automatic disqualification from working at an airport. However, non-violent or minor felony convictions may be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

It is always recommended for individuals with felony convictions to be honest and transparent during the application process. Providing accurate information and demonstrating personal growth and rehabilitation can greatly improve the chances of obtaining employment at an airport despite a felony conviction.

For more information on airport employment policies and background check procedures, it is advisable to visit the official website of the airport or consult with a legal professional familiar with aviation law.

Airport Jobs Open to Felons

Having a felony conviction on your record can make it challenging to find employment, as many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal past. However, there are still opportunities available for those with a felony conviction who are looking for work at the airport.

While certain positions may be off-limits due to security concerns, there are several job categories that are more open to hiring individuals with a criminal record.

Food Service and Retail

One area where felons may find job opportunities at the airport is in the food service and retail industry. Many airports have a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops that require staff. These positions often involve customer service, cash handling, and food preparation.

While each airport has its own specific hiring policies, some may be more open to hiring individuals with a felony conviction, especially for non-security sensitive roles. It is important to note that certain positions that require access to secure areas or handling of sensitive information may still be restricted.

Custodial and Facilities Maintenance

Another area where felons may find employment opportunities at the airport is in custodial and facilities maintenance roles. Airports have a constant need for cleaning and maintenance services to keep their facilities running smoothly.

These positions may involve tasks such as janitorial work, groundskeeping, and general maintenance. As these roles often do not require accessing secure areas, individuals with a felony record may have a better chance of finding employment in this field.

Groundskeeping and Landscaping

Airports are vast complexes with extensive grounds that require regular upkeep and landscaping. Felons may find opportunities in groundskeeping and landscaping roles, which involve tasks such as mowing lawns, planting flowers, and maintaining outdoor areas.

These positions may be available through airport maintenance departments or contracted landscaping companies. As these roles often do not involve direct access to secure areas, individuals with a felony conviction may be considered for such positions.

Construction and Skilled Trades

Airports are constantly undergoing construction and renovation projects, which require skilled labor. This presents an opportunity for felons who have experience or training in construction or skilled trades.

Whether it’s carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, or other specialized trades, individuals with a felony conviction may find employment in these areas. It’s important to note that certain security-sensitive projects or roles may still be off-limits, but there could be opportunities within the broader construction industry at the airport.

Administrative and Clerical Positions

While security concerns may limit access to certain areas and roles, felons may still be eligible for administrative and clerical positions at the airport. These roles often involve tasks such as data entry, customer service, scheduling, and document management.

While each airport’s hiring policies may vary, individuals with a felony conviction may find opportunities in these administrative and support roles. It’s important to present oneself professionally and highlight relevant skills and experience during the application and interview process.

When considering employment opportunities at the airport with a felony conviction, it’s crucial to research the specific hiring policies and requirements of the airport you are interested in. Each airport may have different guidelines and restrictions based on their security protocols and regulations.

Additionally, it’s important to be honest and transparent about your criminal record during the application process, as dishonesty can lead to immediate disqualification.

Remember, everyone deserves a second chance, and there are employers who are willing to give individuals with a felony conviction an opportunity to rebuild their lives. While certain positions may be restricted due to security concerns, there are still various job categories at the airport that may be open to hiring felons.

By focusing on these areas and demonstrating a strong work ethic and dedication, individuals with a felony conviction can increase their chances of finding employment at the airport.

Improving Your Chances of Getting Hired

Having a felony conviction can make it challenging to find employment, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t work at the airport. By taking certain steps and being proactive, you can increase your chances of getting hired.

Be Upfront in the Hiring Process

When applying for a job at the airport, it’s essential to be honest about your criminal background. Employers typically conduct background checks, so it’s better to be upfront from the beginning. By acknowledging your past mistakes and showing remorse, you may be able to gain the trust of potential employers.

Remember to highlight any rehabilitation efforts or personal growth you have achieved since your conviction.

Get Your Record Expunged if Possible

If you have completed your sentence and meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged. Expungement is a legal process that seals or erases your criminal record from public view.

By getting your record expunged, you can increase your chances of finding employment, including at the airport. Consult with a lawyer to determine if this is a viable option for you.

Apply for Entry-Level Positions

Starting with entry-level positions can be a great way to get your foot in the door at the airport. These positions often have fewer background check requirements and may be more willing to consider individuals with a criminal record.

Once you have gained experience and proven yourself, you can work your way up to higher-level positions.

Emphasize Your Qualifications and Skills

When applying for a job at the airport, it’s crucial to highlight your qualifications and skills. Focus on showcasing your strengths and the value you can bring to the organization. Highlight any relevant experience, certifications, or training you have acquired.

By demonstrating your abilities, you can help employers see beyond your criminal record and focus on your potential as an employee.

Consider Volunteer Work or Temporary Jobs First

If you’re still struggling to find employment at the airport, consider volunteering or taking temporary jobs related to the aviation industry. This can help you gain valuable experience, network with professionals in the field, and potentially lead to permanent employment opportunities.

Additionally, volunteering or taking temporary jobs can help demonstrate your commitment and dedication to overcoming the challenges associated with your past.

Remember, each airport and employer may have different policies and requirements regarding hiring individuals with criminal records. It’s essential to research and understand the specific guidelines of the airport you are interested in working for.

By taking proactive steps, being honest, and highlighting your qualifications, you can improve your chances of getting hired at the airport, even with a felony conviction.


While working at an airport with a felony conviction presents challenges, it is possible for some jobs depending on your specific background and circumstances. Low-security, entry-level positions in areas like food service, maintenance, and landscaping may be more attainable.

Being open and honest during the hiring process, and taking steps to improve your qualifications can also help.

With determination and persistence, those with a felony record can find fulfilling careers at airports. But patience and managing expectations are also key, as background checks and badge eligibility make many jobs difficult to obtain.

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