It is no surprise that ex-convicts find it very difficult to get decent employment. However, if there is a ray of hope, it is the trucking industry. Job opportunities depend on the type of crime they have been involved in. Many recruiters make a note of the number of years or months that have passed after the person has been released from the prison. Typically, two types of felonies are not considered for employment. Firstly, if you have been convicted for distributing or possessing controlled substances, and secondly, if you have been involved in the use of force with a gun or a knife, you won't be hired. All others are considered for hiring; however, it may vary specifically from employer to employer. Most of the recruiters work on the rules and guidelines established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The first step to become a professional truck driver is to get a commercial driving license (CDL) by joining any registered driving school in your locality or area. It is advisable to call a few of the trucking companies to find out if they hire felons who have obtained a CDL. That will help you to prepare more confidently and invest your money wisely in training. If you're lucky, you may get some local work, wherein you will be trained for free before getting a permit. On the other hand, driving schools are more interested in attracting you to their facility and earning tuition money, without guaranteeing a job.
If you're shortlisted by some company, remember that a clean driving record can help you immensely. Moreover, don't lie to the recruiter about your criminal past. You need to be honest about your involvement because the firm will perform a background check before hiring you, anyway. Also, being honest about your past will show to your employer that you're willing to change and get back to work.
To find a job, you can also visit local truck stops or restaurants to check out ads posted there. Even if you don't find any information, at least you can get to interact with some truck drivers who may be able to help you. Sometimes, a contact can help you to get a good reference, so don't forget to be courteous with these drivers, and maybe, buy them a drink!
The opportunities in this profession are immense and one should not lose hope if you don't succeed in the first few attempts. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, employment in this industry is expected to grow by 11%, with a net addition of nearly 200,000 jobs by 2022.