Does Amtrak Hire Felons?

Getting a well-paying job after a felony conviction can be quite a task. Most companies don’t have a clear policy about hiring felons and those who hire felons have strict background checks that will make it difficult for most felons.

However, not all companies are difficult to get in. Some have a history of providing opportunities to felons. So the right amount of research can help you get a job that matches your skills.

Many people prefer outdoor jobs that involve fieldwork and physical activity. Working in a railroad company can be an ideal choice for such people.

If you are a felon who aspires to work in a railroad company then Amtrak can be a good option. But do they hire felons?

Does Amtrak Hire Felons?

As per our research, it has been found that Amtrak does hire felons depending on the position for which they are hiring. They don’t hire felons for higher management level jobs but they give consideration to felons for entry-level jobs.

However, there are a number of factors regarding your felony that play an important role in the hiring process.

  • Time since the conviction – Felony convictions that are more than 7 years old are often overlooked if they are minor offenses.
  • Nature of the crime – People involved in violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, or aggravated assault are less likely to be hired.
  • Employment record after release – If you have a good employment record since your release, it can make a strong case for you.
  • Circumstances and number of crimes – People who are frequently in and out of the jail may have a hard time getting hired

Does Amtrak conduct background checks?

Yes. Amtrak does conduct background and drug tests. Usually, background checks include educational and employment records, criminal records, and credit reports. They might ask for references from people who can vouch for you.

It is advisable to disclose any criminal records during the hiring process as any undisclosed information that might come out during background checks will disqualify you.

Also, providing false information can be considered fraud and can result in a jail term. 

Amtrak also conducts drug tests on all potential employees. This usually happens after the interview and you will be asked to provide a urine or hair sample for the test. Denying to take a drug test can be considered as reasonable cause to deny employment.

As a railroad service provider, the safety of passengers and fellow employees depends on your alertness and quick decisions. So it is necessary that the person is clean and will not work under any influence.

About Amtrak

Amtrak is the national railroad corporation that runs more than 300 trains that make on an average 89,000 trips.

They employ more than 20,000 people in various job roles like corporate jobs, engineering and maintenance, operations, and hospitality jobs.

Employees working at Amtrak enjoy a lot of benefits like free rides, dental, medical, and vision insurance.

Basic requirements to apply at Amtrak

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be physically fit and have good vision and hearing
  • Have a valid driving license
  • Have a clean job record

Amtrak can be an ideal place for you if you

  • Enjoy working outside
  • Are strong and alert
  • Are reliable and detail-oriented person
  • Can work individually and also with a team
  • Can work within regulations follow rules and protocols set by the employer
  • Enjoy interactions with people

Hiring process at Amtrak

The hiring process at Amtrak begins by filling in a job application on the Amtrak career portal. You can also search for job openings that will match your skill and apply for them directly on their career portal.

If your profile is shortlisted, they will conduct a telephonic interview where you will be asked questions based on your skills and knowledge.

Once selected, you will be called for an in-person interview at one of the Amtrak offices and you will also have to undergo a drug test. The total interview process can take a few weeks but can go up to 3 months in extreme cases.


Amtrak is one of the few employers that are open to hiring felons as long as they are not involved in serious crimes. They also provide insurance and other employee benefits. As a felon, you should definitely check out the Amtrak career page if there is any job opening that can match your skills.