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  • Costco is a retail company founded in 1976 as the Price Club that operates in many parts of the world.

    The company took on the name Costco in 1997 as a membership warehouse club that provides name brand and generic merchandise.

    Costco has more than 71,000,000 members with more than 600 locations in the U.S. and 214,000 employees.

    Their motto is to keep the cost down and pass the savings on to its members.


of surveyed employees said the company does background checks.


of surveyed employees said the company does drug tests.

Costco is a household name for most Americans.

For those just getting out of prison or looking to put their past mistakes behind them, Costco can be an employment opportunity.

But does Costco hire felons?

This article will give you all the information you need to help you decide if applying to Costco is the right move for you.

Does Costco Hire Felons?

Yes, Costco does hire felons.

Not all felons can be hired at Costco, as it depends on what the felony charge was, how long ago it was, and so on.

Costco is not one of the most felon-friendly employers and can be highly selective when giving convicted felons a chance.

Has Costco Hired Felons in the Past?

Yes, Costco has a history of hiring specific felons that meet their selective criteria.

As mentioned above, not all felons can get a position at Costco stores, but depending on the crime and circumstances, a felon can get a job.

But Costco has only hired a small percentage of felons that applied to work there in the past.

Does Costco Hire You if You Have a Misdemeanor?

Yes, since Costco is willing to hire people with a felony conviction, they will also hire people with misdemeanors on their record.

Having a misdemeanor will lower the chances of the individual being hired, however, their chances are typically better than that of a felon.

Like with felony convictions, the decision to hire someone with a misdemeanor on their record often comes down to what the charge was and the circumstances of the crime committed.

Does Costco Have Special Programs for Felons?

Costco does not have any special programs for employing felons.

While they will hire felons under the right circumstances they do not have any programs geared toward hiring felons that need employment.

Is Costco on the Ban the Box List?

Costco is not one of the companies on the Ban the Box List.

The Ban the Box List is a campaign that aims to make it easier for those with a criminal history to find decent employment.

The campaign works to remove application questions regarding misdemeanor and felony charges, as these questions often immediately disqualify individuals with a record.

But Costco does not participate in this campaign.

However, recent applicants note that questions about criminal records no longer appear on their applications, likely because a background check can find out.

Does Costco Background Check?

Yes, Costco does run background checks on all potential employees.

You can not be hired at a Costco location until your background check finishes.

The company uses a third party to run background checks for an applicant’s education verification, driving records, criminal history, and other pertinent information.

Does Costco Drug Test?

Costco does require potential employees to pass a drug test.

The test includes all illicit drugs plus marijuana, even if it is recreationally legal in the state.

The drug test is typically a saliva swab at the time of the interview, and then they often follow up with a urine test as you move through the orientation process.

Costco does not administer random or scheduled drug tests throughout one’s employment unless there is a cause, such as a manager suspects someone is under the influence while at work.

Does Costco Interview Applicants?

Costco interviews all applicants before making hiring decisions.

The Costco interview can be surprisingly thorough.

They ask you questions concerning why you want to work there, what you know about the company, your availability, strengths, weaknesses, retail experience and opinions, and even where you see yourself in five years.

These questions are just a few of what will be asked, as they also ask about past employment and general life experience.

Types of Convictions That Make it Hard to Get Hired at Costco

Costco does not state what kind of convictions they see as a disqualification for employment.

But based on other employer hiring trends and how Costco prioritizes a safe and happy shopping and work environment, the following are convictions that could disqualify someone from the position.

Violent Crimes

The likely reason a felon receives a rejection from Costco is that their felony conviction was a violent crime.

A violent crime could be assault, homicide, attempted murder, sexual assault, robbery, criminal harassment, domestic violence charges, and uttering violent threats.

Costco often does not want to employ someone that has demonstrated violent or explosive behavior in the past.

Sexually-motivated Crimes

Sexually-motivated crimes can also be violent crimes, and they usually are.

But not all sexually-motivated crimes will disqualify you from a position at Costco.

For example, prostitution is not a violent crime, and based on the explanation given by the individual, Costco may have a job offer.

Recent Crimes

While many people see problems with this aspect, people are often not hired if their crime and conviction were very recent, such as within that year.

Some states will not disclose a criminal history if it was perpetrated more than seven years ago, even if it was violent or sexually motivated.

The longer ago the crime was, the more likely it will not weigh into consideration or even be relevant during the hiring process.

Repeat Offenders

If you have one non-violent charge on your criminal record, you can still get a job at Costco.

But repeat offenders will have a harder time, as their criminal record may suggest that they have not been rehabilitated and might commit another crime in the future and possibly at Costco.

Does Costco Hire Felons With Burglary Charges?

Costco has no specific policy on this, but they do hire felons with burglary charges.

If the burglary charges have no violent background, you can likely get a position at Costco.

Does Costco Hire Felons With Theft Charges?

Costco will hire someone with theft charges.

The circumstances of the crime will play a large role in the hiring decision.

What Matters Most When Applying at Costco?

When applying to Costco, the best thing you can do is be a positive and friendly person.

Costco is about a pleasant customer experience that leaves visitors smiling and content.

People with prior retail or customer service experience are usually the best applicants for Costco jobs.

If you have retail or customer service experience, be sure to mention and emphasize this while exemplifying a pleasant and professional demeanor.

Because this is their focus, the interview is usually the most crucial part of the hiring process.

But having a decent job history in similar areas is a plus.

A criminal record can be disregarded if a job applicant meets or exceeds all other criteria.

However, there is no wiggle room with the drug test.

Jobs at Costco That Felons Should Apply For

Felons will often not be hired as assistant managers, managers, or any other position with a high level of authority.

That is not to say a convicted felon can never reach these positions through promotions.

But felons will have much more success applying for one of the following positions at a Costco:

  • Cashier
  • Cashier assistant
  • Stocker
  • Baker
  • Cake decorator
  • Food service assistant
  • Bakery wrapper
  • Service deli assistant

Felons can also have a customer service position such as a representative, but this is less likely.

Applying for stocker is typically the easiest way to get hired at Costco with a felony on your record.

Average Salary for Felons at Costco

The average salary for a felon at Costco is no different from other employees.

Hourly pay is around $15-24 for all Costcos in the US.

This will come to a salary of about $30,000 per year, but Costco employees report that there are frequent raises based on the duration of employment and performance.

Tips for Getting Hired at Costco With a Felony Record

Below are some helpful tips for applying to Costco with a felony conviction.

Be Honest

Everything will come out when they complete the background check, so it is wise to disclose your criminal history from the outset.

Your honesty can go a long way in their hiring decision.

Prepare For the Interview

Make sure you prepare for the interview by learning about the company’s background and what they expect from you as an employee.

Be upbeat and mention any relevant experience you have.

Consider your strengths and weaknesses beforehand so you can have answers ready.

Stay Determined

Costco has serval rounds of interviews with various managers.

While the interviews hold value, they are also used to filter out less-serious candidates that aren’t motivated to get the job.

Costco wants employees that are eager to work and will always show up, not half-hearted applicants.

What Is the Best Time to Apply at Costco?

The best way to apply is online on weekday mornings.

Managers usually check for applications at this time and will be more likely to see your application.

Specifically, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings before 10 am are a perfect time.

Conclusion: Does Costco Hire Felons?

So, does Costco hire felons?

While Costco doesn’t advertise it or run special programs, they will hire felons and help people start their second chance on the right foot.

As long as the individual has a delightful demeanor and proves to be reliable, Costco usually welcomes you to their team.

Whenever applying to jobs with a criminal record, the best advice you can follow is to be open with prospective employers from the start.

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