Drug testing is a serious hangover from the Regan era and the “War on Drugs.” In some industries and for some substances, it makes perfect sense to test workers for drug use. I bet you wouldn’t be especially tickled to find out that the pilot of the airplane you’re on shot up heroin just before takeoff!
But at the same time, many employers are now turning away from drug testing due to its ineffectiveness and high costs. However, as you can imagine, there are still lots of employers and industries that won’t be giving up on drug testing anytime soon.
But at the same time, there are lots of jobs that don’t require a drug test, and you might be surprised how easy it is to be hired into one.
- Drug Testing Today
- Jobs That Definitely Require Drug Testing
- Top Jobs That Don’t Require A Drug Test
- Retail Associate
- Food and Beverage Worker
- Beauty Technician
- Real Estate Agent
- Dog Walker
- Dog Trainer
- Fitness Trainer
- Interior Designer
- Graphic Designer
- Computer Programmer
- IT Consultant
- Jobs That Don’t Require a Drug Test – General Info
- Have You Decided On A Career Yet?
- Final Thoughts
Drug Testing Today
During Ronald Regan’s time in office, drug testing soared in America and even all across the world. Employers saw testing and rejecting workers with evidence of drug use as a means of ‘weeding’ out undesirables (pardon the pun). However, in recent years drug use has not only become more widespread, but also conversations about drug use have been re-opened.
A surprising number of people in a wide variety of jobs use various drugs not only in their spare time but even at work. Apparently, 7 in 10 American workers have used drugs while at work at least once. And surprisingly, up to 32% of workers have done drugs with their coworkers. The top drugs used on the job are opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, and cocaine.
Marijuana and alcohol testing…
Marijuana is a tricky one because while its use is widespread, this substance is allowed for medical use in 36 states and is legal for recreational use in 19 of those. For these reasons of tricky legality, fewer and fewer employers are testing for THC these days.
Obviously, employers also know these stats, and while many still test for drugs, others have started to relax on testing. Whether a worker uses drugs at home or on the job, testing can discover proof of that drug use.
But evidence of drug use doesn’t necessarily mean lower productivity or poorer performance. And, of course, alcohol use isn’t normally monitored because it’s a legal drug that employers couldn’t do much of anything about anyway.
Jobs That Definitely Require Drug Testing
At present, around 56% of employers still require drug testing either before hiring recruits or else randomly. Many of these tests are used to enforce a drug-free workplace policy. However, it should come as no surprise that the main reason for drug testing is for safety.
Jobs that routinely test and screen workers for drug use, even including alcohol use, are ones in which workers have to be alert and aware for their own safety. These can include jobs where the worker is also responsible for the safety of others, like the pilot I already mentioned, a bus driver, or a crane operator.
Police and security jobs…
In fact, you should expect to be drug tested for any job that requires you to drive a vehicle, use a machine or power tools, or operate heavy equipment. These industries include mining, construction, machining, manufacturing, transport, and many more.
Police and security jobs would require workers to be drug-free both for safety and legal reasons. Obviously, people in these jobs need to have clear heads to make legal decisions that will affect others.
Top Jobs That Don’t Require A Drug Test
If you aren’t looking for a job that requires you to be drug-free for safety or law enforcement reasons, you may be surprised at just how many options there are out there. These are jobs that have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, or even don’t have any concern about their employees using drugs whatsoever.
Jobs in retail often don’t require drug testing for the simple reason that there is no real proof that it makes much of a difference. Sales reps and cashiers don’t have any serious safety concerns in their jobs that would make them have to stay drug-free in their free time.
Whether operating a register or helping customers on the sales floor, as long as you can do your job competently, the employer should be worried about what you do for recreation.
Some large retail employers with no drug testing policies include:
- Whole Foods
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
Average Salary: $32,000
Food and Beverage Worker
As a server or cashier in a coffee shop or restaurant, recreational drug use in your own time shouldn’t hamper your ability to do a good job. As long as you can stay focused and interact positively with your customers, you can get the job done well.
On top of that, most restaurants simply can’t afford to test employees. Margins are small enough as it is without paying for expensive drug testing that so many people can beat anyway. So employers like the following have no drug testing policies:
- Taco Bell
- Olive Garden
Average Salary: $22,000-$35,000
The beauty sector is huge, and in general, employers have little interest in whether or not their employees use drugs for recreation. Again, they’re also influenced by the cost of drug testing all employees, since this is an industry with a pretty high rate of worker turnover.
The beauty sector can include nail technicians, hairdressers, make-up artists, tanning salon workers, and more. There are lots of entry-level opportunities in this sector, but experienced and highly talented artists can also make big money working with the entertainment industry.
Average Salary: $25,000-$60,000
Real Estate Agent
While there are several different jobs in this industry, the most notable is a real estate agent. This people-based job requires little or no training – all you have to do is be able to pass a state-level test to get a certification.
After that, you can work independently or for a real estate company as a contractor. And as a contractor, you wouldn’t have to worry at all about drug testing since the company doesn’t technically employ you directly.
Real estate can be a tough and competitive field to get into. At the same time, the rewards can be huge. It depends on your drive and your talent. But if you can seal deals, this might be a great job for you.
Average Salary: $35,000-$90,000
It’s worth noting that there is a bit of a noticeable correlation between creative jobs and employers that don’t require drug testing. Being a chef is one of them.
This is a highly skilled and creative job that requires you to work under pressure. It’s a physically demanding job and one that requires a lot of focus and organization as well. But drug testing in this industry is almost as rare for chefs as it is for servers. As long as you can get the job done, the employer will rarely require a drug test.
Annual Salary: $45,000
Once again, this is a creative job that rarely requires any form of drug testing. Photographers are very often self-employed, so as your own boss, you would choose whether to test yourself or not!
However, many larger companies will have in-house photographers who take pictures and edit their photos for publicity and advertising purposes. These jobs may require testing, not specifically for photographers but just following the companies’ general drug testing policies.
Average Salary: $48,000
As an entry-level job, this is a position you can get without experience and almost always without a drug test. Like most entry-level jobs, the pay isn’t excellent, and margins are thin. There’s not a lot of money left for drug testing, especially when employees change so frequently.
But this job can have its rewards. Time with loveable pooches, exercise, working outdoors, and flexibility are some of the perks.
Average Salary: $23,000
In the dog world, a trainer is a few steps up the ladder from a walker, but still a very learn-on-the-job type of career. Some formal training courses may also be required for you to get a position or the credit to open your own business.
Dog trainers work with your pups or difficult cases to teach both dogs and people to live together harmoniously. This can be demanding work, and it’s physical, but not really dangerous at all.
Dog trainers will very often start out working for companies and even pet stores that offer training services. With more experience, they may strike out on their own and become self-employed. Either way, drug testing is rare in this industry.
Average Salary: $28,000-$30,000
For so many people, a personal trainer can be the key to their motivation for becoming fitter and healthier. Trainers provide both encouragement and some external discipline, which, let’s face it, most of us are probably lacking.
Trainers generally have flexible hours and, of course, get to exercise on the job. They get to meet and influence others and are definitely required to have a hot bod. Personal trainers are also rarely asked to submit to drug testing by their employers.
On the one hand, this is largely because they are very often hired on as contractors, so the employer doesn’t have to be fully responsible for them.
But there’s another, more surprising reason, too…
A lot of trainers use performance-enhancing drugs. It can even be considered one of the tricks of the trade. And a gym owner wants trainers who look cut because that gives the gym legitimacy.
So, in general, these employers will turn a blind eye to drugs so long as nothing untoward is actually happening on their premises. Therefore, fitness trainers usually benefit from the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in regards to recreational drugs as well.
Average Salary: $37,000-$40,000
Another creative job that rarely requires any drug testing is interior design. The fact is that many interior designers are self-employed, so they don’t need to worry about testing. For those who work for larger companies or design firms, this creative job rarely requires drug testing anyway. It seems that these employers care more for how designs come together than their employees’ recreational habits.
Interior designers beautify new spaces and transform old ones. They work with colors and materials to express their creative ideas but also need to know about construction and building codes to handle the technical side of things. This can be a very rewarding job with good compensation.
Average Salary: $55,000
At first, I didn’t want to include this job on my list simply because of all the stereotypes connecting musicians to drug use. However, as we all know, many of them are completely true because many 20th century musicians experimented with drug use to help open their minds to new creative ideas.
However, the average musician has a lot of hard work to do. Musicians compose and record music, play live shows and concerts, teach others their skills, and of course, practice a whole lot. And yes, many gigs are late at night in entertainment venues that might encourage them to use recreational drugs. But many musicians are just too busy or too dedicated to get too indulgent.
Because of the freelance nature of most jobs in music, drug testing is rarely an issue for musicians to worry about.
Average Salary: $25,000-$40,000
Of course, it depends on whether a graphic designer works independently or for a company with its own policies. But in general, this is a job that applicants are infrequently drug tested for. And these days, with so many more people working remotely or from home, more graphic designers are going freelance.
What does that mean for drug testing?
A freelance or contract worker makes his or her own hours, negotiates contracts, and works from wherever. This means that this is a job you wouldn’t expect to need to pass a drug test for.
Graphic designers can now almost always work remotely, meeting with clients virtually, designing graphics on the computer, and submitting their work online. As long as you can keep up with your deadlines and motivate yourself, you’ll be successful in this job no matter what you do for recreation.
Average Salary: $45,000
All you need to write is a gift for communicating with others. Spellcheck can do the rest! It’s not that easy, of course, but it sure has been made easier with the invention of computer keyboards, word processors, and wifi.
These days, almost any writer can work from home or remotely anywhere. You do need to have the discipline to sit down for long hours, alone and undistracted, to hammer your work out. But the perks can be quite rewarding. You can work anywhere and usually at any time. You can make your own hours and be your own boss. So there’s no reason why drug testing would have to enter the equations.
Average Salary: $50,00
As well all, know, more and more of our day-to-day lives is getting influenced by computers. We work with them, use them for pay and recreation, have them in our cars, and much more. So it should be a surprise to no one that this is a continuously growing industry.
Whether you’re writing code for new apps or serious financial security protections, programming can be done remotely. You, therefore, don’t need to go into an office or even have a full-time employer. Instead, you can work for yourself. That means drug testing is not something that you’d have to pay much attention to.
Times have changed…
Even huge IT companies like Google and Apple are known to have drug testing policies. Whether they see drug use as a possible stimulator of creativity or simply don’t feel they have to know what’s in their employees’ bodies, I’m not sure. But I do know there are some excellent and highly-paid jobs out there waiting for you in this industry.
Average Salary: $65,000-$90,000
The last job on my list is one that you can quickly see doesn’t need drug testing. IT consultants almost always work remotely or as contractors who take on the jobs of helping other companies set up IT systems. Therefore, they can work as a consultant remotely and meet with clients online.
If you do use drugs recreationally, this isn’t a job that you’d expect to have to pass a drug test to get. If you do apply to work as an in-house IT consultant or support tech, be sure to search out the company’s policies towards drug testing if you are concerned about this issue.
Average Salary: $72,000
Jobs That Don’t Require a Drug Test – General Info
Why do some companies test for drugs? As I mentioned earlier, the number one reason is workplace safety. But in jobs where that’s not an issue, some employers still believe that rejecting people who fail drug tests will save them money and headaches in the future. However, drug testing costs lots of money – over 3.5 billion dollars annually in the US alone!
Drug tests, if they are required, are almost always pre-employment tests. Randomized drug tests of employees are much rarer and again are usually reserved for jobs in which safety is an issue.
Have You Decided On A Career Yet?
Why not try being a Beauty Technician, as mentioned above! If you are already looking for work, then check out my Mary Kay Application, Smartstyle Application, Great Clips Application, or maybe even my Supercuts Application in 2023.
Secondly, if you have a ‘flair for hair’ then you’ll want to read up on the Technical-stylistic guide to learn hair cut and color, Hair Boss: A Hairstylists’ Guide to Owning Their Career, How To Become A Mobile Hairstylist, 50 Things Your Hairdresser Wants YOU to Know, and Haircutting for Beginners, Hairstylist 101: Tips, Tricks, Tools and Techniques That Turn Beginners Into Pros to get that training started.
But if cosmetology is your calling, I found some insightful online books such as the Cosmetology Exam Practice Questions, the Practical Workbook for Milady Standard Cosmetology, Cosmetology Exam Secrets Study Guide, the Cosmetology Instructor (1900) (Career Examination Series), as well as What They Don’t Teach You In Cosmetology School all available today.
Lastly, if you have a criminal record, don’t forget to check up on Can A Felon Get A Cosmetology License before moving forward.
Now that you have an idea of why some employers test for drugs and why some don’t, it should be easier for you to find a job. I’ve listed some of the jobs that you can get with or without experience in industries that very rarely test for drug use, if at all.
If an employer detecting drug use is a concern for you, stick to these industries if you can. If not, at least do your homework before you apply. Find out what the employer’s policy is on drug use to determine if it’s a job you should go after or just simply avoid.
That way, you can avoid the stress and disappointment of a failed drug test getting in the way of your career goals.
All the best with passing that Test!