jobs that are drug tested

Before making a formal offer, many companies require a drug-screening test. These vary from company to company and state to state. For instance, any company in Alabama can test for drugs while Arkansas has no state laws in place.

There are several different forms of urine screenings, though the most common is a urine test or a urinalysis. Candidates pee in a cup and submit the sample for testing. Other popular methods of testing include the collection of blood, saliva, hair, and sweat.

When Do Employers Test New Hires?

Many companies will conduct a single test before hiring a candidate. The employer is ensured confidence in the consistency and performance of the candidate. This process typically occurs before signing onboarding paperwork.

What a company tests will vary. The most common test is a ten-panel variant that looks for the presence of marijuana, alcohol, and other substances. Companies often include specific language in contracts prohibiting the use of these substances while on the job.

Nearly half of all positive tests are related to marijuana. That number has climbed over the decade and is now seventeen percent higher than it was in 2014. As of publication, ten states have made marijuana fully illegal, with the remaining states categorizing use as legalized, medical, and decriminalized.

What Jobs Need a Test?

According to estimates, 40 to 65 percent of employers have jobs with a test. Many companies will use it to ensure productivity and mitigate potential legal problems. Others have higher thresholds for employees and customer safety requirements.

For instance, many jobs in healthcare, transportation, defense, and law enforcement require testing because of federal laws. Here are some fields where you are likely to find jobs that test.

Civil Service Jobs

Civil service is a broad classification for jobs in government. Those positions can exist at the federal, state, or local level. The most common positions include law enforcement, social services, and construction, though candidates running for political office are exempt.

These positions are publicly funded with taxpayer money. It is in the best interest of the government and the employer to show the money is being well spent. Even if you apply for the lowest level civil service position, you can expect urine screenings.

U.S. Armed Forces

When you register to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, or any other branch of the armed forces, expect a test. Testing is standard procedure whether you go into combat or work behind a desk. If you do end up as military personnel, you can also expect to test once a year.

The Department of Defense (DOD) aims to detect a wide range of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, morphine, and ecstasy. The DOD will even provide people with the cutoff levels for each of those drugs. They collect the samples as part of their drug abuse testing program before having it screened three different times.

A positive test will merit disciplinary action, such as a written warning, a suspension, or permanent suspension from service.


Truck driving, delivery, and tractor driving are the most common jobs in 29 states. Harvard University estimates that five million Americans currently make their living by driving full-time or part-time. While automated vehicles are imminent, current drivers still need to take a test before getting behind the wheel.

The logic here is simple. An intoxicated driver threatens their own life, pedestrians, and other drivers around them.

Professional Sports

If you play a professional sport and are reading this, congratulations! In addition to the opportunities for fame and fortune, you will also be tested. Each sports league has different policies, which are outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the league union.

Jobs That Don’t Do Tests

It is impossible to say with certainty whether a specific career will have tests unless you are self-employed. There are several career fields, though, that qualitative analysis suggests test less frequently. These mostly fall in the categories of personal finance, media, information technology, and advertising.

Understanding the landscape of the drug-testing world will give you a better chance at a successful career. It helps, in equal parts, to know what fields do and do not typically conduct testing. Here is a list of jobs with fewer tests.

– Accountant

– Animator

– Audio recording engineer

– Car sales agent

– Chef or cook

– Comedian

– Computer programmer

– Cosmetologist

– Director

– Dog trainer

– Entrepreneur

– Event planner

– Fashion designer

– Film producer

– Floral designer

– Graphic designer

– Interior designer

– IT consultant

– Journalist

– Makeup artists

– Musician

– Personal fitness trainer

– Photographer

– Production assistant

– Real estate agent

– Restaurant manager

– Skincare specialist

– Social media specialist

– Software engineer

– Video game designer

– Videographer

– Web developer

– Wedding consultant

– Writer

Final Thoughts

If you were to select a job at random, there is a fifty-fifty chance that it would come with urine screenings. For those of you that are set on never taking a test, we recommend avoiding careers in government, military, driving, and professional sports. While testing is rarely a guarantee, it helps to know which fields are more likely to have it; but there’s always our high-quality synthetic urine to fall back on in emergencies.


Pre-Employment Drug Testing Laws By State

Workforce Drug Testing Positivity

Map of Marijuana Legality by state

Supreme Court Strikes Down Drug Testing of Candidates

Common jobs by state

Millions replaced by self driving Vehicles