In the age of legalized cannabis use, it may seem odd that 56% of American employers still require job candidates to take pre-employment drug tests for THC, the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.
That said, there’s a lot of people who use cannabis or prescription drugs for a certain medical condition, and many of them see such testing requirements as privacy violations.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of good jobs that don’t drug test job seekers for cannabis use.
From unskilled to highly professional work, lots of private sector companies operate a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that seems far more in touch with 21st-century life in contrast to stringent pre-employment drug test requirements.
Of course, some organizations implement drug test policies for good reasons, such as ensuring safety of other employees and the public. This is especially true for military service, law enforcement and other government agencies.
Keep reading to learn more or feel free to jump to our list of employers that don’t perform alcohol and drugs test.
Do all jobs drug test applicants?
No, not all jobs require alcohol or drugs test for jobseekers. Generally, any vocation falls into one of the three categories.
1. Safety-sensitive work
This term means that if the worker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it could impair their ability to do their job, and, as a result, this could lead to the worker’s and other people safety being threatened.
2. Drug-free workplace jobs
A company in the private sector usually decides their own drug testing policies. This means if the job position isn’t safety-sensitive, employers may still introduce drug tests, because they believe people who use cannabis are less productive.
While you’ll need to consent to their drug testing policy, in most cases you’ll only need to undergo a pre-employment drug test. If it’s an office job, usually you don’t have to worry about random drug tests, unless there’s reasonable suspicion.
However, jobs that fall into this category can vary widely, so it’s best to check before applying.
3. No drug test jobs
The last category is for jobs that don’t mandate any pre-employment drug screening at all. The reason why many companies don’t require drug testing is two-fold.
- Firstly, it’s relatively easy to pass a drug test, given there’s enough time to prepare.
- Secondly, good managers don’t want to deter a talented job applicant, who can be hired by a competitor.
Also, many companies have recently excluded marijuana from drug testing due to legalization of cannabis use, especially in California.
We’re going to have a look at best jobs that fall into this category in a moment, but first, let’s answer an important question.
How do I find out if a company drug tests?
There are three easy ways of finding information about company’s drug testing policies.
1. Check employer bids
The first way is to read the job advertisement closely. Usually, if drug testing is part of the hiring process, it’ll be mentioned in job ads.
2. Simply ask them
If you’ve scoured the advert and have found no mention of a drug test, then there is a good chance you won’t need to pass one. But you can confirm this by contacting HR department of the company.
It’s perfectly normal to ask about drug testing, but you may ask a few more questions to avoid looking suspicious.
3. Use online search terms
Another method is to search information online, and it works best for a large company. The word of mouth will be out there, especially if the company does require drug testing.
You can also look for a list of companies that don’t drug test, such as the one we’ve compiled below. In fact, many well-known companies don’t have drug testing procedures for prospective employees.
Additionally, you can research the job position you’re applying for and see if drug testing is a standard procedure of the hiring process. Many Internet services let you set up a job alert for the type of offers you’re interested in.
10 types of jobs that don’t require a drug test
There are some fantastic jobs that don’t have any drug testing requirements at all. This way, you’ll never need to worry about giving urine samples and can instead focus on doing a job that you enjoy in a more enlightened work environment.
1. Retail stores
When it comes to regular jobs that don’t drug test, working for a retail store is a solid option. Many large retail stores across the United States don’t have strict drug-free workplace policies.
You can get a job offer and employee benefits at Whole Foods, Gap, Goodwill, Kroger, and Target without needing to forfeit privacy or change your way of life.
2. Real estate
Many good jobs don’t require drug testing in the real estate sector. One of the best is working as an agent. You’ll get a reasonable commission from the sales of properties.
And, since you’ll be legally classified as a contractor rather than full-time employee, you won’t need to worry about drug screening policies at all.
3. Beauty sector
Beauty salons are another area where employers aren’t particularly interested if an employee is using medical marijuana or prescription drugs. There are some great jobs to do in this sector too.
For example, nail technicians earn $25,000 a year on average, while professional makeup artists who work on film sets bring home $66,000 a year. Top makeup artists can earn as much as $121,000 a year.
4. Tech sector
In a field where creativity and thinking outside the box are encouraged, it’s only natural that drug tests are of no interest to employers. In fact, even alcohol use isn’t prohibited at Google’s offices.
Many big tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, have no issue with employees consuming recreational and medical marijuana, as long as it doesn’t negatively impact their ability to complete the job.
Other tech companies like AT&T, Cisco, HP, Intel, and Adobe don’t have any drug testing policies either. From mobile app developers to IT consultants, there are many fantastic vocations that fall into the technology sector, for example:
- Computer programmer
- Computer animator
- Web designer
It’s now known that Steve Jobs has smoked cannabis, and both him and Bill Gates enjoyed LSD. It wouldn’t be a surprise if someone else famous is getting their creativity from MDMA or even a combination of drugs.
5. Design studios
For people with design skills, there’s more than one way to make a living through careers that don’t drug test. People who are interested in creating beautiful homes may want to consider a career as an interior designer.
More tech-savvy people may be interested in becoming a graphic designer. And for gamers, why not consider becoming a video game designer? Regardless of the way you go with your design skills, you’ll always be safe from archaic drug test requirements.
6. Management positions
There’s no doubt that success brings many perks. And if you move up the ladder and become the boss, no person will be asking if you’ve got PCP or THC in your system.
You don’t even need to be the boss of a company. You need to find a job at the higher management level. A person in these positions tends to be left alone.
Some of the big restaurant chains, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, don’t perform a background check, and a restaurant manager can earn on average $47,000 a year without needing to provide a urine sample.
Other well-known chains like Starbucks can request drug tests from employees if they suspect drug use, but this is incredibly rare. New job applicants aren’t tested upon hire at Starbucks.
8. Flower shops
Spending all day surrounded by colorful, sweet-smelling flowers can be appealing for many. And a flower shop certainly isn’t going to run background checks on someone who happens to be a connoisseur of another kind of flower.
This laid-back work can be done both full-time and part-time. Pay will be dictated by the shop’s location with people in big cities earning more than those upstate.
That said, there’s also a lot of room for ambitious people to move up the ranks at big flower companies like FTD or Flower Factory.
There are lots of high-paying jobs that don’t drug test in the engineering sector, which is to be expected when innovation is more important than conservatism.
That’s why TESLA, in fact, will only drug test people who work on safety-sensitive positions. Engineers at TESLA won’t be subjected to randomized drug testing. Nor will TESLA ever test for marijuana in states where it is legal.
Engineering jobs are also very well remunerated. The top ten percent with education in each engineering field will usually earn more than $150,000 a year1.
Being their own boss is a dream job for individuals who love independence and freedom. And there are some great opportunities to find enjoyable, well-paid freelance work too.
In case you’re a writer or photographer, you won’t need to submit to drug testing to please clients. That’s because as a freelancer, you’re not an employee of a company but simply a contractor.
As long as you deliver the work, clients won’t be interested in what substances you consume in your free time. In fact, there are quite a few freelance jobs where the only information they will have about you is your email address.
Freelancing can be well-paid too. For example, some top freelance photographers are paid more than $70,000 a year, while the average pay is around $42,000.
Do they drug test you before donating plasma?
No. After you’ve made a donation, your plasma will be screened for hepatitis B and C, HIV, HTLV, syphilis, WNV, and ZIKV, but it’s not a standard procedure to test blood for drug use2.
What kind of drug test does workers’ comp use?
It’ll depend on state laws whether drug testing post-accident will be required or not. In case accident was caused under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a person may be subjected to urine, blood, hair or saliva test by their employer.
No, you won’t need to undergo drug testing when applying for disability insurance or social security payments. However, you’ll be asked about substance use during the application procedure, and it’s important to answer truthfully.
Unlike private insurance companies, SSA will be able to access your health records, meaning if you have a medical marijuana card or history of substance abuse, they will discover it. That said, the fact of having a medical cannabis card alone doesn’t lead to cancelled disability services in most cases.
Do internships and temp agencies drug test?
Employers can require interns to pass a drug test, even if job position is unpaid. Generally, the same rules apply for regular jobs and internships. Staffing agencies also have the right of drug testing employees, but, in reality, it depends on the type of job you’re applying for.
Do law firms drug test?
Law firms have the right to drug test their employees, but the chance of that is very low unless a person’s activity is raising suspicion. If you like to unwind with some marijuana at the end of the day, it probably won’t be an issue, but make sure you don’t show up at the workplace (or even worse, during court rulings) while stoned.
Pre-employment drug testing is common in safety-sensitive areas, such transportation industry or jobs requiring heavy machinery operation. In other fields, drug testing is simply unnecessary and can deter talented prospective employees.
That’s why companies like Tesla don’t see smoking weed outside of work hours making employees worse at their jobs. Using cannabis legally and responsively might even inspire you to come up with a great idea that can benefit the employer.
There are lots of great jobs available that won’t require you to pass a drug test. This includes designers, programmers, fitness trainers, screenwriters, producers and more.
Everything from being a law professional to working as freelance photographer can provide you with security, good pay, and you’ll be able to make choices that don’t compromise your privacy.