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Summary. Types of jobs that don’t require drug testing include culinary jobs, creative jobs, and entertainment jobs. While these jobs are common jobs that don’t drug test, it’s important to remember that all companies are different and will have different policies regarding to drug testing. Make sure to review your company’s policy instead of assuming they don’t.
Beginning in 2012, a trend of re-opening the conversation about drug use, especially in the context of decriminalization, has taken the country by storm. For instance, extensive studies performed on the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana have only served to support the notion of decriminalization and legalization.
With medical marijuana becoming more popular in some states, it’s unsurprising that the use of pre-employment drug tests has been called into question. Whether someone is using marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, it’s unclear whether this should have an impact on their ability to work certain jobs. While some positions staunchly stand by the use of drug tests, others have begun to phase them out altogether.
In this article, we’ll examine 20 jobs you can apply for that don’t require a drug test, as well as provide information about these positions.
The top three entry level jobs that don’t drug test are housekeeper, dog walker, and retail sales associate.
As of 2021, at least 36 states have approved the use of medical marijuana, with 15 of those states legalizing adult-use overall.
Some companies that don’t drug test or have reduced drug test policies include Apple, Starbucks, and any company in the cannabis industry.
Entry-Level Jobs That Don’t Drug Test
Average Annual Salary: $23,000
Housekeepers work in a wide range of environments, cleaning hotels, offices, and even private residential homes. On a typical day, you might sweep, mop, vacuum, dust, and replace towels or bedding. With little to no supervision, this kind of job requires someone who’s keen and detail-oriented.
Average Annual Salary: $23,000
If you love all things canine, dog walking might just be the job for you. Commonly, dog walkers will walk one or more dogs per day and even act as caretakers for the animals. Given that this position relies on location, experience, and networking, drug tests are extremely rare.
Retail Sales Associate/Cashier
Average Annual Salary: $31,000
Otherwise known as a cashier, retail sales associates often work in grocery stores, gas stations, or any other shop with a register. On a typical day, you might ring out customers, clean your workspace, and perform other shop maintenance tasks.
While drug testing is not very common in this field, some companies are more likely to test than others. Here’s a list of the top companies that won’t drug test:
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Experienced Jobs That Don’t Drug Test
Average Annual Salary: $27,386
Dog trainers play an important role in teaching young dogs and rehabilitating older ones. On a typical day, a dog trainer might take a dog in for training sessions, where that dog can be taught basic or advanced commands.
While formal experience in the field is usually required, many dog trainers are self-employed. With that in mind, drug tests are near non-existent.
Average Annual Salary: $49,000
Photographers have an eye for aesthetics and know how to create a well-composed picture. Typically, a photographer might work for a company or client and take photoshoots for a variety of reasons and special occasions.
Experience levels required for the position can vary greatly depending on the employer. In fact, many photographers are self-employed, but even the ones that aren’t rarely undergo any form of drug testing.
Average Annual Salary: $31,000
The term cosmetologist encompasses hairstylists, nail technicians, and other beauty professionals. On a typical day, a cosmetologist will receive appointments from clients for simple haircuts or special occasions. These individuals are often self-employed or work for small businesses, so drug testing is uncommon.
Personal Fitness Trainer
Average Annual Salary: $38,894
If you’re an enthusiastic, highly motivated person that likes to exercise, becoming a personal fitness trainer might suit you. On a regular day, you might meet with a client for a motivational work-out session. While some trainers are self-employed, even ones who work for gyms and other clubs are almost never subjected to drug tests.
Average Annual Salary: $52,000
New companies and other media rely on journalists to gather and report interesting and relevant stories. Journalists can cover a wide range of stories, from celebrity gossip to national politics. With that in mind, the presence of drug tests in the field can vary. While some of the biggest corporations in the field may drug test, drug testing overall is extremely rare.
Average Annual Salary: $44,000
Typically working in restaurants, chefs will prepare food for customers and manage the kitchen. This job requires culinary skill and knowledge, as well as the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
The nature of the position can vary greatly, from chain restaurants to mom-and-pop style diners to extremely formal eateries. Generally speaking, though, drug tests in this field are highly uncommon.
Average Annual Salary: $54,000
Interior designers are responsible for inventing functional, safe, and beautiful spaces in houses, offices, and more. While there are many fun, artistic aspects of the position, they must also be aware of building codes and inspection regulations. Many interior designers are self-employed, making drug tests rare.
Average Annual Salary: $48,525
Most often, florists work in either a grocery store or at a specific flower shop. This job entails cutting and selling flowers to customers, as well as designing arrangements for weddings, funerals, and holidays. Typically, independent flower shops are highly unlikely to a drug test.
Average Annual Salary: $63,000
Working in the entertainment industry, film producers evaluate and organize the financial aspects of creating a movie or TV show. This type of job requires planning, organization, creativity, and commitment. While film producers usually work on set, they’re almost never given any form of drug testing.
Average Annual Salary: $82,000
The term general manager can encompass a wide range of fields but is essentially the same job in any field. Managers supervise other employees and are responsible for making sure a store or a portion of a business is operating correctly. This position requires adept communication and organizational skills. Luckily though, drug tests are noticeably rare.
Real Estate Agent
Average Annual Salary: $99,000
Real estate agents help clients purchase, rent, or sell properties. This typically involves research, availability for appointments, and writing up contracts. Though there are some real estate agents who work for an employer, many work as independent contractors, and therefore, avoid drug tests altogether.
Becoming a real estate agent does have its perks, as, on average, it’s the highest paying job on this list.
Remote Jobs That Don’t Drug Test
Over the past year or so, COVID-19 has impacted the job market in significant ways. To accommodate concerns, many jobs have migrated to remote workspaces. Luckily, there are a variety of remote jobs out there for people who don’t want to take a drug test:
Average Annual Salary: $45,000
Like other creative professions, receiving a drug test as a graphic designer is extremely rare. Typically, this job is easy to perform at home, as you are tasked with designing illustrations and logos that meet certain criteria and deadlines.
Average Annual Salary: $57,000
Given the presence of the internet and digital media, it’s no surprise that a writer can easily work from home. Generally speaking, this position requires language proficiency and other writing skills. However, whether a writer is freelancing, self-employed, or works for a specific company, he or she will likely never receive a drug test.
Average Annual Salary: $66,000
With an ever-growing market, there are always positions open for computer programmers. Generally speaking, this job entails designing and developing software programs, analyzing algorithms, modifying source-code, debugging, and maintaining operating systems, among other things.
Given that this work revolves around computers, being able to perform tasks remotely is easy and efficient. Many computer programmers freelance, but drug tests are still extremely uncommon for those who work for a department.
Average Annual Salary: $71,000
Instead of working with software to create programs, computer animators utilize software to create artistic animations for movies, shows, and more. The software needed to animate is easily available for those working remotely, making this position a great work-from-home option.
Additionally, even computer animators who work for professional studios are almost never given drug tests.
Information Technology (IT) Consultant
Average Annual Salary: $73,000
With today’s reliance on computer systems, IT consultants are regularly employed by companies to analyze and diagnose IT infrastructure, as well as develop and implement viable technology solutions.
IT consultants can serve a wide range of employers, from individual clients to major corporations. However, the independent nature of their work means that drug tests are usually a non-issue.
Mobile Applications Developer
Average Annual Salary: $89,000
Mobile applications developers create highly specialized programs for a wide range of industries. Given their high demand and the presence of freelancers, there is an unsurprising lack of drug tests in the field.
On average, mobile applications developers are one of the highest-paying jobs that don’t drug test and the highest paying remote job on this list. In part, this is because of the booming growth of smartphones and other technologies.
Types of Jobs You Can Get and What to Look Out for
Generally speaking, there are a variety of jobs across a range of different fields that don’t drug test. Here are some fields to look out for:
Culinary Jobs (e.g., Chef)
Creative Jobs (e.g., Photographer, Writer)
Entertainment Jobs (e.g., Film Producer)
IT Jobs (e.g., Web Developer)
Managerial Jobs (e.g., General Manager)
Self-Employed Jobs (e.g., Real Estate Agent)
While your options are not limited to these specifications, you’ll be more likely to find success with these types of jobs.
In many cases, as little as 1-4% of people across these positions receive drug tests. This is because these jobs have very little workplace risk and can often be performed with some level of independence. Overall, these positions require creativity, independence, self-discipline, and unique skill sets.
Additionally, you should be on the lookout for local “mom-and-pop” positions and entry-level jobs, as these types of positions are less likely to require drug tests as well. When in doubt, whether you’re applying or have received an offer, always read job descriptions.
Typically though, physical jobs with potential hazards or other risks will not be a good fit. In order to mitigate unnecessary risk and danger in the workplace, employers hiring construction workers or police officers will want to ensure that their candidates are sober. Therefore, those types of jobs are far more likely to require pre-employment and semi-regular drug tests.
5 Companies That Don’t Drug Test
Finding a company that doesn’t drug test is your safest bet for avoiding them altogether. After all, even if drug tests aren’t common in your field of choice, each employer has its own set of drug policies.
Here’s a list of ten major companies that either don’t drug test or have seriously reduced/restricted drug test policies:
The tech giant has made innovation its priority since day one — if you can contribute something unique and special, Apple doesn’t really care what you do with your free time. This isn’t just for the technical wizards either. Even if you’re an entry-level employee working in a warehouse, you won’t be drug tested.
This has become the industry standard for Silicon Valley companies, so keep that in mind as a general rule if avoiding drug tests is a priority.
Starbucks offers great first jobs that can lead to impressive careers. They don’t believe that talent should be let go because of drug use. Starbucks is also known for being accepting of all tattoos, piercings, and any other fashion, hair, or cosmetic choices their employees make.
From a first-time barista to a senior level executive, you won’t be drug tested at Starbucks.
Almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks, Target is a major retailer that doesn’t drug test its employees. This goes for sales associates on the floor, cashiers, and folks in corporate offices.
Target is also known for its high starting salary ($15/hour) for entry-level store employees, and the discount adds up if you shop there for your weekly groceries.
Whole Foods is an organic grocery store chain that’s lovingly referred to as “Whole Paycheck.” While the products do cost a bit more, employees enjoy a discount that brings the price down. They also don’t ever have to worry about being drug tested, because Whole Foods’ mission is built on community trust.
Trader Joe’s is another organic supermarket chain that doesn’t administer drug tests.
Another retailer that doesn’t drug test at any level, Michael’s is a great place to work for art-lovers. Beyond not needing to worry about drug tests, employees enjoy a 30% discount on the store’s products.
Any company in the cannabis industry.
If you’re looking for a company that almost definitely won’t drug test, almost any job in the cannabis industry should work. As you’d imagine, it’s a progressive, forward-thinking industry.
You don’t have to worry about traditional ways of doing things because, in this brand new industry, being alternative is the norm. Needless to say, it’s unlikely that you’ll be tested for cannabis, at the very least.
Note that for all of these companies, exceptions exist. Any job in transportation or that involves a high incidence of accidents may require drug tests, either regularly or after an accident occurs. Drug tests might also be required for workers’ compensation claims. By and large, though, jobs at these companies are drug-test-free.
Jobs That Don’t Drug Test FAQ
What jobs are least likely to drug test?
Creative, entertainment, and self-employed jobs are the least likely to drug test. In general, positions that don’t require you to handle sensitive information and don’t involve a lot of safety hazards for yourself and others won’t conduct drug tests.
There are exceptions to this, so always check the job description to be sure, but these types of jobs are usually the best places to start if you’re looking for a position that won’t test you for drugs. Here are some examples of specific jobs that fall into these categories:
You likely still won’t be allowed to do drugs at work in these roles, but they won’t often conduct drug tests since employees will mainly be working independently or in settings with low amounts of physical risk.
In addition, there are some regions, such as Silicon Valley, where not conducting drug tests is the cultural norm, and some companies such as Apple and Starbucks publicly state that they don’t test for drugs. As a result, roles in these regions and for these employers can be added to the list of jobs least likely to drug test.
Can you say no to a drug test for a job?
Yes, you can say no to a drug test for a job. However, your refusal may cost you that job if your employer or potential employer requires employees to complete drug tests.
There are some scenarios where you will be protected for refusing a drug test though, as many states have laws in place that ensure employers adhere to certain drug test regulations.
For example, they can require the company to use a pre-approved lab, to give you a chance to explain why your test is positive, and to test every job candidate equally instead of just a few. In addition, you always have a right to privacy and a right not to be discriminated against.
If you know that your employer is operating outside the law in some way by asking you to complete a drug test, you can legally refuse to take it. If you do this, you’ll probably need a lawyer to tell you if you have a case and then to represent you if it does go to court.
What jobs are most likely to drug test?
Jobs that deal with sensitive information, are in dangerous environments, require you to care for the safety of customers and clients, or have you in settings around minors are the most likely to drug test.
These include jobs for the government, construction companies, medical facilities, and schools, but aren’t limited to just those. For example, many restaurants also require drug tests since their staff is working closely with food and customers, and someone under the influence in those settings can be unnecessarily dangerous.
Some more specific jobs that are likely to test for drugs include:
You should also keep in mind that even if you aren’t a teacher, for example, but still work at a school, you’ll still be subjected to the same drug tests that a teacher is because you’re in close proximity to students.
What happens if you fail a pre-employment drug test?
If you fail a pre-employment drug test, you likely won’t get the job. Companies drug test because they don’t want to go through the hassle of training someone they’re just going to have to fire for a failed drug test in the future when they could just not hire you to begin with.
In many states, though, there are some options if you don’t believe you should’ve failed a drug test. If, for example, you’re on a prescribed medication that showed up on the drug test, many states will allow you to explain why you tested positive.
You’ll likely need a doctor’s note to back you up, but as long as the medication doesn’t impact your safety or the safety of others, you’ll usually still be able to be hired.
Or, if you accidentally ate a poppy seed bagel and tested positive for opioids, you can usually explain that and ask to test again. If the levels of the opioids match your story and you didn’t test positive for any other drugs, you’ll likely be allowed to try again and still get the job upon passing the drug test.
Yes, nurses get drug tested. Because they are responsible for taking care of patients – which includes administering medications and treatments that could be dangerous if given incorrectly – nurses are required to pass a drug test before they’re hired.
In addition, many medical facilities will perform random drug tests on all of their staff members to ensure they remain drug-free, and they’ll test specific nurses that they have reasonable suspicion that they’re under the influence of drugs. This suspicion could be based on patient complaints or from a coworker observing unusual or especially unprofessional behavior.
Since nurses have access to medicinal drugs, medical facilities may also conduct drug tests if some of those go missing or are otherwise unaccounted for. Because of this access, nurses are also often required to undergo random drug tests far more regularly than employees in other professions do.
This is for the protection of their patients as well as to create a layer of accountability to protect the nurses themselves, as nursing is a stressful job and can often lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms that can be physically and professionally damaging if left unchecked.
Do accountants get drug tested?
Yes, accountants get drug tested. This will vary somewhat from company to company and from state to state, but most accounting firms require candidates to complete a pre-employment drug test. Some may have additional random tests, but this isn’t common.
Depending on where you work as an accountant, you may be required to complete drug tests more often, especially if you work in an organization such as a school or medical facility. Generally though, unless your employer is suspicious of drug use, accountants aren’t tested beyond their initial pre-employment test.
This is because accounting is a desk job, which means drugs won’t have much of an influence on anyone’s safety in your workforce. If, however, your drug use affects the quality of your work, you do run the risk of losing your job, just as you would if your performance declined for any other reason.
What are high-paying jobs that don’t drug test?
High-paying jobs that don’t drug test include IT consulting, computer animation, and mobile applications development. Film producers, interior designers, and real estate agents also don’t typically have to undergo drug tests and usually earn high salaries.
As with anything, it depends on the particular employer or client as to whether or not you’ll need a drug test in one of these positions, but very few typically require it. This is in large part because the majority of these jobs are conducive to self-employment or working as a remote independent contractor, which removes the need for a drug test.
Even if you don’t have to be tested for drugs, you will still need to ensure you aren’t under the influence of anything that will inhibit your ability to do good work, as this will prevent you from retaining and attracting clients, effectively ending your employment.
If you’re looking for work but have been worried about having to take a drug test, you shouldn’t fret too much. In recent years, the popularity of drug tests has gone down significantly, while more and more positions across a variety of fields are becoming available. From creative fields to the massive tech industry, there’s a job out there for almost anyone.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start job hunting!
U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics – Computer Programmers Outlook
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Drug Testing in the Workplace
- Demographic Based
- Interest Based
- Location Based
- Pay Based
- Requirement Based