25 Good Jobs That Don’t Drug Test

By Canncentral Editor

2019-10-24

Companies that don’t drug test or jobs that don’t require being tested for cannabis or tested for any drugs

Where To Get Good Jobs That Don’t, Or Might Not, Require A Drug Test 

Are there any jobs out there that don’t require you to have a drug test? This is a question that many people are asking themselves, not just you.

Different people have different reasons why they want this question answered. What doesn’t seem to change though is one common thread: they all just want to have the opportunity of a better life and a better future for their family, for themselves and for their community.

Well, the good news is yes, there are plenty of top quality jobs out there that do not require you to undergo drug testing. Even so, if you want to maximize your chances of success in getting one of these jobs, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with Canada’s drug testing environment.

Plenty of jobs do not require the worker to be drug tested and you will need to understand what employment sectors these jobs are in to have a good chance of getting them. A few such sectors include creative, culinary and entertainment employment.  Working from home employment or free-lancing are also opportunities that don’t require drug testing. Knowledge of which areas you want to avoid is also good to know. Generally speaking, jobs that have an element of risk attached to them; jobs that involve operating machinery; government employment; jobs providing physical safety; or jobs that have potential legal aspects are the kinds of jobs that have compulsory drug testing.

It’s impossible to predict that any career will be completely free from drug testing. So, here are a few that might provide you with the best opportunity to avoid drug screening:

Chef

Putting peas into a dish is one thing that chefs may do quite frequently, peeing into a cup for a drug test is something that is off the menu. The restaurant business is far too busy to have time wasted on drug screening; it is also an expense that few would relish paying.

Restaurant Manager

Just as the kitchen staff are free from a drug test, so the restaurant manager too. Being a manager of a restaurant involves providing excellent service to your customers day in, day out and all within a strict budget. Drugs screening would likely blow that budget sky-high, so better leave the testing out of it.

Accountancy Staff

This vocation is ripe for freelance opportunities or working at home. Being your own boss, you don’t have to be subjected to drug testing; you can pick your clients as you see fit. Working in accounts for a large firm, however, is much different. Here you are subject to the rules of the company and if the boss says “piss into this cup”, you better get some water down you.

Information Technology (IT) Consultant

Like accountancy, IT consultants have ample opportunity to work from home or online. Many companies do not have their own IT staff or departments, so they will outsource their computer problems to freelancers. The only sample an IT consultant is going to be asked for is a sample of computer code.

Sound Engineer

This may be one of the least likely occupations you can think of that would require a drug test. Let’s face it, the average rock band that comes along to a sound studio is not going to be too picky if the Sound Engineer has smoked a bowl or two. No, this vocation is pretty much bulletproof when it comes to avoiding drug testing. Good freelance opportunities too and you may even consider opening your own studio.

Event Organizer

Creativity, organization and a keen eye for detail is what you need to be a good event organizer. So long as the event runs smoothly and as planned, your clients won’t care too much what you do to relax in your own time.

Computer Programmer

Even if you work for a large company as a computer programmer, you may still be exempt from the firm’s drug testing policies. That’s because a lot of the time people only get tested if their job involves some element of risk to themselves or others should a mistake happen. The only thing that will get hurt by a line or two or mistyped code, is a computer programmer’s pride.

Mobile App Developer

These people are really specialized programmers and at the moment they are in high demand as every organization and business wants their own app. As a result, many companies that have a drug testing policy are willing to turn a blind eye to the app developers. Even for those companies that are strict about testing all, may outsource their app development work so they don’t have to ask a potentially embarrassing (for them) question.

Web Designer or Developer

Being a skilled web designer or developer will open up a host of opportunities for you to work for whom you want and when you want. Generally speaking, your ‘office’ is online so you can pretty much work the hours you please. Another benefit of this style of working is that you don’t have to take a drug test. 

Illustrator or Graphic Designer

Most creative professions get a pass when it comes to drug testing; large companies are more concerned about getting the results for their brand and if that means no drugs test, fine. Many people believe that cannabis can make you more creative, so why test the creativity away? There’s plenty of freelance opportunities out there for these creative occupations.
 

Video Game Designer

Most companies that offer this service want to provide their developers with a fun environment in which to create fun and exciting games. Having a drug testing policy would kill that stone dead, so not many, if any, have one. Game developers work in small project teams developing a game or a certain part of a larger game. The focus is on collaborating over ideas and it requires a trusting environment to do this in.

Computer Animator

This job involves you creating 2D and 3D visual effects and animations. You could be working on movies, games or advertisements; computer animation is everywhere these days. The best in this field is in super high demand, so freelancing opportunities are plentiful. You don’t need to freelance to escape a drug test, though; most companies want an atmosphere of openness and collaboration. 

Film Producer

Making movies or short films involves creativity, organization, cooperation and planning. One thing it should not involve, however, is providing a urine sample for a drug test.

Fashion Designer

Any drug testing in the fashion industry is likely to require that you DO actually take some! This can be a high-pressure industry, especially around the time of a big fashion show when deadlines for new designs are looming. Definitely no time for drug screening.

Interior Designer

Transforming an interior space with a new design is a job ideally suited for a freelancer or as part of a design studio. The vast majority of design studios would never ask you for a pee sample and, as a freelancer, you probably wouldn’t require it of yourself either.

Photographer

The vast majority of photographers are freelancers, so by default, there is no drug screening required as you can pick and choose your clients. Even for those that work for a company as a photographer, very few ever get tested.

Hairdressers and Beauty Therapists

Hairdressers, nail technicians, beauty therapists etc seldom experience the need to have a drug test, if at all. These vocations are plumb for self-employment work and the vast majority of salons are owner-operated, so no requirement for drug testing there either.

Skin Care Specialist

Most skin care clinics and spas provide employment without the need to undergo a drug test. As with hairdressers and beauty therapists, skincare specialists can easily be self-employed or have a small clinic, free from the need for testing

Makeup Artist

This job could be in the beauty sector where the same rules would apply. It could also be in the entertainment world, making up actors in movies or theatre. Whichever part of the sector they work in, makeup artists can have a fun and interesting career without the need to ever take a drug test.

Dog Trainer

Dogs are very popular as pets and people just love their dogs. Not many clients are going to concern themselves with whether their canine companion’s trainer has passed a drug test or not. This occupation is pretty much totally self-employed so there are no concerns about the boss forcing you to have a test.

Personal Fitness Trainer

Training humans is a predominantly self-employed occupation. There are also many opportunities to do this from a health club or gymnasium. These places are unlikely to ask their staff for a drug test. One exception might be if you are working with weights or equipment as there is a potential risk of injury.

Floral Designer

As a floral designer, you are bringing love, happiness and cheer into people’s lives with your beautiful creations. Mostly this job is done by people who work in small owner-operated flower shops. If you smoke a flower, while you arrange a flower, no worries.

Journalist

Some of the larger media corporations have drug testing policies, but many jobs in journalism are still available that do not have a requirement for one.

Real Estate Agent

Mostly, this job is done as an independent contractor and not as an employee, so there is little or no chance of you being asked for a urine sample for drug testing. Just make sure that you check with the estate agency you are contracting for about their drug testing policy for licencing.

Writer

What a great profession this is and there are so many different aspects to it. You could be a copywriter, technical writer, blogger, ghostwriter and a whole lot more. Many writers are freelance, so do not have to concern themselves with drug tests. However, many are in-house writers for larger companies and these certainly can have strict drug screening policies. Make sure you check with any prospective employer.

Why Is There a Requirement For Drug Tests?

Most Canadian employers are not legally obliged to drug test existing or potential employees. Having said that, around 40-65% of companies have a requirement for their employees to take a drug test. The reasons for this are various. Some firms test for drugs because they have concerns about productivity. Others worry about potential accidents or incidents involving personnel who have taken drugs. There are other reasons also.  Employers within industries that are sensitive about safety such as law, defence, health, law enforcement and transportation have actual legal requirements to conduct routine tests for drugs and alcohol. Some insurance companies offer discounts on company insurance policies if they conduct drug testing. Some businesses conduct drug testing simply for public perception; this is the case in sports, education, medicine etc. In extreme cases, some companies may even screen employees for nicotine; an example where this may happen is in the healthcare sector.

In states where Cannabis has been legalized, some companies are actually making drug testing more strict as they fear that its use could filter into the workplace. If you are working in the public sector, you are more likely to be subject to drug testing than in the private sector. The reason for this is that government agencies, in general, have been designated drug-free environments. You can make sure by reading the fine detail of the advertised job vacancy description.

Why Do Some Employers Choose Not to Drug Test?

For many employers, the decision to have a drug testing policy does not cross their minds. Either that or they have decided that there are just too many disadvantages associated with drug testing. For instance, the number of people that test positive for drugs as a proportion of the people tested is relatively low. Tests conducted in 2017, showed only 4.2% of urine samples tested positive. This is a very small return for the relatively high cost of testing, which needs to be conducted by external agencies. Also, even with external experts analyzing samples, very often false results are returned.

Failing a drug test does not necessarily indicate that a person has been high in the workplace. Many companies now see there is very little reason for continued drug testing because the issue is so small and there has been no noticeable drop in performance or productivity.

At the end of the day, most workplace drug testing is not there to measure levels of intoxication. So, it provides no indication as to a person’s fitness to do the job. What it does show is whether a person has taken a substance, but not when.

There are also concerns about employees’ privacy and morale; drug testing can be seen as ‘Big Brother’ watching you. Most firms actually believe that employees perform better on an atmosphere of trust, not one of suspicion.

The Reality of Testing For Recreational and Medical Marijuana Use

Even if cannabis is legal where you live, you can still be screened for it by your employer. Organizations have no obligation to stop cannabis testing just because it has been legalized. Cannabis, unlike many substances, remains detectable from your urine for a long time after use. This is the main reason why tests for cannabis are more likely to return a positive result compared to, say, cocaine. Cocaine or MDMA signs may disappear from the urine within one to three days; Methamphetamine for up to four days. However, cannabis will hang around for up to 30 days in your urine and even longer in your hair follicles. So, even though you are completely clean during work time, a drug test could still pose significant employment problems. Most employers feel that it is within their rights to terminate your employment should you test positive for marijuana, regardless of it being legalized.

This is not simply anecdotal, there are plenty of court rulings backing this up. In one case the judge ruled that an employer had acted legally in firing an employee for a positive cannabis test. This was despite the employee having an authorized medical marijuana card. To help protect individuals suffering similar verdicts, some states have passed laws prohibiting employers from firing a person who tests positive if they have a valid prescription for medical marijuana. This is still tricky ground, though, as federal law which sides with the employer in these cases, has precedence.

Only when medical marijuana becomes legal at the federal level will employers be unable to successfully challenge state laws. With the backing of federal law, most companies don’t feel the need to accommodate people who use cannabis for medical reasons.

Are There Any Privacy and Discrimination Issues?

According to a couple of remarkable statistics, over one-third of Fortune 500 companies admitted that they checked people’s health records before making them an offer of employment ad after they’d employed them. Also, in one year alone, in 2017, more than 5.5 million health records were illegally accessed through theft or security breaches. 

Why might this be the case? Well, it could be down to employees being very careless or it could have more sinister undertones; perhaps some organizations had gone beyond the rules. Often, though, shady organizations don’t even have to break the rules to access highly personal health records; health records are often advertised for sale on the dark web by hackers and other abuses of the internet. Privacy breaches are seldom fully investigated unless conducted on a massive scale. If you’re the sole victim, you’re probably going to deal with the issue yourself.

There are supposed to have been government acts put in place and laws passed that protected a person’s right to privacy, particularly for matters relating to their health. However, regulations that came into effect in 2003 give self-insured employers (companies that fund their own health plans) access to employee’s medical information for ‘routine use’ and administrative purposes. 

Other than these self-insuring companies, your medical information should be safe with your employer. However, it is a good idea to check with your Human Resources department and find out how your employee benefits are funded. If they are not self-insurers, they cannot access your medical records without your written consent.

As already stated above, drug testing policies generally, come down to the discretion of the individual state lawmakers. Of course, different states will have different laws on this; some will have compulsory testing, while others may not require any. Whichever state sets the rules pertaining to you, all employers in all states still have to abide by federal law. This may involve abiding by laws pertaining to disabilities and discrimination.

So, as an employee or a job applicant, what rights could you reasonably expect to have in terms of discrimination on the grounds of disability:

  • Prior to receiving a job offer, you should not be asked about your medical condition, prescribed drugs or disabilities by the employer.
  • After an offer of employment has been made, your prospective employer can ask you to undergo drug screening. However, they still cannot ask about prescribed drugs or disabilities.
  • If the effects of any drugs you are taking might affect your ability to work or could put any other people in danger, you are required by law to notify your employer.
  • As a job applicant, you are within your rights to refuse to take a drug test. Of course, in the same light, an employee is free to refuse to hire you because of your refusal. Challenging this is very unlikely to succeed, so if you really want the job you are going to have to ‘run the gauntlet’ of a drug test.

As you should already know by now, drug screening policies differ from employer to employer. Many don’t require them, many do and within those that do there is a wide variation on how, and to whom, they are used. If the policy exists and you refuse a drug test, then you open yourself up to the possibility of getting fired; or not getting hired in the first place. The only possible recourse you could have would be if your employer treated you differently from others in the same workplace or discriminated against you in some way. 

Based on how the courts have dealt with these issues in the past, having a valid prescription for medical marijuana may not protect you if you fail a drug test at work. Even if the state’s laws deem the use of cannabis, for instance, legal your employer still can fire you and their decision could be backed up at the federal level. This is the case even for cannabis users on medical grounds. If you find yourself in a situation like this then you should contact a specialist labour law attorney.

Want to know how to find out if a company has drug testing? 

The first thing you should do is look at the company’s website. One of those seldom clicked links down at the bottom of the page may contain information about drug testing employees and applicants. Try looking at the Privacy Policy for starters. If you cannot get the answer there, you could simply give the HR department a call and ask them if there is a testing policy. It should not be any secret if there is. This would actually help a company out as they would have to conduct less testing and avoid the expense.

Companies That Don’t Drug Test

There does not appear to be any comprehensive list of companies that do not drug test. As you might expect, most companies that do drug tests may want to remain silent about it; publicly announcing that you test your employees for drugs could bring them the attention they do not want. Even when asked directly about a drug testing policy they will only give a ‘No Comment’ response.

However, there are a number of large companies that do not have any drug testing requirements; many of these are within the tech sector. These companies don’t generally advertise the fact that they don’t have a drug testing policy for the same reasons as those with testing policies don’t. News of these companies tends to spread through word of mouth from existing employees to job applicants.

Of course, you should always bear in mind that policies can change with a change in management or due to changes in regulations, so always try to get information that is accurate and up to date.

So, having taken all that into account, here are a few places where you may want to consider getting employment due to their lack of a drug testing regime.

  • Apple
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Facebook
  • Gap
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Qualcomm
  • Starbucks
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo
  • Whole Foods Market

Of course, there are many more companies out there that don’t drug test; small businesses, especially, are less likely to have drug-screening policies due to the cost of testing.

Good luck with your job seeking and finding a suitable company that does not test you for drugs.

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