Perhaps one day.
Perhaps one day pot will be fully legalized…any stigma attached to its use will disappear…and no one will have to worry about being drug tested when applying for a job (except perhaps pilots and surgeons).
Today, unfortunately, is not that day.
Just about any stoner or casual user knows the feeling in the pit of the stomach that comes with finding a great new job. “Do they drug test?” “What type of testing do they do?” “Do they only care about meth and coke, or are they going to blow me off because of weed?” It may not be fair, but it’s reality.
Take heart. As long as you’re not dead set on becoming a cop, a doctor or nurse, a child care worker or government employee, there are plenty of opportunities out there which will let you indulge during your off-hours without worrying about your job.
Here are some of them.
White Collar Jobs That Don’t Drug Test
Unless you’re going to be working for a mega-corporation that has mandated testing throughout all of its companies, you can often find high-paying jobs with tremendous responsibility without worrying about urine or blood test results. After all, who would imagine that the hard-driving boss in a suit and tie, who’s the first in the office and the last to leave, is actually a stoner?
- Managerial positions: We’re not just talking about getting a 50¢ raise to be a “manager” at McDonald’s. Statisticbrain did a comprehensive survey that found only 1-2% of company general managers, business managers, project managers, retail managers, and office managers had to be drug tested – and their median salaries ranged from $40,000 to nearly $100,000.
- IT jobs: If you believe the stereotypes, most IT guys and girls would be turned down for jobs if they had to first pass a test for weed. Employers must believe that too, since only about 3% of developers, web designers and IT consultant positions require drug testing.
- Positions in “creative” departments: Companies apparently believe it’s better not to ask where all that creativity comes from; fewer than 4% of graphic designers, marketing staff, artists and copywriters are drug tested before being hired.
- Financial and related services: Nearly anyone can work in real estate without taking a drug test, while only a few percents of insurance agents and loan processors have to pee or give blood. It’s only employees at major banks that are more at risk.
- Freelancing: Whether you’re a writer, programmer, developer, photographer, event planner or bookkeeper, working freelance can provide a number of benefits that make your personal life your own. Deciding not to give yourself a drug test just happens to be one of those benefits.
- Entertainment: Many skilled employees, from screenwriters and producers to makeup artists and stagehands, can find work without being subjected to a drug test. Again, it often depends whether you’re working for a large conglomerate, a small indie company or as a freelancer – and whether you’re working in a professional environment or touring with a band. If you’re one of the performers? It’s almost expected that you’ll come up dirty.
Blue Collar and Unskilled Jobs That Don’t Drug Test
Unfortunately and unfairly, blue-collar workers and those without a specific skill are much more likely to be forced to take a drug test before being hired. Skilled factory workers and even union employees are often put under the microscope these days. We won’t bother speculating on the reasons; our guess is probably the same as yours.
In any event, here are jobs you might want to consider if you’re not ready to give up the green in order to earn some green.
- Restaurant and food industry: Fast food chains hardly ever bother making you take a drug test, even though some claim that they do. On the other hand, you’re more likely to be handed a cup or be sent to a lab before some of the major “family” sit-down restaurants will hire you as a server. Standalone or local chain restaurants usually don’t test, even for higher-level jobs like chefs and managers, either because they can’t afford to or they don’t want to drive away qualified employees.
- Beauty industry: The majority of salons and spas don’t test their employees. In fact, many stylists, nail techs, massage therapists and estheticians work as freelancers so employers don’t even worry about whether they’re clean.
- Day labor and temp jobs: This is really up to the client who’s using the temp agency to obtain workers, but if you’re being hired for seasonal or short-term work there’s a much better chance you’ll escape untested.
- Locally-owned businesses: Small mom-and-pop shops are much less inclined to spend money on drug tests for their clerks, drivers and other employees, so they’re a great place to apply.
- “Unskilled” positions: Avoiding dog bites and oncoming traffic are certainly skills, but jobs like dog-walking and pizza delivery fall into this umbrella category, as do groundskeepers and custodians (lawnmowers and janitors to the politically incorrect). The more menial the job or the less experience it requires, the less likely you are to be tested.
If you’ve looked at ads or job postings recently, you know that it’s become common for companies that require a drug test to disclose that fact in advance. Your best bet before applying for a job is to read those ads carefully, and poke around online (Google searches will often lead you to information about specific employers and their testing policies). That can save you a lot of wasted interview time – time you could have spent “relaxing” at home.