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Drug Testing America’s Workforce

Posted in Blog, Health News on July 17, 2023


Pre-employment drug testing is one of the silent gatekeepers standing between American workers and securing a new job. Yet, despite its pivotal role in the hiring process, it often slips under the radar during job search discussions.

Drug screening is more likely for specific roles and industries. As job seekers prepare their resumes and sharpen their interview skills, they should be aware that this seemingly simple step could make or break their success in the hiring process.

We wanted to take a closer look at drug testing in America’s job market to provide greater insight into its prevalence and the implications for job seekers. By examining LinkedIn job listings nationwide, we determined the extent to which various states and industries lean on pre-employment drug testing.

Key Findings

  • Technology-related industries such as IT and Engineering lead the nation in drug testing requirements, with 34.38% and 28.54% of total LinkedIn job listings requiring drug testing, respectively.
  • Legal industry jobs required the least drug testing, with about 0.60% of total LinkedIn job listings requiring drug testing before hiring.
  • New Mexico leads the nation in drug testing requirements for new hires, with about 2.3% of LinkedIn job listings requiring pre-hire drug screening.
  • New Jersey has the lowest drug testing requirements, with only about 0.26% of LinkedIn job listings in the state requiring pre-hire drug screening.

The 10 U.S. States that Require Drug Testing the Most & Least

U.S. map that shows the states with the highest and lowest percentage of job listings that drug test.

Overall, mandatory pre-employment drug testing requirements are relatively low across the nation. Our study revealed New Mexico as the national leader in pre-employment drug testing requirements, with 2.298% of job posts stipulating drug tests. The District of Columbia is the distant second place, but the gap between the two is stark, with only 1.057% of D.C. job posts requiring a drug test.

The East Coast and Northeastern states are less inclined towards pre-employment drug testing, with seven out of the top ten states requiring the least drug testing located there. This finding demonstrates a distinct geographical bias in applying drug tests within the hiring process, hinting at potential cultural, legislative, or industry-specific factors at play.

The U.S. States with the Highest Drug Testing Rates for Various Job Filters

Infographic highlighting local drug testing insights around the U.S.

Our examination of the American drug testing landscape revealed a significant contrast between pre-employment drug screening for entry-level vs. senior-level positions. For example, in Georgia, a substantial 63% of job listings that mandate drug testing in this state are for entry-level roles. Along the same lines, a mere 2.6% of Maryland job listings for senior-level positions required a drug test, again demonstrating a distinct focus on screening early-career candidates. 

Similarly, higher-salary jobs require drug testing more often than lower-paid positions. In California, for example, about 17% of jobs offering $40k+ salaries required pre-hire drug testing while just above 8% of jobs offering $100k+ salaries in the state required pre-hire drug testing.

Closing Thoughts

The U.S. pre-employment drug testing landscape is nuanced and hinges on variables like geographical location, industry, role level, and compensation. For job seekers in tech and engineering (especially in entry-level positions), being prepared for drug screening can make all the difference. 

The implications of workplace drug use stretch well beyond the job market. In the healthcare sector, the ramifications can be significant, potentially contributing to medical malpractice. If you or a loved one have experienced negligent medical care due to drug use among medical staff (or for any other reason), we can help.

In addition to seeking justice, meritorious medical malpractice claims help ensure a safer healthcare environment for everyone. Reach out to Weiss & Paarz  today if you or your loved one was needlessly and seriously injured by a medical oversight.


To gain insight into U.S. pre-employment drug testing practices, we started with a list of all 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia. Then, using LinkedIn job postings, we searched for and collected data by state for jobs that “required drug testing” in April of 2023. To determine which states drug test the most, we divided the total number of job listings requiring drug testing in each state over the total number of job listings. Next, we determined which industries require the most drug testing before hiring by dividing the number of jobs industry-wide that require drug testing over the total number of jobs in said industry. Finally, to determine the states that drug test the most based on various filters and categories, we divided the total number of job listings that require drug testing per filter category over the total number of jobs that require drug testing in each state.

Disclaimer: The historical information and specific statistics displayed above are solely designed to provide general knowledge to the public and are being used as a part of attorney marketing. Cited statistics and statements were taken from the research of various independent websites (referenced below). Weiss & Paarz did not take any steps to replicate the findings of any sources used in this infographic, nor were the numbers or results displayed above independently verified by Weiss & Paarz.



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