Do Welders Get Drug Tested? The TRUTH [2021]

“Do welders get drug tested?” is a question a lot of you might have in your mind.

As technology is taking over the world, there are only a few manual labor jobs left which pays well.

One of them is Welding.

Marijuana or Weed is now legalized in many states, and several new laws have been made around them.

If you are serious about becoming a welder and worried about drug tests, read till the end as you have come to the right place.

Most information on this topic is either not explained well or is outdated! With the sole purpose of helping you, we have created this article.

Do welders get drug tested?
Do welders get drug tested?

Do Welding Jobs Require Drug Tests?

Yes, Most of the jobs need drug tests to be done.

If the company does any sorts of DOT(Department of Transportation) or DOD (Department of Defense) work, then absolutely yes. Rarely, they don’t. 

Welding jobs are highly dangerous and one needs to be sober and attentive to avoid any accidents that might happen if you are careless.

As marijuana is legal in 9 states in the US and according to data 1 in 5 American consumes cannabis in the form of Edible or Smoke.

This has led to a steep decline in pre-employment drug testes positives and screens.

Nevertheless, you don’t want to be taking chances based on this data. 

If you get started with a well-paying welding job that doesn’t require any drug tests, good for you.

But continuing the drug habit may affect you adversely later if you are required to take any drug tests.

Then it doesn’t matter how long you have been sober, if your test comes out positive there’ll be very high chances of you being fired and being denied all the workers compensations. 

Underwater Welding Drug Tests

Yes! Underwater Welding is life-threatening for all people. So, it is a must to take a drug test, but the frequency of the test depends upon your employer. 

An intoxicated person is just a liability to other people in this case as this is a very dangerous job. 

If you come out as positive, that means you’re stuck with a huge hospital bill, an unpaid layoff from the job, paying for the damages caused, and sometimes even jail time if you hurt someone else in any way.

Do welders get drug tested - weed

How Is It Tested?

The drug test is mainly taken in two forms:

  • Urine

If you have taken drugs of any form in the last 2 weeks from the date of the drug test, you might come out as positive.

  • Saliva

If you have taken drugs of any form in the last 14-16 hours from the time of the drug test, you might come out as positive.

Can You Say No To A Drug Test? Are You Allowed To Refuse A Drug Test?

If the employer has a drug test policy or has a history of taking drug tests, and if you have signed and agreed with this agreement, you cannot say no to the drug test.

However, if the agreement was updated without your knowledge after your induction period then you can say no.

If you say no anyhow, you might be suspicious in the eyes of your employer as well as sober co-workers.

What Drugs Do Standard Drug Tests Test For?

Under the SAMHSA( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) guidelines, the standard drug test tests for the most common 5 types of drugs. Alcohols are rarely included, 

  • Cocaine ( Also known was Coke, Crack)
  • All forms of Opiates
  • THC ( Marijuana/ Weed, hash, or in any other form)
  • Amphetamines ( Meth, Ecstasy, Crank)
  • Phencyclidine (Also known as PCP or Angel Dust)

Getting intoxicated with any of the mentioned drugs is highly dangerous for any type of work, particularly when working in welding you have to be extremely cautious.

Apart from the drugs mentioned in the standard list, sometimes private firms may test up to 14 different drugs. This depends upon the employer and the history of the firm.

What Happens If You Fail?

Failing a drug test has serious repercussions, especially if you test positive for the DOT drug test.

There are strict regulations implemented in the DOT(Department of Transportation). Following are the regulations which are carried out if you fail the drug test 

  1. You are immediately removed from your DOT covered employment
  2. You have to visit a SAP ( Substance Abuse Professional)
  3. The SAP evaluates you
  4. You have to then participate in rehabilitation and complete it.
  5. The SAP will reevaluate you
  6. If you are looking to get your DOT covered employment, you have to test negative for the drug test.

All this may lead to a big hole in your pocket, no job, and lay off from your job for an unknown amount of time.

Sometimes blacklists are made in a chain of locations which may lead to you being unemployable. 

If you are working abroad, you will have to face some serious repercussions.

Benefits for the Employers

If you look at the big picture, employers are also benefitted from drug tests. Some of the benefits are listed below 

  1. Drug tests effectually reduce the pool of employees one can hire
  2. Since, weed is legalized and can be accessed by anyone easily in any form. This led to higher usage among people thus again dramatically reducing the pool of employees and leaves those who are passionate about the job. 

If You Are Clean READ THIS!

It’s not like robots have taken over welding, there is still plenty of opportunities for individuals like YOU.

If you are clean from any form of drug, I’d suggest you stay so in your life.

There will be times where you will be tempted to try any sorts of recreational drugs, but staying away is the only path that you should follow.

Welding is a mechanical job and requires you to stay attentive, it is advised to not be intoxicated with a substance which essentially makes you lazy.

As a pro, You have an option to become a commercial vehicle operator as well which requires drug tests as a pre-requisite.

On the other hand, if you ever get tested positive or refuse a drug test with CDL it’s a straight-up career-ender.

The highest paying welding jobs like sanitary welding, or pipe welding most of the time require a drug test and a 10-year background check.

You can easily make $20K more than all of your co-workers based on those tests alone. 

Now the question you have to ask yourself is, Is it worth it to get high and potentially lose all your hard work as well as a big chunk of money?


I hope this article was helpful to you and answered all of your questions, My personal opinion would be to not smoke or use any form of drugs and stay clean until you are done with your job. 

Even if you are just an hobby welder, working in your backyards with your small welding projects, you should be drug free.

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