Do Graphic Designers Get Drug Tested?

As a graphic designer, finding job opportunities is exciting but requires many considerations. If you use drugs recreationally, you might be concerned about whether your potential employer will drug test you. So, do graphic designers get drug tested?

More often than not, graphic designers do not get drug tested. Of course, this depends on your employer – if you have one – along with other factors. Many graphic designers work independently in freelance. The percentage of graphic designers who get drug tested is very low.

Read on to learn more about whether graphic designers get drug tested. Creative industries are typically more laid back about the idea of drug testing than other corporations, but that does not mean you will never be drug tested for a graphic design job. As an independent worker, however, the chances of being required to take a drug test are slim to none.

Do Graphic Designers Get Drug Tested?

Graphic designers are not likely to get drug tested. The reason that only 3.9% of graphic designers get drug tested for a job is that graphic design is largely a freelance industry. Particularly in today’s society, remote, freelance opportunities are all the more prevalent.

Oftentimes, graphic designers are freelancers. This means that they can work on temporary contract projects that do not require them to be employed by one company for an extended time. Freelance graphic designers will likely not be drug tested for several reasons:

  • Temporary work
  • Proven portfolio
  • Cost of drug tests

A company may hire a graphic designer for contract work that lasts as little as a week. Even longer projects for a few months do not seem to incline employers to drug test graphic designers any more frequently. 

If a company or individual employer shows interest in a graphic designer, chances are they have taken a look at their portfolio and are impressed with what they have seen. If a graphic designer puts out effective work that an employer deems worthy of collaboration, they may be indifferent to the possibility of the graphic designer using drugs recreationally. 

In line with the reason that many graphic designers work temporarily with a company, an employer may not see the practicality of spending money on a temporary hire. If the employer is interested in your work and thinks you would be a good fit for the company’s vision, they would likely rather save money by not buying a drug test and require you to take it.

Long-Term Graphic Design Positions

Of course, the information mentioned above only refers to freelance graphic designers. So, what if you score an opportunity to work as a graphic designer long-term for a company?

Long-term hiring may influence employers to make their picks more exclusively. Even still, the evidence holds that a very small percentage of graphic designers are required to take drug tests before getting hired.

If you have worked in the creative industry long enough, you understand how different creatives approach the work in a variety of ways. Not everyone works cut-and-dry as other professions may require. Much of a graphic designer’s value comes from the work they have produced in the past. If it is effective work, many employers may not care how the graphic designer spends their time away from a computer.

Is It Legal To Drug Test Graphic Designers?

As with any job, it is typically permissible for employers to require a drug test. However, the employer must follow the rules set by the state in which the position will be performed. With that said, unless – as a potential employee – you can prove that a drug test is required by the employer due to discrimination or violations of state procedure, understand that drug testing is a factor in many job opportunities.

Although the chances are low that you will be asked to take a drug test as a graphic designer, you should be aware of the requirements of the state you live in and the company that is considering hiring you. If you use drugs recreationally and are asked to take a drug test, there may not be much you can argue against.

Is Drug Testing Common In Creative Industries?

One study found that less than 4% of creative employees collectively get drug tested. As you have learned above, graphic designers are probably not going to be drug tested. The same goes for many other creative industries:

  • Copywriting
  • Interior design
  • Art

These are just a few examples of the many creative jobs that are unlikely to require a drug test before hiring you.


It is not common for graphic designers to get drug tested. Because many graphic designers work in the freelance industry, there is not much reason for employers to drug test for a temporary position. Additionally, a graphic designer’s talents are shown through their portfolio. Employers may be indifferent to the possibility of a graphic designer failing a drug test.