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Pros and Cons of Different Drug Testing Certification Programs

  • By: Andrew Easler, Esq.
  • Published: Sep, 17 2015
  • Updated: Dec, 20 2022

Becoming a credentialed drug screening professional can offer you access to a rewarding career, but getting started might not be as easy as it seems. You’ll need to determine which type of certification you wish to pursue, and each comes with its pros and cons. You’ll also need to determine industry demand for your area for each of several types of drug testing certification programs, as this will determine your success after completing the course.

Urine Specimen Collection

The most commonly used type of drug screening method, urine specimens, can give insight into a donor’s recent drug use. There is a significant demand for graduates of these types of drug testing certification programs. However, the flip side of that coin is that there are more credentialed urine specimen collection professionals than what you might find in other sectors.

Breath Test Technician

Breath tests are used to determine whether or not an individual is under the influence at the time of the test. Because of this limitation, they’re not as frequently used as urine tests or even hair tests for that matter. While that means there is less demand for professionals with these credentials, it also means less competition in the job market.

Blood Specimen Collection

Blood tests are used much less frequently than urine tests in employment drug screening, but they play a role in many other areas. There is good demand for this skillset, but professionals will find that there are plenty of licensed phlebotomists already working in the medical industry. Of course, as a licensed phlebotomist, you can work in other areas, including in cancer treatment centers, hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and more.

Industry Variation

It should be noted that there is are significant differences between the types of drug testing certification programs designed to be compliant with DOT regulations, and those designed for use outside the transportation industry. DOT-compliant programs have specific rules and requirements for those earning their credentials that may or may not apply to drug screening outside the authority of the Department of transportation. While all-in-one courses provide a grounding in both DOT and Non-DOT drug testing, they take longer to complete. Candidates should ensure they know whether they want to pursue credentialing through a DOT-compliant training program, or one designed to give them training for other areas.

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