10 Positions That Don't Require A Background Check

Last updated: April 23, 2024
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Eleana Bowman
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10 Positions That Don't Require A Background Check
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When applying for jobs, chances are you’re going to run into companies that require you to undergo a background check before you’re hired.

Though it’s normal for businesses to look into the past of potential employees, background checks (or screenings) can prove challenging for potential employees with past offenses.

Some background check requirements can be strict depending on the company’s hiring standards. On the flip side, however, there are plenty of jobs that don’t require background checks at all — and we’re here to shed some light on these opportunities.

This article will take you through the ins and outs of background investigations, including what kinds of offenses show up, what information employers can legally secure, and how to spot discriminatory practices. Plus, we’ll dig deeper into jobs that typically don’t require these checks.

What is a background check?

If you have an arrest record or a poor relationship with past employers, that can make applying for positions more complicated. However, knowing what goes into a background check can help you know what to expect, how to prepare, and what jobs to seek out.

Essentially, a background check is an accumulation, examination, and verification of a person’s private and public records. Approximately 93% of US corporations utilize record reviews to screen current and future employees.

Below, we’ll review the different types of background checks, what employers look for, why screenings are so common, and how to tackle potential employment discrimination. Plus, we’ll run through 10 positions you can pursue that are typically background check-free, from entry-level jobs to positions in the trades and more.

What is involved in a background check?

Though you may be familiar with criminal background checks and credit reports, record screenings take many different forms. With a large amount of collectible personal and private information available, you’ll want to be in the know before you dive head-first into the deep sea of job listings.

Important note: Employers are required by law to gain your written permission prior to conducting a background report, and any job seeker is within their rights to object to these screenings. That said, companies are also within their rights to turn away applicants who refuse checks.

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Background checks can include the following components:

Criminal record check

Employers can see dismissed or acquitted charges, felony convictions, arrest records, misdemeanors, and any current or pending offenses in a criminal record check. However, in order for an employer to conduct a criminal record check, the job seeker must first receive a conditional offer (excluding certain fields and felonies).

Identity verification

The most common employer-conducted check is identity and Social Security Number (SSN) verification. Using databases and records from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, employers can check the validity of a candidate’s SSN — though any pre-offer acquisitions are voluntary.

Social media review

Any public social media profiles are fair game to employers, with 67% of hiring managers using these platforms to screen potential employees.

Credit report acquisition

Though used by some employers to gauge potential employees’ financial responsibility, pulling a personal credit history is less typical for employment than it is for housing opportunities. In fact, many states have laws in place to protect job seekers from potentially discriminatory credit checks.

Confirmation of references and employment history

Employers often screen applicants by checking in with their references and verifying the past jobs listed on resumes.

Drug testing

Unless you’re applying to a federal, safety, or security position, drug testing isn’t a mandatory step for employers — though plenty do conduct it as long as local laws and policies permit.

Driving history report

Another request employers can make is access to your driving history. This is typical for jobs that require you to operate vehicles or machinery. The candidate must give written permission for the employer to access this information.

Education verification

Education checks are common for positions that require higher-level degrees, certificates, or licenses. During the application process, the hiring manager will verify any and all listed education-related accolades to ensure the applicant is qualified for the role.

Medical history

There are strict regulations around what employers are allowed to ask applicants concerning their medical history. Though hiring managers may inquire about the candidate’s ability to perform physical tasks, there should be no questions concerning possible disabilities or specific conditions during the application process.

Helpful tip: To better prepare yourself for your job search, consider conducting a background check on yourself — especially if you’re worried about marks on your record. That way, you can catch discrepancies and narrow down potential career fields based on what you find.

How do employers run background checks?

Employers can use in-house HR or third-party companies to collect and verify information. Exactly what information they decide to pull will depend on the position, state regulations, and their own discretion.

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However, there are limits to the information employers have access to and are legally allowed to consider in their decision. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission%2C%20disability%20or%20genetic%20information.) (EEOC), no screening should base results on “race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.”

Important note: If a potential or current employer conducts a background check without your permission, contact the FTC and report the incident.

Why do most employers use background checks?

Though background checks may seem frivolous and unnecessary, requirements are typically put in place to keep all parties involved safe and free from litigation. For example, hiring managers seeking drivers will likely weed out applicants with DUIs or multiple citations.

Essentially, employers use background checks as a way to protect themselves and their current employees from potentially dangerous or ill-fitting applicants.

Why don’t some employers run background checks?

If background checks are within the rights of employers, why do some opt-out?

Not only can applicant screening be costly, but some employers also find in-depth reports inconsequential to the task at hand. Additionally, many companies have sparked initiatives to help formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet by prioritizing their applications and offering them a stable source of income.

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Background checks and discrimination

Unfortunately, some employers use background checks to discriminate against applicants. Whether due to an imperfect record, racial bias, or even ageism, unlawful discrimination is a harsh reality for job seekers.

Though it can be difficult to know if discrimination has occurred, brushing up on the laws in your region can help you in your pursuit of a fair application process.

10 positions that don’t always require a background check

Whether you have a criminal record, several failed drug tests in your past, or simply want to keep your information as private as possible, there are plenty of jobs on the market that forgo many (or all) screening measures.

Below is a list of jobs to consider if you want to stay in the market — but maintain your privacy and avoid a background check.

Important note: Though the jobs on this list typically don’t require background checks, it’s up to each company’s discretion whether to use certain screenings. However, you’re always welcome to refuse unwanted checks and challenge potentially unlawful inspections.

1. Construction worker

Some of the best jobs for those looking to bypass background checks fall under the construction umbrella due to the high demand and wide variety of tasks involved in the field.

For example, roadway construction companies need help with everything from temp jobs, like traffic control flaggers, to more long-term project management. Or you can go the commercial construction route, seeking more niche trades like carpentry, electrical, or plumbing.

2. Pet care professional

Another background-less route you can take on your path to employment is pet care. Though screening like drug testing may be mandatory to ensure a safe environment for the animals involved, these types of companies can’t always afford costly checks.

Consider applying at your local shelter, boarding facility, or even for clean-up duty after animal-centered events, like rodeos or fairs.

3. Landscaper

If you’re seeking an opportunity that centers around physical labor and the outdoors, landscaping may be the perfect opportunity for you. Most entry-level landscaping jobs have few requirements. Others, however, like management or operations, may have additional steps.

Just be aware that most landscaping positions require physical labor. So if you have a physical disability, there might be better options out there for you.

4. Food service worker

Up next is food service, an industry rife with positions for anyone without a spotless history. Though each establishment will have certain applicant preferences, the food service industry (in general) is always in high demand for workers of all backgrounds.

5. Delivery driver

Though delivery driver jobs will likely pull driving records to check for past roadway offenses, other screenings, like criminal records, credit reports, and education, are often omitted.

Many traditional delivery and truck driver positions are available to people with imperfect records. That said, if you’re looking to get into the food delivery app business, big-name companies often have stricter hiring requirements.

5. Warehouse worker

Working in a warehouse may be a perfect fit for task-oriented individuals who prefer to stay behind the scenes. Plus, the chances of you securing a position with minimal to no background check requirements are high.

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However, just like landscaping and construction work, warehouse jobs often require a significant amount of physical labor. So make sure you consider your physical capabilities before applying for laborious work.

6. Customer service representative

Next on our list of jobs that don’t (often) require background checks are customer service representative positions. Though each will have unique requirements in the hiring department, most customer service companies offer excellent opportunities to people far and wide.

Plus, many of these positions have potential work-from-home opportunities. So they’re a good option if remote work is something you’d enjoy.

7. Retail specialist

Whether you’re looking for your first job or your tenth, you can always count on retail positions to be available. Once again, each company will have its own set of hiring standards, but many retail specialist positions only check applicants for identity verification.

8. Content creator

Although content creation is not for everyone, paving your own path toward a long-term career through social media is doable with the proper know-how.

9. Digital media marketing specialist

If influencing isn’t for you, but you love keeping up with current trends, maybe digital marketing will be more your speed. Though working for a marketing company may require some type of screening, marketers can easily be self-run and individually employed by clients.

As long as you have a knack for predicting trends and reading algorithms, your past shouldn’t stop you from achieving your digital marketing goals.

10. Freelance writer

Another option for applicants with imperfect records is freelance writing. Although you’ll need to meet the skill set each company you work for requires, you can find writing positions at any level.

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For example, a content writer may need prior schooling or experience to fulfill the company’s requirements. On the other hand, freelance transcriptionists can find opportunities with little more than an above-average typing score.

Getting in front of background checks

Though there are several valid reasons for companies to conduct background checks before hiring, many hardworking individuals often find themselves cut from the process before it even begins due to their history.

Fortunately, the job market is vast, and opportunities exist for people of all backgrounds — with many companies foregoing the background check process altogether. So even if you were formerly incarcerated, have a gap in your education, or want to keep your information private, there are plenty of positions available and ready for your application.

If you’re looking for jobs that don’t require background checks, you can use Jobcase for all application-related (and general employment) queries. Simply search our blog to learn more about screenings, hiring processes, and more.

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