DOT Job Groups

Dive Deeper into DOT Job Groups: Everything You Need to Know

Blog Introduction: In industries that require employees to drive commercial motor vehicles or perform safety-sensitive duties, drug and alcohol use can cause serious safety risk. That’s why the US Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates drug and alcohol testing for employees in various job groups under FMCSA, FAA, PHMSA, FRA, FTA, and USCG.  But how do these job groups differ from one another? And how can employers ensure that they are compliant with DOT regulations? In this blog post, we will provide an in-depth overview of DOT job groups and the regulations that govern them.

First, let us begin by explaining what a safety-sensitive function is. A safety-sensitive function involves performing a job duty that creates a substantial likelihood of causing bodily injury or death to the employee, other employees, or the general public if they were to perform their duties under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Common examples of safety-sensitive functions include operating commercial motor vehicles, repairing or maintaining aircraft, handling hazardous materials, and controlling maritime vessels.

There are currently six DOT agencies that issue regulations pertaining to drug and alcohol testing that cover various job groups:

• Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for commercial motor vehicles and their drivers

• Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for aircraft pilots and maintenance personnel

• Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for hazardous material transportation

• Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for locomotive engineers and trainmen

• Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for transit employees

• United States Coast Guard (USCG) for vessel operators

Each of these agencies has different regulations regarding drug and alcohol testing, and drug test panels don’t  differ between the agencies. I

So, what are the different job groups that fall under DOT regulations? Let’s examine each job group briefly:

• FMCSA job groups include one category only driver.

• FAA job groups include eight categories:

FAA: (eight categories):  Flight Crewmember Flight Attendant; Flight Instructor; Aircraft Dispatcher; AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE; Ground Security Coordinator;          Aviation Screener; Air Traffic Controller    
  • PHMSA job group includes One Category:

• FRA job groups includes five categories: 

FRA: (five categories):  Engine Service; Train Service; Dispatcher/Operation; Signal Service;
Other [Includes bridge tenders, switch tenders, yardmasters, hostlers (non-engineer craft), MOW,
and other miscellaneous employees performing 49 CFR 228.5 © defined covered service]

• FTA job groups includes five categories:

): Revenue Vehicle Operation; Revenue Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance; Revenue Vehicle Control/Dispatch; CDL/Non-Revenue Vehicle; Armed Security Personnel

• USCG job groups include one category: Crewmember

It’s essential for employers to stay up-to-date with the DOT regulations specific to the job groups their employees belong to and simple issues such as using a Medial Review Officer (MRO). Employers must have a drug and alcohol testing policy in place and ensure that their employees are aware of the policy and the consequences of violating it. DOT regulations require employers to conduct pre-employment drug screening, as well as random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty testing. Employers must also provide their employees with access to substance abuse counselors, educational materials, and treatment programs.

Drug testing is a vital component of DOT regulations that ensures the safety of employees and the general public. By understanding the different DOT agencies, job groups, and regulations, employers can stay compliant and reduce the risk of accidents that can cause severe bodily injury or death. Remember, it’s essential to provide employees with drug and alcohol testing near their location, especially with different regulations governing drug testing across agencies. So, if you want to ensure compliance with DOT regulations, search for “DOT drug test near me” or “drug test near me” to find a drug testing facility near you or simply call Workplace Screening Intelligence to utilize our more than 20,000 drug and alcohol testing sites near your workplace or your employee’s home. If you don’t understand the complex DOT rules and regulations, let our 30 years of experience be your peace of mind.  Understanding DOT job groups can be complex; however, a basic understanding of the regulations and the different job groups can go a long way in keeping your workplace safe and compliant.

If you need to order a drug test today, contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or or press on link to order a service today: