Pre-Employment Physical Exams 101: Everything You Need to Know

An examination room at a doctor's office.

You searched and applied to dozens of jobs. Then, it finally came! An offer for a job interview was a welcomed relief.

You did more research, and you were able to nail the interview. You even got a job offer! But, your employer mentioned a pre-employment physical. What the heck is that?

Why do you need to get a physical, and what should you expect? Read on to get all the information you need about a pre-employment physical.

Why Do I Need a Physical to Work?

Are you one of the few Americans who devote time each day to exercising? Statistics prove only about 5% of Americansspend half an hour exercising every day.

In all, only about 33% of adults are getting the exercise they need.

With that in mind, is it any wonder why many businesses want to know your health status before they hire you? Employers often ask for pre-employment physicals to:

  • Find qualified candidates
  • Verify an employee can meet the physical demands of the job
  • Ensure workplace safety
  • Reduce the chances of a worksite injury

The main reason why employers ask for these tests is to find qualified candidates. By law, employers cannot discriminate against candidates whose physicals reveal disabilities.

Can I Fail a Physical?

So, what types of jobs would ask you to complete a pre-employment physical? Jobs that need you to perform specific physical duties will ask you to take this step.

That means you can ‘fail’ a physical if it’s determined you can’t meet the job’s expectations. Your employer may withdraw the job offer for a business-related reason.

Keep in mind that your potential employer can’t ask for a physical unless you’ve gotten a job offer. In short, all the non-medical aspects of hiring should be complete if you’re asked to get a physical.

They can ask you about your ability to perform the job at the pre-offer stage, though.

What to Expect During a Physical

If you’re not a fan of visiting the doctor, then a physical can feel intimidating. Knowing what to expect will ease your fears. Here’s what will happen during a pre-employment screening:

  • A doctor will take your height measurements
  • Your weight will be documented
  • Your doctor will calculate your body mass index
  • A stethoscope will check your heart and lungs
  • Your blood pressure will get checked
  • A doctor will examine your ears, nose, and throat
  • You’ll have an eye examination
  • You’ll need to provide a urine sample

These non-invasive steps are all meant to help you decide whether to accept the offer or not. They’re meant to verify that you can meet the physical demands of the position you got offered.

If something gets found during the physical, then you’ll have a chance to address it.

Are You Ready for Your Pre-Employment Physical?

After you’re offered a job, a pre-employment physical is the last thing you need to do. Once you’ve mastered the appointment, you’ll be ready to start work.

Are you ready to make your appointment? Be sure to complete any paperwork before your appointment to speed up the process.

Certified Urgent Care badge