Can Tattoos Really Affect Your Employment? 3 Things To Consider Before Getting Inked

Posted on: 7 August 2017


If you're considering a tattoo and you mention it to family or friends, you'll probably find that many of them have lots of opinions on whether or not you should get a tattoo. One opinion you'll probably hear from at least a few of them is that you'll have a harder time getting a job if you get a tattoo. But is that really true? Take a look at a few things to consider.

Good News and Bad News

When it comes to tattoos and employment, opinions have mellowed over time. Across the board, employers have become more accepting of tattoos in many fields. A more tolerant outlook on body art applies not just to applicants for blue-collar positions or art-related fields, but also to applicants looking to work in finance, education, and healthcare.

On the other hand, there are still obstacles. One study from 2011 found that 31% of employers considered a visible tattoo an attribute that would discourage them from hiring a particular employee. And even among employers that will consider employees with tattoos generally, a specific tattoo might be a deterrent if the employer thinks it may offend clients, customers, or coworkers.

Work-Friendly Tattoo Locations

Of course, there's a simple way to have your tattoo and your dream job as well – just make sure that the tattoo that you get isn't visible at work or on job interviews. This isn't necessarily as limiting as it may seem at first.

In addition to obvious locations where you could hide a tattoo under your clothing, like your upper arms, back, torso, and on your legs above the knee, there are some less obvious spots where you could make sure that a tattoo is invisible when you want it to be and visible when you want to show it off. For example, if you have long hair, you might consider a tattoo on the back of your neck. Wear your hair down at work and up in your off hours. 

A tattoo on your wrist or one of your fingers could be covered with a ring, bracelet, or watch during work hours. And there are even makeup kits that you can buy that will effectively cover a small facial tattoo during work hours.

You can also talk with a tattoo shop, like Evil and Love Tattoo, and ask them where the best spots are for less visible tattoos.

Consider Your Career Path

Don't want to have to cover up your tattoos for work? If you're just starting out in your career or still deciding what field you want to work in, it's worth considering whether or not you're suited for a career where a tattoo won't be a detriment.

Tech startups and socially liberal non-profits tend to be accepting of body art and other personal expressions of style. Non-client facing jobs often offer greater freedom for self-expression, since your employer won't have to deal with pressure from clients to hire people who look a certain way for that job. And there's always the possibility of going into business for yourself. If you're the type of person who really wants to rock a visible tattoo, then you may also be the type of person who will be happier and more successful in a field that accepts individual styles and doesn't encourage conformity.

So, is a tattoo really a detriment to employment? It depends on the tattoo, the placement, and the job, but the job outlook for ink lovers is much brighter than it used to be, and the chances are good that you can have both great job and a tattoo if you want one. Don't let fear of unemployment stop you from exploring your body art options.