Tattoos and piercings are a creative way of expressing your individuality. Unfortunately, they can also be an obstacle to getting a job. For too long, there has been a shortage of tattoo and piercing-friendly jobs. But, the career landscape is starting to change! Society is becoming far more accepting of tattoos and piercings.
Many jobs allow tattoos, piercings, and brightly-colored hair. Individuality is becoming more accepted in the workplace. Even in jobs where people used to have no option but to their hide tattoos, things are changing.
Granted, this isn’t the case for every career. If you have a specific career in mind, you may want to know how accepting employers are of personal expression. Every business is entirely different. But, some lines of work are much stricter than others.
Let’s take a look at some of the types of jobs that are least (and most) accepting of tattoos, piercings, and bright-colored hair. You can significantly boost your chances of interview success by targeting the right jobs and careers.
Which Jobs Don’t Mind That You Have Tattoos?
There are many career opportunities for people with tattoos and piercings, including positions where you work from home. It’s impossible to list out every company that accepts body modifications. But, you don’t have to settle for a low-paying career.
There are career paths that are more accepting than others. This guide will focus on those paths. If you have an interest in anything that relates to these particular careers, you’re in luck. They are likely to look past your modifications and be more interested in what you have to offer.
If you think you might be interested in a career path that isn’t on this list, don’t worry. Again, more careers are becoming accepting of body modifications all the time. This also isn’t an exclusive list. If you have a genuine interest in something, you should give it a try. Every company has a different attitude towards personal expression in the workplace.
Here are some ways to tell if your interview went well.
Why Don’t Some Companies Allow Tattoos and Piercings?
Many stigmas go along with artistic body modifications. While these are changing, some companies still hold onto them.
There are usually three main reasons tattoos are frowned upon in professional industries:
- Unprofessional in some careers. Even as the stigma lifts, some employers/industries won’t let go of old stereotypes.
- Distracting. Depending on the type of ink you have, they could distract other employees or customers. Sometimes, it could even spark a conversation. Unfortunately, that conversation can often turn to disagreement.
- Connected with criminal behavior. They are also often connected to gang activity. It doesn’t matter what type of ink you have. Some businesses will always link these themes together, and there’s nothing that you can do that will change things.
These beliefs and business models are somewhat outdated. But, there are still many companies that don’t allow tattoos for these reasons. Before you apply for a particular job, it’s a good idea to find out the policies of a company.
Jobs That Don’t Allow Tattoos
Before we get into the career paths that DO accept tattoos, let’s look at some sectors that aren’t as keen. Remember, this doesn’t include every company in that sector. Don’t give up a career you’re passionate about just because it ‘usually’ doesn’t accept body modifications. But, if you have a lot of piercings, tattoos, etc., you may want to look elsewhere.
- Healthcare: Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries. So, they are hiring more people than ever. Because of this, tattoos and piercings are becoming more acceptable, because more people have them. But, many times they need to be covered by clothing, etc. It’s also still a competitive industry. If you have large, noticeable tattoos, you may not get preference in a job over someone with no modifications. You may still be able to train to become a phlebotomist (and find work) if you cover up your tattoos and removing piercings while at work.
- Administrative: Many office jobs do accept tattoos and piercings. But, when you’re a receptionist or administrative assistant, it can be harder. You are usually the first face people see. Some employers want their administrative workers always to look professional. They may be hesitant to hire you if you have visible piercings, tattoos, or colored hair.
- Legal: The legal field is one of the strictest when it comes to professionalism. Frankly, there aren’t many lawyers with visible tattoos. If you want to start your own practice, you may be able to get away with it. But, if you’re starting out in the legal field, it’s going to be tough.
- Teachers: This varies based on public/private schools. It also can vary depending on the part of the country you’re teaching. But, many schools aren’t eager to hire teachers with tattoos and piercings. They can be distracting for students. If you work with young children, some parents can complain that tattoos set a bad example. Every person will have their perspective on whether you’re a positive role model.
- Government: A job in government can be taken similarly to a role in the legal field.
- Law enforcement: Body art doesn’t usually work for police officers. Piercings can become dangerous. Suspects can pull on them and cause harm to officers trying to make an arrest. Tattoos still carry a negative stigma. They can be intimidating and associated with crime.
- Management: Most office jobs have general dress code policies. Sometimes, managers can get away with breaking the rules a bit. But, don’t assume that just because you’ve gotten a promotion, your tattoos are okay. Most of the time, businesses expect their managers to have an even more professional demeanor than other employees.
Many of these jobs depend on where your tattoos are located. If you can cover them easily or they are small, you may be able to get away with it. If your ink could be controversial or distracting, you’re probably not likely to have a career in these fields. The face and neck are hard to conceal.
Jobs That Don’t Mind Piercings and Tattoos
Some companies are changing the old stigmas. Businesses are starting to hire people with tattoos because it promotes diversity.
These companies want people with a sense of individuality. They want people with fun personalities who aren’t afraid to be creative. The acceptance is becoming more common in the 21st century. Some jobs that used to be ‘off limits’ for people with ink are now entirely open to the idea.
Let’s take a look at some of the most lucrative careers for people with body art of any kind:
1] The Beauty Industry
To the beauty and cosmetics industry, tattoos are often considered a plus! They express creativity and individualism. This industry is all about color and being cutting edge. People with tattoos and piercings fit the mold perfectly.
Common jobs within this field include stylists and makeup artists. Massage therapists and cosmetologists are also a favorite. You can find a job within the beauty industry pretty quickly with fast training.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to how successful your beauty career is. You can work in a salon or start your own business. You can create an even more lucrative career by choosing your clients wisely. There are many makeup artists and stylists to the stars. Depending on where you work, you could find yourself with some high-paying clientele.
No matter where you work, though, let your individuality shine. People come to beauty salons because they want something new. They expect you to be exciting and different. When you show you aren’t afraid to express yourself, your clients will appreciate it.
2] IT Jobs
Tech jobs are becoming more prominent than ever. There is an ever-growing need for qualified individuals. What’s the best part? Most people are willing to judge you on your skills, not your ink. You can either work for a tech company or find freelance opportunities. If you’re good with computers, that’s all that matters in this industry.
It’s always important to carry yourself professionally. This is never truer than when you’re working with the public or if you’re providing a similar service. But, this industry allows a bit more freedom as long as you’re productive and competent.
3] Artistic Career Fields
Want a fulfilling job where you can be yourself? Let your creative juices guide you! You don’t need to be a ‘starving artist’ of any kind just because you have piercings and ink. The creative industry has changed over the last decade thanks to technology. Freelancing has become extremely popular. There are endless opportunities for creative people to work on their own. When you’re your own boss, your appearance may not matter as much.
Some popular artistic fields to consider include:
- Graphic design
- Interior design
If you consider yourself a creative person, you could make a solid career out of it. Different amounts of schooling may be necessary for each job. But, some can be done with minimal training. Whether you work for yourself or a company, self-expression is accepted and encouraged in this industry. The more creative you are, the better!
Many of the creative jobs listed above can fall under the marketing category. But, there are much more in the marketing field that can also be considered. Advertising agencies are always looking for creative people to hire. Tattoos, piercings, or loud hair colors are a great way to stand out. They can show that you have a sense of individuality to offer to a marketing firm.
If you’re skilled in an artistic field (photography, design, etc.) and don’t want to do freelance work, consider a marketing firm. These firms are unique in many ways. Many times, even their sales representatives will have tattoos. They may also dress more casually, and treat clients like friends.
The world of marketing is drastically changing. New, creative people are desperately needed because the competition is so fierce. Tattoos aren’t a hindrance in this field. They can be an asset.
5] The Entertainment Industry
If your tattoos, piercings, and hair color show off your personality, you would probably do well in an entertainment career. It’s not as hard to get into the entertainment industry as you may think. Not everyone will be a celebrity. But, this industry spans so much more than that. It’s all about personality. If your body modifications are a reflection of that, you could do quite well!
One of the best jobs in the entertainment industry is becoming a radio host or a DJ. You’ll get to express yourself on the air every day. People won’t even usually see you, but tattoos aren’t often a problem at radio stations. Other options include alternative modeling, acting, or singing.
The success of an entertainment career can be slightly less predictable than others. But, many entertainment jobs have a solid foundation. Find the one that fits your personality, and you could have a successful career there for years.
6] Home and Industrial Construction
Construction may not seem like a glamorous job. But, it can be a high-paying job if you have a knack for it. Plus, there are many different types of construction jobs. Commercial construction provides a lot of job security since there is always something to be done.
When it comes to commercial construction, contracting, or electric, it doesn’t matter what you look like. Your abilities are what matter. Plus, you won’t often work directly with the public. It’s not necessarily a ‘customer service’ job, even though you’re providing a quality service.
Construction companies are all different. Their policies on whether you can have tattoos may vary. For the most part, though, they aren’t usually a problem. You may be required to cover up or remove your piercings for safety reasons. But, it’s unlikely that you wouldn’t get hired for a job because of them. If you have the right skills and knowledge for a construction-type job, there are many available that won’t be affected by any body modification.
7] Food Service
The food service industry can be fickle about tattoos and piercings. If you work as a waiter, you may be required to cover them up. But, professional chefs and kitchen staff members often have many tattoos.
When you work in a professional kitchen, you’re behind the scenes most of the time. Occasionally, chefs will be asked to step out into the restaurant. This is usually so people can complement their dishes. In most cases, though, a member of a kitchen staff will stay in the kitchen. So, most employers don’t have a problem hiring people with tattoos, piercings, etc. As long as they can do their job well, that’s all that matters.
Even some of the fanciest restaurants in the world have chefs who are covered in tattoos. It doesn’t lessen their ability to make great food. If you have an interest in culinary arts and body art, this is a great option.
8] Commercial Drivers
Driving for a delivery service or driving a taxi are both solid choices for people with body art. Pay scales vary depending on how much you work and the part of the country you might be in. But, you can usually ‘choose’ how much you make by working more.
Most companies that hire drivers don’t care about appearance. You can still have a professional look if you have tattoos. A clean driving record and proper demeanor are more important. Many drivers nowadays are considered to be self-employed. So, you can choose to present yourself to your customers how you see fit.
9] Personal Trainer
Personal trainers are usually self-employed. They can also be hired by gyms. But, it’s another career where individuality can be beneficial. It won’t be looked down upon. When you’re a personal trainer, you’ll work one-on-one with clients. You may have artwork on your body that is a reflection of what you do. It may even show off things like muscles or a healthy body.
Your clients will be more concerned with how you can help them get fit. It’s more important that you’re in good shape as a trainer. If you have a healthy body, that is likely all your clients will see. Tattoos won’t make a difference.
Tattoos can be beneficial for some trainers. They are often associated with a sense of ‘toughness.’ If you’re trying to brand yourself as a tough trainer who will get results, your tattoos could be a good marketing strategy.
Should You Avoid Certain Tattoos or Markings?
Even as the job market changes, you need to keep tattoos in mind. They may be more acceptable now than a few years ago. But, it doesn’t mean all tattoos are a good idea.
Consider the type of career you might want before getting a tattoo in the first place. Getting a solid job can be hard enough on its own. You don’t want to make it harder for yourself with ink that can’t be hidden.
If you want that new piece of body art, consider where you might be putting it. Can it be covered easily? Could it offend or distract someone? Sometimes, having tattoos isn’t the real problem. It’s the message behind them that can deter employers from hiring you.
You should avoid anything that could be seen as inappropriate. This is especially true in a professional setting. Everyone’s opinion is different. But, most people can see the difference between art and something offensive. If you have a tattoo that sends a specific message toward an idea, a group, or an individual, it likely won’t go over well with most employers. Choose neutral designs, or be able to hide them well at work.
Piercings can be taken out if necessary, even if it’s just during working hours. But, some people get piercings that can stretch out your skin. If you take a piercing out and it leaves a noticeable ‘hole,’ it may be frowned upon by your job. Try to keep things discrete when you’re working.
Will Tattoos Ever Be Acceptable at Work?
Tattoos are more acceptable now than ever before. You can see from this guide that there are still many industries where they aren’t common. But, that doesn’t mean every employer within that industry feels the same way.
The baby boomer generation is starting to retire. Even big businesses and professional companies are turning over a new leaf. A younger generation is beginning to take over. It’s likely that tattoos will only continue to be more widely accepted.
If you already have body art and have had a hard time finding a job, don’t worry. You could just be looking in the wrong field. Don’t sell yourself short. You shouldn’t assume your tattoos automatically mean you should have a lower-paying job. As you can tell, there are many career paths you can take. Most of the jobs listed can be quite lucrative. They will also give you the freedom of expression you’re looking for in the workplace.
The negative stigmas behind tattoos are fading. If you have ink, put some thought into how it might affect your career. If you’re still ready to take the plunge, there can still be many different options available to you. There are also ways to train for a new career in less than 12 months.
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