Tattoos in the Workplace: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Thinking about getting some ink? If so, you may want to check with your current or prospective employer about the workplace policy on tattoos. While tattoos can be seen as a form of self-expression, many hiring managers don’t see them as career building tools. In fact, 37 percent of HR managers cite tattoos as the third most likely physical attribute that limits career potential.

Tattoos are becoming more accepted, however, with 45 million people in the United States sporting some sort of skin art. Looking inward toward the workplace, it seems that the younger demographic finds tattoos more acceptable, with 22 percent of 18 to 25 year-olds OK with them. Those 60 years and older are sticking with tradition, with 63 percent feeling that visible tattoos are inappropriate in an office environment.

It may come as no surprise that the military is the job industry with the most tattooed staff, with 36 percent sporting ink. Those in agriculture/ranching; hospitality, tourism and recreation; and arts, media and entertainment also all ranked high on the tattoo chart.

The good news is that 73 percent of people claim they would hire staff that had visible tattoos; perhaps they are from San Francisco, Calif., the most tattoo-friendly city in the United States. Austin, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Detroit, Mich. rounded out the top five cities in America that were down with inking up. There may be bad news for those with tattoos in the south seeking employment, as 55 percent of the region perceives tattoos as inappropriate for the workplace. This is the highest region in the country by seven percent. Only three in 10 human resources managers in the country felt that bad breath and piercings were bigger red flags than visible tattoos, and zero states in the nation have laws protecting tattooed people from discrimination in company hiring practices.

Knowing this, would you cover up your tattoo to get hired? Fourteen percent of people who have tattoos regret their decision, but to remove their ink, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. The U.S. national average in 2013 for tattoo removal reached $588. That number is growing and is expected to reach a total of $83.2 million 2018. While 90,000 tattoo removals were performed in 2014, that’s not the only way for a tattoo to go unnoticed. Many tattoos can be covered up, which many hiring managers deem preferable. Beware if you’re thinking about a neck, head or face tattoo, as these carry the biggest negative stigma in the workforce. If you love your ink and want to keep it, the better condition your skin is in, the better the tattoo will look and last. Be sure to moisturize daily and use sunscreen. If you decide to contribute to the tattoo removal number, Skinfo’s Specialty Skincare Boutique can help whip your skin back into tip-top shape. Our epionce Essential Recovery Kit provides optimal healing and soothing benefits for post-care tattoo removal of post-procedure skin. Find out more here.

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