Best Jobs That Don’t Mind Visible Tattoos

bearded man with tattoo

A visible tattoo won’t necessary destroy your job prospects. | iStock.com

Finding a good job that pays well and doesn’t make you want to run home screaming is hard to do. However a job search could become dicey when you have visible tattoos. About 3 in 10 Americans have at least one tattoo, up from 2 in 10 four years ago, according to Harris Poll research. Furthermore, 7 in 10 people have two or more tattoos. Well-done body art can be nice to look at, but could a visible tattoo hamper your job search?

Although employers are becoming a bit more accepting of tatted candidates, some are still hesitant to extend a job offer. Roughly 37% of hiring managers agreed tattoos are the third most likely physical attribute that limits career potential, according to research by skincare company Skinfo.

Some employers are also concerned about how their hiring decision will impact the bottom line. Some fear hiring a candidate with visible tattoos could negatively impact a customer’s expectations regarding customer service. Despite concerns about tattoos, there are still some industries where tattoos don’t matter all that much. Here are 10 jobs that don’t mind visible tattoos.

1. Chef

Median annual salary: $43,180

If you have an opportunity to spend some time with a chef, chances are he or she will have a couple of tattoos. In fact, the prevalence of tattoos among chefs is so common that authors Wendy MacNaughton and Isaac Fitzgerald wrote a book about it called Knives and Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos. But not all establishments have been accepting of chefs with visible tattoos. The organization has since reversed its policy, but at one time Fairmont Hotels & Resorts had a policy of not hiring candidates with visible tattoos, regardless of the job position.   

2. Photographer

young man photographer take photos on the beach

Quite a few photographers have visible tattoos. | iStock.com/Zephyr18

Median annual salary: $34,070

Working as a photographer also allows you to sport tattoos without much of a problem. This is a creative career where you can call the shots for the most part. Similar to the situation with the chef book mentioned above, when author Stella Kramer noticed the number of photographers who had visible tattoos, she decided to write a blog post on it (Photographers and their Tattoos).

3. CEO

businessman sitting on a white modern chair

CEOs come in all flavors these days. | iStock.com/feedough

Median annual salary: $103,950

When you own your own company, you can dress and accessorize pretty much however you want. No one knows this better than today’s tech CEOs. It’s not uncommon to see them shun a tailored suit in favor of a hoodie or some other casual attire. And CEOs are also embracing the tattoo. One example is Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse, an online education platform. So if you want to start your own company, don’t let your tattoo sleeve stop you from taking the next step. 

4. Fashion designer

young woman in colorful mini dress

Tattoos and fashion go together quite well. | iStock.com/Aleksander Kaczmarek

Median annual salary: $65,170

The life of a fashion designer revolves around art, and sometimes that art is on his or her body. In the world of fashion, an artist has the freedom to express him or herself however the artist sees fit. Tattoos are not an unusual part of the fashion and design scene. Some famous fashion designers with tattoos are Marc Jacobs (his collection of tattoos includes a smiling Sponge Bob SquarePants on his right arm) and Shane Vitaly Foran.

5. Barber/hairdresser/cosmetologist

Girl with red lipstick and short hair in black T-shirt

Hair stylists, barbers, and cosmetologists with tattoos are common. | iStock.com/deniskomarov

Median annual salary: $24,300

The beauty industry is focused on looking your best and enhancing one’s outer appearance, so tattoos aren’t foreign in workplaces, such as a hair salon or spa. (A high-end salon might not be as tolerant.) And if you work at a tattoo shop, you’ll definitely be accepted. There are even some establishments that combine tattoo services with hair services. One example is Boston Barber & Tattoo Company, which is both a barber shop and tattoo parlor.

6. Freelance writer

Young man with glasses working on his notebook

Freelance writers generally have flexibility with dress code. | iStock.com/NakoPhotography

Median annual salary: $61,240

If you work from home, one of the best parts of being a freelance writer is that no one knows what you’re wearing. You could be in your pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers, and it doesn’t matter, as long as your work is done. Remote workers in all kinds of fields, not just freelance writers, can enjoy the benefits of a flexible work schedule and dress code. If you have a tattoo, it won’t bother your co-workers because they can’t see you (unless you’re on a video conference call).

7. Personal trainer

Female workout in gym

One company even offered to pay its workers to get a tattoo of their logo. | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Median annual salary: $38,160

Fitness clubs and gyms are generally lenient when it comes to their workers sporting visible tattoos. One fitness chain, Anytime Fitness, even encourages it. The company recently received attention when it advertised that it would offer to tattoo or reimburse employees who tattooed the company’s logo on their body. Talk about a liberal work environment (or perhaps it’s just looking for some additional ways to advertise). Either way, tattooed employees are welcome.

8. Electrician

man with hard hat

Few people will be bothered if you’re an electrician with tattoos. | iStock.com

Median annual salary: $52,720

If you’re thinking of working as an electrician but you’re hesitant because of visible tattoos, not to worry. According to Redditors in the field, visible tattoos are just fine for an electrician. One Redditor who said he has visible tattoos on his arms said no one cares when it comes to this matter. The general consensus was face and neck tattoos are not as widely accepted.

9. Musician/singer

Adam Levine

Musicians and singers are free to express themselves through ink. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Median salary: $25.14 per hour

Do you have a musical talent? If you have tattoos and you’re thinking of working in the music industry, you’ll feel right at home. It’s quite rare to come across a musician or singer who doesn’t have a tattoo these days. Some well-known musical artists who rely heavily on ink to express themselves are pop star Justin Bieber, rapper Wiz Khalifa, and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.

10. Construction worker

engineer, construction worker

Many construction workers display visible tattoos without an issue. | iStock.com

Median annual salary: $32,230

All kinds of tattoos are welcome in the construction industry. Many construction workers display visible tattoos without an issue. If you’re considering a career in the construction industry, you don’t have to limit yourself to the typical jobs you see when you pass a construction site. There are plenty of construction jobs that involve management and other office-based roles. Construction managers, for example, earn a median annual salary of $89,300.

Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.

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