Tattoos have a way of making us feel good about ourselves – they allow us to feel more confident and appear more approachable, sexy, or powerful. With that in mind, it would be a real shame if we had to give it all up because of our professional prospects.
Fortunately, some of these tattoos in the workplace statistics suggest that the modern workplace is becoming more tolerant of diversity, tattoos including, with each passing year, and with each climb on the corporate ladder that millennials make, as they are the most tattooed and tattoo-friendly generation.
Considering this, you might think that frowning over tattoos in the workplace is long behind us, but can you be sure that tattoos and jobs discrimination is a discussion of the past?
Take a look at the newest stats & facts before you decide to go “under the needle”.
Top 10 Core Tattoos in the Workplace Statistics
- 63% of people over 60 don’t approve of tattoos in the office.
- More than half of the general population considers tattooed individuals as lacking in seriousness.
- The type of profession dictates the tolerance for tattoos in the workplace.
- Job candidates with visible tattoos are discriminated against in almost 100% of airline companies.
- Millennial parents approve in 70 percent of people with tattoos in child care.
- Only 23% of employers will employ a professional regardless of the number and location of their tattoos.
- Getting a tattoo that doesn’t look professional is the 4th most common reason for regretting it.
- Workplace diversity is greatly affected by tattoo discrimination in the recruiting process.
- US recruiting managers are reducing their pool of candidates by more than 30% if they discriminate against tattoos.
- Six in ten employers wouldn’t hire a candidate with a face tattoo.
Tattoo Discrimination Statistics from the Customer’s Perspective
1. More than half of the general population considers that tattooed people lack seriousness.
A survey including 5,000 people in 2014, revealed that 49% of the general public had no prejudice about tattooed people in terms of taking them seriously, whereas 51% of the surveyed said that they did make this distinction. In detail, 22% stated that they take tattooed people less seriously than non-tattooed people, 18.6% said that their judgment depended upon the situation, and 9.9% said that it all depends on the number of tattoos. And yet, roughly 40% of people between the age of 18 and 34 have a tattoo.
2. Tattoos in the workplace statistics show that 63% of people over 60 don’t approve of tattoos in the office.
As the survey conducted by Salary.com shows, people aged 18-25 are the most tolerant towards tattoos in the workplace, with only 22% considering them inappropriate. Overall, 42% of the surveyed felt that visible tattoos are inappropriate at the office, with percentages that went higher for every older age group, and expectedly finishing at 63% for those who were 60 or older.
3. In the list of jobs that are tattoo-friendly, professional athletes are at the top based on the approval rates in the tattoos and jobs statistics.
(The Harris Poll; Statista; Executive Style)
When it comes to tattoos and jobs, the general public seems to accept them more in athletes (86%) than, for example, in politicians and high school teachers (59%). Fitness industry statistics show that tattoos are just as acceptable for personal trainers as for athletes because they add to the body image, which is the core of the profession. By estimates published in the Australian Executive Style, at least half of the male professional football players own tattoos covering a big portion of their chest and arms.
4. The type of profession dictates the tolerance for tattoos in the workplace, statistics show.
Visible tattoos and jobs correlation survey from 2019 shows that for certain professionals it is generally more acceptable to own tattoos. For example, 37% of the surveyed thought that doctors with tattoos are strongly or somewhat unacceptable, whereas waitresses and waiters with tattoos were judged as acceptable by 70% of respondents.
Other tolerable jobs for people with tattoos were shown to be police officers (62%), and top managers (56%). Judges with tattoos were the most harshly judged (pun intended) with the approval of only 38% of the surveyed.
5. Tattoo discrimination statistics show that millennials are more comfortable with “inked” professionals than the general public.
(The Harris Poll)
47% of US millennials have a tattoo, so their tolerance toward tattooed professionals is not surprising. A Harris Poll survey reveals that 52% of millennials are extremely comfortable with visibly tattooed brokers, compared to only 37% of the public in general. Similar to this, 54% of millennials highly approve of police officers with tattoos, as opposed to 39% of the general public. Likewise, for presidential candidates with tattoos, the acceptance ratios were 46% vs. 32%.
6. Tattoos in the workplace statistics reveal that millennial parents are comfortable with tattooed professionals in child care.
(The Harris Poll)
Americans with kids in their household are twice as likely as others to have a tattoo (43% vs. 21%) – a 2015 survey reveals. Consequently, school staff jobs can nowadays be considered as professions that allow tattoos, including visible tattoos.
81% of millennial parents were shown to be comfortable with a tattooed coach, 75% with a tattooed high school teacher, and 73% approve of tattooed camp counselors and sitters. For primary school teachers and pediatricians, the approval rate was 71%.
7. Statistics on tattoos in the workplace reveal that medical patients don’t mind the tattoos and piercings of their physicians.
2018 study results may shake the existing hospital policy on tattoos and piercings. Namely, the studied 1000 emergency-care adult patients would give the same high marks for doctors 75% of the time, regardless of whether or not they had visible piercings and tattoos. The study concludes that, despite the unfavorable view towards tattoos in the medical field, patients actually don’t mind consulting a physician with visible body adornments like tattoos or piercings.
Tattoo Acceptance in the Workplace Statistics from the Employer’s Perspective
8. Cabin crew job applicants with visible tattoos are discriminated against in almost 100% of airline companies.
If you have any visible tattoos, you can say goodbye to your flight attendant career. Almost every airline has strict rules when it comes to visible tattoos, and this question always pops up on the first interview. The flying crew members are not allowed to have visible tattoos or piercings when wearing their uniform, and most don’t allow tattoos even when they can be covered with makeup.
9. Tattoos in the workplace discrimination stats show that only 23% of employers would employ someone regardless of their tattoos.
In a 2014 survey, 77% of the employers that were surveyed disagreed with the statement that they would hire someone regardless of their tattoos. 14% of them said that they were less likely to hire a tattooed person, while 35% stated that it depends on the job position that they are applying for. Also, 28% of them said that their decision depends on how many tattoos the candidate has and whether or not they were visible.
10. Tattoos in the workplace statistics show that a bad impact on the professional image is the 4th most common reason for regretting a tattoo.
(The Harris Poll; Statista)
In 2019, 40% of tattooed individuals said that they had their first tattoo done before or at the age of 18, hence, they rarely considered any possible professional implications. A 2015 survey revealed that 23% of them regretted at least one of their tattoos, mostly because they were too young to choose the right one. “It doesn’t look professional” was the fourth most common reason for regretting a tattoo.
11. Workplace diversity is affected by tattoo discrimination, statistics about the recruiting process reveal.
National data shows that ethnic and racial minorities in the US are more likely to be tattooed than Caucasians, and the majority of them are women. US figures dating from 2006 show that 38% of US Hispanics and 28% of the African Americans have tattoos. These figures, in correlation with the 22% of the Caucasians that reported being inked, lead to the conclusion that discriminating against tattooed professionals can lead to reduced diversity in the workplace regarding both ethnic/racial, and gender diversity.
12. Given the big percentage of people with tattoos, US managers have 30% fewer candidates when discriminating against tattoos.
(Daily Nexus; BBC; Statista)
Currently, around 46% of the US population is tattooed, making it the third country in the world by the percentage of tattooed people. What’s more, an estimated 65% of tattooed Americans had more than one tattoo in 2019, and 3% had more than 20 tattoos. Statistics show that this trend intensifies, with no end in sight. Consequently, a manager that has a “no tattoo policy” reduces his or her pool of potential candidates by 30% or more.
13. Tattoo statistics by year show that the increase of tattoo popularity can improve the hiring chances of tattooed professionals in some cases.
The percentage of US adults with at least one tattoo has doubled since 2013, and some employers even prefer tattooed professionals. In a study led by the Universities of Miami and Australia regarding the connection between tattoos and jobs in 2018, men that had tattoos were shown to have 7.3% greater employability than men with no tattoos.
14. Six in ten employers wouldn’t hire a candidate with a face tattoo, tattoo discrimination statistics show.
Tattoos in the workplace figures show that even tattoo-friendly companies would think twice before hiring someone with a face tattoo. The international data provided by YouGov revealed that 61% of employers globally wouldn’t hire a candidate with a face tattoo, and 17% stated that they would give slightly lower chances to that applicant. Furthermore, 40% of the surveyed employers wouldn’t hire someone with a neck tattoo, and 32% wouldn’t hire someone with tattoos on their hands. 25% were against hiring someone that sports a sleeve tattoo.
Are tattoos in the workplace acceptable?
It depends on the workplace and the work position. In some professions, like healthcare, law, politics, and finance, which are greatly dependent on the trust-inspiring public image, it can still be a challenge to sport a tattoo. However, people working in the fitness industry, the automotive industry, or others, enjoy higher tolerance. That being said, the acceptance of tattoos in the workplace also depends on the number and the visibility of the tattoos that an individual has.
Can you be turned down for a job because of tattoos?
In short – yes, because, for the moment, observations on tattoos and employment law in the US show no regulations that protect tattooed individuals from discrimination. So, most companies and institutions are free to promote a “no-tattoo” policy. However, these trends are decreasing, and today, tattoos and job interviews data shows that the chances for tattooed professionals to land a job are influenced by the number of tattoos, their visibility, and the overall physical appearance, including other adornments like piercings or facial hair as beard statistics indicate.
What jobs allow you to have tattoos?
There are plenty of high paying jobs that allow tattoos, like the professions in the showbiz, and professional athletes. Other industries that offer jobs that are tattoo-friendly are the fitness industry, hospitality, tourism, arts and media, recreation, retail, IT, and management. Of course, every job position that has no direct contact with clients is usually tattoo-friendly.
What percent of millennials have a tattoo?
Tattoos are especially popular among younger generations in the US population, and nearly half of millennials (47%) sports one. 37% of them own more than one tattoo. In comparison, 36% of the Gen X-ers, and only 3% of baby boomers have tattoos.
What percentage of the population has a tattoo?
Approximately 46% of the US population has at least one tattoo, putting America in 3rd place on a global scale according to the percentage of the population that is tattooed, following Italy in the first place, and Sweden in the second.
The debate around tattoos and jobs discrimination is slowly but surely becoming obsolete given that nearly half of the US population has tattoos. However, the stigma and stereotypes surrounding tattoos are still deeply implanted in the social consciousness everywhere, even in people that are themselves tattooed. Nevertheless, tattoos in the workplace statistics give a reasonable hope, especially for those who don’t have too many visible tattoos that getting inked will not leave a stain in their career.