Jobs That Don’t Allow Tattoos

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 21, 2019
    Last Updated: March 11, 2022

Some careers and tattoos do not mix. While this may seem to be an outdated outlook, it’s still very much in force today, with some reasons being entirely valid, while others, less so.

Jobs that don’t allow tattoos are:

  • Law enforcement officers
  • Teachers
  • Bankers
  • Air Hostess
  • Housekeepers
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Front Office Administrators

Some of these professions are very strict about their tattoo policy at work. In some cases, these jobs require that you keep your tattoo covered at all times while working. 

In other cases, the tattoo policy is so strict that you may not even get hired with a tattoo, severely affecting job opportunities within the sector. Tattoos are highly discouraged in various careers for a multitude of reasons, whether legitimate or for seemingly archaic reasons.

If you want to work in any of these professions, then it might be a good reason not to get a tattoo until you’ve really thought it through.

This rule will differ in various institutions such as banks, hospitals and schools. While some of these organizations will just require that you cover up while at work, others discourage tattoos completely.

Law Enforcement

Imagine calling 911 to an emergency and the two police officers that arrive are inked from the neck down? I can bet that half the time, this picture does not inspire confidence. 

Thanks to societal expectations, and more often than not, a stereotype about tattoos, police officers aren’t expected to be inked.

Since tattoos are pigeonholed with criminality — rightly or wrongly — it’s obvious why law enforcement officers aren’t expected to have tattoos. It is presumed that if a police officer has a tattoo, it should be well-covered at all times.

However, you may have a bit more luck if you decide to pursue a career in military law enforcement, as the rules on tattoos here tend to be a little more relaxed.


In general, a visible tattoo may be a stumbling block to many individuals seeking employment as teachers.

The teaching profession is a sensitive one as teachers interact very closely with students. This being the case, they’re considered to be role models; therefore, a teacher sporting a tattoo may be deemed to be unprofessional.

Part of face of the man with beard in black shirt and leopard bow tie. Isolated on dark gray background

This expectation will vary depending on the school. Private schools are found to be stricter than their public counterparts. Institutions of learning are highly concerned with working with ‘appropriate’ mentors that children can look up to. 


This is one of the jobs that require a smart and professional outlook. Unfortunately, as deemed by society, tattoos and “professional” don’t go hand in hand. It is of utmost importance that a banker has a crisp outlook. 

Despite a tattoo having nothing to do with your ability to do your job, it is highly discouraged in this career. The thing with tattoos is that they allow people to make judgments on you. As a banker, it’s paramount that you avoid any misconceptions about you from your customers.

This is because dealing with money is a sensitive job. A banker should always strive to provide a trustworthy outlook at all times. Despite there being no written policy per se concerning tattoos at the workplace, it’s encouraged not to have any on show while at work.

Different banking institutions will have their own policies on this, so be sure to investigate if you head down the banking route. It wasn’t long ago that JP Morgan indicated that tattoos are allowed but can’t be offensive.

Airline Hosts and Hostesses

Most airlines have very strict conditions that have to be met for you to be eligible to be an air hostess. Some of these include height, weight and sometimes, a rule about no tattoos showing at work, such as with Etihad.

An air host or hostess is the picture of poise and professionalism; therefore, inked body parts may prove to be a deal-breaker. Try and think of the number of hosts and hostesses that have served you in-flight with inked extremities: you can bet that the number you come up with is zero!

If you’re looking to be an air hostess, consider getting inked on body parts that’ll be discreetly covered by uniform.


Housekeepers clean even the most private rooms in homes and offices; therefore, they’re expected to be trustworthy.

Thanks to the stereotyped belief that tattoos point to criminal associations, housekeepers aren’t expected to have them. This job also requires that one dons a uniform, which, in essence, makes a tattoo unacceptable at the workplace.

You can, however, get away with covering up any ink with your uniform, if you pass the recruitment stage.

Healthcare Professionals

Just like teaching, the medical field is a sensitive one, thanks to the service provider’s proximity to its clients. In this case, the patients. As expected, a healthcare professional should be able to make patients comfortable.

Unfortunately, a large and prominent tattoo doesn’t naturally inspire this feeling in the patients. In addition to this, the fact that medical practitioners should have a neat and impeccable outlook would naturally disallow tattoos.

It would come as no surprise, however, if you see a discreet tattoo peeking from behind a stethoscope. While tattoos in a healthcare environment aren’t necessarily outlawed, expect them to be frowned upon once in a while.

Front Office Administrators

Receptionists are the face of a company and carry the image of an entire corporation. With this in mind, a front office administrator is expected to be poised, professional and attentive. A tattooed receptionist would create misconceptions about the organization at first glance, without saying much. 

Companies go to great lengths to create a certain image and uniformity. This is why they may use any criteria, including visible tattoos, to shortlist candidates for this job. 

In Conclusion

Jobs that don’t allow tattoos are slowly coming around and relaxing their stance. It will come as no surprise that soon, white-collar professions may have to consider tattoos in the workplace. Even so, lovers of tattoos and self-expression continue to ink in the face of corporate opposition.

The stringent rules around jobs and inking shouldn’t deter you from your passion, although it is still one of the downsides of getting a tattoo. However, there are lots of professions that have embraced tattooing in the workplace, and many more that continue to relax their rules every day.

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