Why Are Tattoos Considered Unprofessional?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 03, 2022
    Last Updated: February 3, 2022

Have you ever wondered why as soon as anyone mentions that they’re thinking of getting a tattoo, they get comments of negativity? People will tell you that you’ll struggle to get a job, or it will affect your future career opportunities. 

You may think that this is an old-fashioned point of view that doesn’t happen today. However, there are some people out there who still see tattoos as unprofessional. This could be people’s personal views or a company’s stance on tattoos that can be seen while at work. 

The reason for this point of view can differ from person to person, and in most cases, it’s just due to the fact that some people don’t like tattoos. For you, they are a form of self-expression. For others, they symbolize rebellion and irresponsibility, and they feel that it will show their company or brand in a negative way.

Tattoos in the Workplace

Many places of work have a rule regarding clothing or jewelry that can or can’t be worn in the office or workplace. This ruling is the same for tattoos. 

An employer will rarely not give you a job due to the fact that you have tattoos. However, it may be that they ask you to cover the tattoos with clothing while you’re at work. 

Each workplace is different, and some may accept tattoos on show. However, the tattoo design and placement will be taken into consideration as some areas and designs are viewed as more unprofessional than others.

Why Are Tattoos Seen as Unprofessional?

Tattoos were previously viewed as rebellious and mostly seen on people who lacked responsibility, were criminals, or were gang members. People’s opinions have changed massively over the years, and it’s now normal to see people in all walks of life with tattoos.

However, there are still many reasons people will give as to why tattoos are seen as unprofessional, and this is largely down to the fact that they don’t like them. It may be a personal choice of your bosses that they simply don’t like tattoos, or they may be worried about other people’s opinions. If customers of your workplace are older or conservative, tattoos may be frowned upon. 

It could be that the brand image of your company isn’t suited to people with tattoos. The company may want all of its staff to dress the same and have the same overall look. This isn’t to say that you can’t work there, but you may need to cover your tattoos with a suit or uniform during working hours.

Tattoo Designs

Some tattoo designs are viewed as unprofessional, and you need to bear this in mind before having the tattoo done. It may not be just your career opportunities that the tattoo has a negative effect on. 

These designs include profane or rude words or images inked on your body. Some people view tattoos of cartoon characters as unprofessional as they can look very childish to others, especially in the workplace.

Any extremely gothic tattoos can also be looked upon as unprofessional to some people, and all gang-related tattoos must be completely avoided if you want to be taken seriously by others. These types of tattoo designs will instill fear into your colleagues and customers, which we’re sure is not the aim of your job.

Tattoo Placement

Where you have your tattoo on your body will also determine how people react. The majority of people will have a tattoo where it can be covered if needed. However, some people want to show off their tattoo at all times, to everyone they meet.

Some of the most obvious locations on your body that you should avoid having your tattoo would be your face, neck, and head. There’s no way that you can keep these covered so your boss needs to be comfortable with your tattoos before employing you. 

Having a tattoo on the inside of your mouth may seem inoffensive. However, if you’re speaking to customers face to face, this may be viewed as unprofessional. This is the same for tattoos on your hands, fingers, or knuckles as they are always on show.

Professions Where Tattoos Are Not Suitable

There are still professions out there where tattoos are prohibited or are not suitable. If you are in the military or work in law enforcement, you will require special permission to get a tattoo. Many models and actresses avoid tattoos as even though these can be covered, they may have a negative effect on the jobs you are offered.

Health-care professionals need to avoid tattoos that are on show to their patients, and bankers or high-level financiers need to be professional at all times so tattoos will be frowned upon.


As you can see, people’s opinions of tattoos have changed over the last few years. However, there are still many people and places of work that view tattoos as unprofessional. 

More organizations and professions are becoming more accepting of tattoos, but you need to remember that all people think differently and have different opinions. With this in mind, you will need to seriously consider the tattoo design and placement that you choose properly before taking the plunge and having it done.

Related Tattoo Articles