Careers for Tattooed People

Jan 19, 2020

For individuals who have tattoos, especially in very visible locations on their bodies, job prospects may be affected. In some fields, however, tattoos are welcomed.

Career Options for People with Tattoos

Making the choice to get a tattoo is a personal one, but sometimes it can adversely affect an individual's job prospects. There are a number of different careers and industries that not only accept applicants who have tattoos, but welcome them, with some of these jobs appearing in creative fields, where the environment is often more relaxed and may be less conservative. Below, we will explore five different careers that may interest individuals with tattoos.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Bartender $22,550 (2018)* 8%
Craft/Fine Artist $48,960 (2018)* 1%
Barber, Hairdresser, or Cosmetologist $24,830 (2018)* 8%
Graphic Designer $50,370 (2018)* 3%
Tattoo Artist $34,555 (2019)** 1% (for all craft and fine artists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

Career Information for Tattooed People


Bartenders work in bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve mixed and alcoholic drinks. They interact with customers, take their orders, and may provide them with guidance if they are having trouble choosing a drink. Unless the bar or restaurant is considered to be fine dining or has a strict dress code, it is likely that bartenders with tattoos will have no problem finding employment. To become a bartender, you generally need on-the-job training and must be over the age of 18 to serve alcohol.

Craft/Fine Artist

Craft and fine artists work with a number of different materials, like glass, clay, paints, jewelry, and paper, to name a few, as they create pieces of art. Some artists may work out of their own studio while others may be employed by different types of art organizations. Because tattoos can be seen as an artistic form of expression, they are often welcome in the craft and fine arts world. To become a craft or fine artist, you will usually need a bachelor's or master's degree in fine arts, with specific training in your selected area.

Barber, Hairdresser, or Cosmetologist

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists work with clients who are in need of haircuts, hair styles, and various types of beauty treatments, like facials. About 75% of these professionals were self-employed as of 2018. They typically work in tattoo-friendly barbershops and hair salons. To become a barber, hairdresser, or cosmetologist, you will need to acquire the appropriate license in the state in which you work after completing training at a licensed cosmetology school.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers are responsible for creating different types of visual and graphic designs, both by hand and with the help of different types of computer software. They may create the logos for companies, design layouts for advertisements, or create website graphics. These professionals often work for graphic design firms, while about one fifth of them (22%) were self-employed as of 2018, and both scenarios mean work environments that would be receptive to applicants who have tattoos. To become a graphic designer, you generally need a bachelor's degree in graphic design.

Tattoo Artist

Perhaps most obviously, an individual with tattoos would certainly be eligible for a job as a tattoo artist, given that they had the appropriate skills and training. Receiving a tattoo from a tattoo artist with 'ink' of their own may give clients a sense of comfort. To become a tattoo artist, you will need to check with the state in which you plan to work to see if you need a license. Tattoo parlors may want to see a portfolio of your work or may hire you under an apprenticeship so you can learn the ins and outs of the business.

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