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Does finding a job with tattoos cost more?

Does finding a job with tattoos cost more?

June 24, 2024

About one in three Spaniards today carry one or more tattoos on their body, being a type of frequent body modification that is often used as a method of expression. However, although nowadays they are already something habitual, until recently and still today some people link them with criminality. And this has an effect also in the workplace.

Does finding a job with tattoos cost more? Let's discuss it throughout this article.

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Tattoos: the basic concept

Tattoos are all those drawings, marks or texts that are made on the body of a person or animal through the injection of some type of pigment under or on the skin. It is a type of body modification that can be permanent or temporary , depending on the method used to draw it.


The tattoo is used today mostly as an element of artistic expression, but its function and the consideration they have received throughout history has been very diverse and changing over time and cultures: they have served to symbolize the passage to adulthood, as an element to frighten enemies, as magical protection, as a method of connection with spirits and in religious events, to identify social position or to mark criminals or prisoners.

Classic view

Although tattoos are used since antiquity in very different cultures and traditions and with different purposes, the truth is that in a large part of Western society has been initially used by sailors and later adopted in sectors that have traditionally been associated with violent or marginal lifestyles .


This type of thinking has remained throughout history to virtually today, something that has permeated the mentality of more than one generation and the vision of people tattooed as dangerous, even if today the function of the tattoo is in almost all cases merely aesthetic and expressive. This has clearly affected the people tattooed in multiple aspects, one of them being the work.

In this sense, at the time of being presented as candidates for an employment position many people have found a categorical refusal due largely to being tattooed, especially in positions facing the public. Some of the reasons given for this are the image of the company for being considered rude, unprofessional and unserious , or the consideration of what tattooed people are dangerous or what they give a bad example.

Many of them ask to have a concrete image, associated with formality, which rejects the realization of corporal modifications. In fact, even if today is not a handicap as marked as in the past, companies often require that if they have tattoos are covered with clothing or are not visible.


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Modern vision

The previous way of considering tattoos is still valid in some sectors of society, but the truth is that little by little it is being observed a change in the social consideration of these bodily modifications . And the fact is that the increase in their popularity and the fact that a large part of the population carries some makes prejudices towards tattoos diminish and improves their social consideration.

Nowadays, they are increasingly seen as a mechanism of expression, in many cases being linked to something significant for these people. Companies are increasingly permissive and tend to put fewer and fewer complaints to candidates who have given their great popularity . In addition to this and given the high percentage of people with one or more tattoos, if ignored now this type of population companies would lose a large percentage of candidates.

However it is a tendency, still persisting in part of the population the belief of the tattoo as something negative and pejorative for the wearer.

Another aspect to take into account is the progressive development and the increase and boom of less traditional and more alternative companies. As well The most modern and young-minded companies have increased to a large extent , with greater adaptability and flexibility to the times and with an aesthetic and a profile that seeks to be fresher and more current, able to have their own ideas and give added value to the company.

Is it harder to find work with one or more tattoos?

The answer to the question that gives name to this article is the following: not always, depends on the job and the company in question .

Many of the companies that continue to demand a specific image, such as banking or multinational companies of high prestige in direct contact with the client, still require or not to carry tattoos (no piercings or other body modifications) or that are hidden. Also in sectors such as medicine or education tend to be worse valued or its concealment is requested. In addition, in cultures like the Japanese there is greater discrimination (since the tattoo has association with the local mafias), preventing even the access to some positions of civil servant in the public administration.

On the other hand, more and more companies that do not give importance to have or not tattoos, there is less and less discrimination in this regard and even finding some studies conducted in the United States that does not diminish the possibility of finding employment in the born generation around the year 2000. This change can also be explained by the higher prevalence of younger and alternative companies, as we have indicated previously.

In fact, in some cases having a tattoo can even help hiring, giving a more current look , close and natural. This is especially visible in the case of young men.

Bibliographic references:

  • French, M.T., Mortensen, K. & Timming, A.R. (2018). Are you associated with employment and wage discrimination? Analyzing the relationships between body art and labor market outcomes. SAGE Journals.

HOW TATTOO PRICES WORK. Ask a Tattoo Artist (June 2024).


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