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Where are the most tattoo-friendly places to work?

Having a tattoo or two used to disqualify you from the workforce, but even the big boys hire people that are inked up.

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Tattoos aren’t a trend, they’re now the norm

Tattoos are finally becoming more acceptable in today’s workplace, but there are still places where it might be difficult to get hired.

Austin, TX is one of the most tattoo-friendly cities, according to Inked magazine. There are 89 shops in the area, putting in in the top 15 list in 2014. If you think 89 shops is a lot, the number 2 city, Las Vegas, has 192. It should come as no surprise that New York, New York has 277 shops in just 469 square miles. You’re never very far away from your next piece of ink when you’re in the Big Apple.

Employers, even the military, change their tune

With so many people getting tattoos, the culture is changing when it comes to employment. The U.S. military was practically forced to revamp its own guidelines on tattoos just a couple of years ago.

More importantly, private organizations are more likely to hire people with tattoos. Forty-five million Americans have tattoos, and if the older generation had their way, visible ink would be reason enough not to hire an individual.

Hiring managers often cite tattoos as being something that could hinder potential, but not at these companies:

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  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Petco
  • Applebee’s
  • Half Price Books
  • Whole Foods
  • Target
  • IKEA
  • Staples
  • Albertson’s
  • Burlington Coat Factory

Tech startups are well known for being ink-friendly, and endless small businesses feel the same way. It’s not just the large chains that have evolved.

Of course, there are industries that still frown on tattoos

If your career path is medicine, you may need to hide the tattoo at work. Because tattoos are often associated with law-breakers, law enforcement personnel may find it difficult to get employed with visible tattoos.

Teachers, especially those in private schools, may find that their tattoos are not welcome. Financial professionals and lawyers may also find it more difficult to get employed if they have visible ink.

All in all, the tide is turning

Tattoos used to almost automatically disqualify an otherwise competent applicant. Now, it’s more likely that you will at least get to talk to the HR department and be judged on your job skills, not your appearance.


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Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.



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