If you’re going to get a tattoo, you might as well move out of my house.
A tattoo is going to look terrible when you grow old and wrinkly, so why would you get one?
Tattoos are for three kinds of people: criminals, devil-worshippers, and gang members!
Mark my words: You’ll never get a job if you get a tattoo!

If you grew up with ultra-conservative parents and judgmental relatives, then the chances are that you’ve heard some or all of these quotes when the topic of tattoos comes up—especially when it comes to the last quote.

Tattoos and jobs: What’s the relationship like now?

Thanks to backward beliefs, time-honed sentiments, and longstanding trains of thought that should have been derailed a long time ago, tattoos still struggle with the stigma of hooliganism and criminality.

Tattoos may not have been as positively received as they were before, but they are now a cultural facet that has been ushered into normalcy due to body positivity movements and open-minded discourses. America (or Western New York, in particular) continues to gradually overturn the age-old stigma of tattoos as barriers to livelihoods with its increasing tattooed population and declining unemployment rates.

What research says

Aside from the court of public opinion, the field of science and research has gone to great lengths to prove that tattoos are far from being a hindrance to finding stable income. On the contrary, recent studies have shown the opposite.

Michael T. French’s study called “Are Tattoos Associated With Employment and Wage Discrimination? Analyzing the Relationships Between Body Art and Labor Market Outcomes” delves into the relationship between tattoos and employment in today’s context.

According to French, research showed that the wages and annual earnings that tattooed employees made have grown to be indistinguishable from that of their non-inked counterparts. As one goes further into the study, it also shows one revolutionary finding: in some instances, tattooed candidates are far more likely to get a job than non-tattooed ones. That shows that once-strong stigmas are nearly extinct in modern workplaces.

A modern revolution that continues to unfold behind the scenes

With more and more employers, companies, and older professionals becoming much more comfortable with the presence of tattoos in the workplace, it’s safe to say that work-related discrimination ceases to exist nowadays.

In the same study mentioned above, researchers discovered that “many workplaces are relaxing their tattoo policies for employees, even pertaining to visible tattoos, to reflect current societal perceptions of body art and to enrich the pool of qualified applicants.

The shift in the tide towards a greater acceptance of tattoos in the modern workplace can be attributed to the fact that tattoos are becoming more popular nowadays—essentially making them easier to find on talented workers.


Long gone are the days where tattoos would automatically result in unemployment. So if you feel like getting inked, you can do so without worrying about the employment consequences.

If you’re looking for professional tattoo artists in Buffalo NY, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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