As much as we've progressed as a society in the past few decades, there's still a lot of taboo surrounding tattoos. This is especially the case in the current workforce—it seems that most employers still have a preference for people who don't have tattoos. Perhaps they fit the "clean" image that they wan. However, what those employers don't understand is that tattoos do not reflect on an individual's work ethic and personality whatsoever. They are merely a form of self-expression and nothing more. Thankfully, there are some employers to choose to look beyond the exterior. People with face tattoos from around the world shared what they do for a living, and after you read their stories, you might realize there's more to people than just their appearances.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 The Typical
My partner is heavily tattooed and has a few on his face. He’s a tattoo artist. This is the job I suspect is most common. You know, the tattoo artist is the one profession where conventional wisdom about visible tattoos is reversed. People would probably look at you funny if you don't have any tattoos.
#2 Swedish Leniency
I have tattoos on my face, head, hand knuckles, feet. More or less any visible body part. I work as a substitute teacher and student assistant for seventh grade. I also do IT, bartending and painting for a living. I never had any kind of problems with how I look. This is, however, in Sweden.
#3 Surely A Sailor
Does my head apply? That is, where the areas are shaved? If so, I'm a paramedic. I never had any issues. I also have both arms sleeved and had a patient ask me if they were real... When my late grandmother got old, I came to check on her every day. She was sure I was a sailor
#4 In The Ring
Boxing. But face tattoos don't mean anything in the ring. Just because you have them, doesn't mean you're a tough guy. Want to get into boxing? Face tattoos have nothing to do with it. Instead, look up all the boxing gyms around you. Go try each of them out (they will all let you for free). Pick your favorite. Don’t get a heavy bag or anything until you find a gym. You need lots of feedback starting out and you don’t want to train bad habits.
#5 Life Is Good
I have tattoos on my face, hands, neck, back of my head, arms, legs, etc. I work as a TAD in the film industry which stands for "trainee assistant director." Nobody really cares, I've had actors mention that they would never get roles if they did that but nobody's been hurtful about it and I've gotten a few compliments. Work is good, the pay is good, life is good.
#6 Hollywood Hurdle?
Terry Chen has a lot of tattoos. They're not covered up in Jessica Jones, but they are in The Expanse. Lena Headey has some tattoos in pretty visible places. Though her more recent wardrobe in Game Of Thrones tends to keep her pretty covered up, there were definitely episodes where she probably had to spend a lot of time in make-up. Still, actors probably do have to work harder than their non-tattooed colleagues to get to the point that their name recognition is worth the extra time and money in make-up to make it worthwhile for the producers.
#7 Risky Business
Many people in my community have face, throat, hand tattoos. They work in the fishing industry and sometimes pull in $250,000 a year by 30 years of age. If you have the courage to go out for up to two weeks at a time and work hard, the sky is the limit.
#8 Start At The Bottom
To be honest, most of the people I know got their start hanging around the docks, doing gear work. Being available to jump on jobs with an hour's notice. Some started off homeless and spent all their time waiting for opportunities to go out. Eventually, you start off at the bottom of the food chain and work your way up to senior hand, mate or even captain.
#9 Nothing To See Here
I work in the film industry a few times a week. Really nothing to be excited about. Also, I'm trying to finish my tattoo apprenticeship, so yeah. Me having tattoos kinda helps out. Face, hands, neck, full sleeves, etc...
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#10 Saved By The Sideburn
I have a hammer tattooed on my face, however, it is always covered with sideburns. Most people are unaware that it is there. I currently work for the federal government so I don't think it has had any effect on my getting a job. I don't regret it.
#11 Shop Savant
I got a tattoo face working for me in my machine shop. Best machinist I have ever seen. He runs my shop. Welds, fabrications, polishes, grinds, programs—he does it all. He is a shop savant. It's gotta be a welder thing. I'm a welder myself and a good third of the guys I've worked with have head and face tattoos. All good dudes though.
#12 Harder At Home
There are a couple of guys in my area from New Zealand who are Maori with full-on tattoos, too. One of them is a bartender and the other stocks the shelves at a Walmart at night. They said they actually have a more difficult time finding work in New Zealand.
#13 No Regrets
I have a forehead tattoo along with my throat, hands, fingers, and arms. I work in manufacturing building ophthalmic and neurological laser equipment and I don't regret any of my tattoos. I went in knowing full well that I would be limiting myself from certain fields of employment and that was always okay with me.
#14 "I'm Here For The Management"
I used to work in a correctional facility. We used to call it the "I'm here for the management" position. Honestly, in this place, no one cares about your tattoos as long as you work and do your job well. That's really all that matters.
#15 Fear No Man
Not my face, but the side of my shaved head right above my right ear says "Fear no man." I work at a doggie daycare and also sod front-of-house stuff (serve, bus, bartend, etc). People who ask about it are usually just interested or super impressed.
#16 Nursing Discrepancies
I'm a nursing student and I'm not allowed to have anything more than two studs in my earlobes, a natural hair color, and no visible tattoos. 80% of the staff at my local hospital sport multiple ear piercings, dyed hair, and visible tattoos (my last preceptor had full sleeves).
#17 The Meaning Of The Teardrop
A guy I work with got two teardrops under his eye when his wife left him because he was sad. He said he was questioned about it at a bar by some Hell's Angels and he had to pretend that he had ended two people ("Put two in the ground" was the exact quote) and didn't want to talk about it. He's since gotten it removed. Apparently, a teardrop means the person's friend was killed and if it's filled in, he got revenge.
I've had my face tattooed for almost five years now (as well as a majority of my body) and I've worked a number of different jobs without incident from employers. I've worked for a natural foods marketing company that does consumer feedback and product testing through Whole Foods and other organic food stores. I was also a bartender for two years, plus I do graphic design and illustration work. People are always super curious and ask lots of questions but it's usually in good spirit. Although sometimes, customers or just people that I pass at a gas station or restaurant look at me like I'm a monster.
#19 Baker Ambitions
I have tattooed hands, neck, ears, and small ones around my hairline (forehead and sideburn area). I work as a baker at a collectively-run, worker-owned cafe. I work with a few heavily tattooed people, and it's in the middle of a very liberal Midwestern city. No one bats an eye, and I forget about my tattoos a lot of the time. The suburbs though—those folks still stare. A lot of the people I work with are older than I and have been at the cafe for a long time. I'm hoping to further my career as a baker, eventually moving to into more specialized baking. I'm hoping that tattoos will continue to become more and more accepted, and this won't be an issue. I suppose it also helps that most of my tattoos are plants, animals, and baking related.
#20 No Issues
Not on my face, but I have my neck, upper chest, arms, fingers, etc tattooed. I work in marketing for a financial advising firm who has physicians as the majority of their clients. Apparently, my boss was slightly concerned at first since some of our clients can be conservative, but I've been here a while and never had an issue. My tattoos are visible every day and I don't cover them during big meetings with the owners (they like me a lot and have never commented on the tattoos). I've also worked for restaurants and a school district and found that some restaurants had way more of an issue with it than any office job I've had. No regrets.
#21 An Industry Norm
I’m a lighting tech and stagehand for various live events. I have a lot of visuals tattoos including my hands. But I’m always working behind the scenes... and the industry is full of people covered in various tattoos.
#22 In The Club
I'm a club dancer. I'm super happy with my life right now. I have felonies and face tattoos, so I work at a club. I make an average of $1,000 a night and I work two nights a week. The rest of the time I hang out with my dog. I don’t know why people look down on what I do. it allows me to live a great life and travel.
#23 Behind The Scenes
Not me but a couple of coworkers have face tattoos. We work for an aerospace company building rockets as technicians. I imagine most are behind-the-scenes type people.
#24 Face-Tatted CEO
My old CEO had face tattoos and more. He started a game studio. He's now working at another studio making six figures. A lot of game developers are highly tattooed. Source: I am one of them.
#25 Battle Rapper
Not me, but I'd like to mention a dude named O00ps, also known as Bruce Franks jr. He's a battle rapper. His opponent is Daylyt, who has the spawn mask tattooed on his face. Ooops is also a state congressman for Missouri's 78th district in St. Louis, and he's Bernie sanders endorsed. Yup, residents of St. Louis elected a young black man with face tattoos into their state congress.
My friend got the Tyson tattoo but the kicker is that he got it like a year before Mike got it so now he lives with that. At the time he was selling security systems door to door, which was hilarious to me. "You don't want people like me breaking into your house, do you?"
#27 The Category Is... Face
My friend has a face tattoo. He works in construction and he doesn't regret it. It's weird to think of it, but when I first met him when we worked together, I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, that dude is hardcore." But now I don't even notice the tattoo. We used to work in a detail shop.
#28 Tattooed Librarian
I have half of my head tattooed and work in the circulation department of a public library. I try to keep my head shaved pretty regularly, so they’re pretty visible. I’ve actually been very surprised at the lack of negative reactions I get.
#29 Still A Professional
Not me, but my cousin. He's a professional guitarist. He does a lot of for-hire studio work, tours with his personal rock band, and also is available for hire when other bands need a guitarist to fill in on tours or just a single show. He's never had an issue with it—metal musicians don’t seem to care at all so long as you can play your instrument well.
#30 Scary Bodybuilder
Not myself, but I have a friend with very aggressive face tattoos. Harsh black lines transversing his face and shaved head, on top of the existing dragons and tribal as well as both eyeballs. Most of his body is done—every visible part at least. He also has extensive body mods: horns, implants in forearms and biceps among other things. Adding to this, he is a 6"3 bodybuilder. He's an automotive spray painter and has never had trouble finding work. Super chill guy too. So much so that it's funny watching people recoil in obvious shock or fear.
#31 Conversation Starter
I have a facial tattoo on my forehead along my hairline and I work in an administrative role that deals directly with clients. This has not affected my work and I have found that people are more interested than anything else. It's definitely a conversation starter.
#32 Family Is Family
My brother-in-law has face and neck tattoos. The face one is around his left eye, more like a compass. He's a bartender in the Pacific North West. He will always work odd jobs. He doesn't value material possessions and only makes enough to live. Very bohemian. My wife and I fully expect for him to live with us once he can't fall back on their parents. It's not an issue. Family is family.
#33 Never Held Back
My fiance has visible neck and hand tattoos. He's in film production. They've never held him back at work but I think he wishes maybe he didn't get his hands done. He loves his work and makes a really good living on his own schedule. I'm so jealous.
#34 Hardest Workers
There are plenty of them in the shipyard. None in administration; mostly trade and supervision. They make just as good money or more. In my opinion, they are some of the hardest working, good dudes I got out there. Two of them are the ones who work the safest and give me the straight story about what's going on. After five years in that industry, if I didn't have to worry about customer ignorance and perception, I'd hire all ex-cons and tatted people.
#35 A Family Thing
My family including myself are heavily tattooed. My dad has his neck covered and he works as a: fabricator welder, red seal welder, millwright, ironworker, overhead crane tech and electrician. My boyfriend had a full sleeve, head tattoo, and his hand and knuckles did. He’s mostly worked kitchen jobs but is looking into working on the railroad in Alberta or National steel car.
I have a half sleeve, a bunch on my forearms, knuckles, thigh, and neck. Before my body decided to betray me and make me too disabled to work, I was a groomer making anywhere from $250-400 a day cash. I also worked at a few vet clinics as an assistant. We all plan on face tattoos but for now, we all have some part of our necks done and are covered anyways. Finding jobs hasn’t been an issue.
#36 Necessary Compromise
I'm a First Officer on a ship. It's not what I imagined as I had already left this type of life to go fight for what I saw was an injustice, but a compromise had to be made given the circumstances. A-koo-chee-moy-a.
#37 No Scratcher Stuff
I’m covered from toes to fingers to my jawline. Nothing on my face yet. My head will be next. I’m a construction worker. I do custom tile installs in very expensive houses and restaurants. I’m polite and respectful with all clients, so they don’t care that I’m heavily tattooed. Occasionally they seem off-put when we first meet, but then they quickly realize I’m not a criminal and just like collecting art on myself. I should also mention that all of my tattoos are professionally done and are of high quality. No scratcher stuff or stick and poke on me.
#38 Breaking Stereotypes
I have a face adjacent tattoo (behind my ear and partway down the side of my neck) I'm a female engineer living in California. We're sort of expected to be more open to stereotype breaking things, so no one bats an eye at it, or my wrist tattoo either.
#39 Over A Decade
My brother-in-law has three face tattoos, one in the center of his forehead and one on each temple. He works as an overnight stocker at a grocery store. He's been at it for almost a decade and makes something like $26 an hour. He does okay for himself but it might be worth noting that the facial tats are pretty new.
#40 Sly Move
I work at a Walmart where one of our loss prevention guys has a full neck/some face tattoos. I’m talking teardrops with an eyebrow tat and a big scrawling word up to his neck. These actually help him follow people around the store without them noticing because he looks like the type of guy our management would be wary of. I believe he’s caught about 50 people in a two-month span of time so I’d say he fit in with all his tats pretty well.
#41 Blue-Eyed Rebel
I’m a tattooer. My family should have seen this coming when I started putting those gumball machine tattoos on my face when I was like, six years old. Now, my angelic blue-eyed, blonde-haired five-year-old loves fake tattoos. His favorite one is like some sort of skull and crossbones with “Dead men tell no tales,” which is pretty cool. Am I to expect him to turn up one day covered in ink? Once he’s 18, it’s his life... so long as he’s happy and safe.
#42 Tree Work
I am a stone mason and carpenter currently. In the past, I've worked a variety of tree work jobs—logging, arborist, etc. I have also done a month-long stint in a franchise coffee shop, which I couldn't recommend to anyone. Most of the jobs I seek are merit-based in hiring. Appearance matters a lot less when you're professional and skilled and what you're doing.
#43 Washington Is For The Weird
I have one face tattoo, just the forte symbol below my eye. Pretty heavily tattooed otherwise as well. I'm a bartender, server and cook at an extremely popular bar. Washington is a pretty cool state for people who look weird.
#44 "Everlasting Jobstoppers"
I've joked about face tattoos as "everlasting jobstoppers." I've met many people covered in tats and piercings that are super cool, smart, fun to talk to and have jobs they love. They are able to provide themselves with the money they need to live their lifestyle.
#45 I Love College
I’m a college instructor! I have also worked in Human Resources and Marketing. I have my face, neck, and hands tattooed. I have never had issues working as a heavily tattooed woman.