Why Tattoos are Not Allowed in Government Jobs: 10 Things to Know

Explore 10 key reasons why tattoos are generally not allowed in government jobs

Professional Appearance

Government jobs often require employees to maintain a professional appearance. Tattoos may be considered unprofessional or distracting in such settings.


Many government positions, especially in the military or law enforcement, require a uniform look among employees for the sake of cohesion and discipline.

Public Perception

Government employees often interact with the public, and tattoos might influence the public's perception of the government's professionalism.

Cultural Sensitivity

In some cultures, tattoos are associated with gangs, criminal activity, or other negative connotations. Government jobs aim to be culturally neutral and sensitive.

Regulatory Compliance

Some government agencies have specific regulations against tattoos, especially if they are visible, as part of their employment policies.

Security Concerns

In some cases, tattoos can be identifiers that might compromise an employee's anonymity, especially in sensitive roles like undercover work.


Government jobs aim for a neutral and unbiased environment. Tattoos that signify a particular belief or affiliation could be seen as compromising this impartiality.

Historical Precedence

Many government institutions have longstanding traditions and norms, including dress codes that do not allow for visible tattoos.

Legal Issues

Allowing tattoos might open the door to legal challenges about what kinds of tattoos are permissible, leading to complicated legal debates that agencies prefer to avoid.

Recruitment Standards

High standards are often required for government roles, and the absence of tattoos is sometimes considered a mark of professionalism and commitment to the role.