Can Pilots Have Tattoos?

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It is common to have a tattoo for many in the world. But many jobs are stringent in terms of hiring norms.

So people often face difficulties when it comes to tattoos and getting hired. This is quite tricky for the airline industry.

There are many subtle differences between companies and they constantly change. So it is important for someone who wants to be a pilot to know about these rules.

If you know the rules, you can make a more informed choice about getting a tattoo. Especially if you want to work as a pilot.

Why Can’t Pilots Have Tattoos?

If you have a tattoo it won’t affect your ability to fly. The metal in the ink will not interact with the magnets in the machinery.

Airline companies are strict in their professional ethics. They demand a high standard of professionalism from their pilots.

Companies want the public to look at their pilots and immediately see a dependable person. So some employers often do not want their pilots to have tattoos as it affects their image.

Why Can’t Pilots Have Beards?

Face masks are essential parts of the uniforms of pilots. They can be useful to provide oxygen in extreme situations.

After the pandemic, it has also been made compulsory for pilots to wear face masks. These masks must seal properly against the skin.

Having a beard interferes with the sealing of masks. So some airlines are more relaxed and allow beards but most pilots cannot have them.

Can Pilots Have Sleeve Tattoos?

Tattoo in the left hand

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Airline companies want to project their pilots as authority figures. To protect that image they have to follow strict rules and guidelines.

Most companies do not allow pilots to have clearly visible tattoos including sleeve tattoos. They are often not allowed to wrap them up or cover them with makeup.

Some companies do allow small hidden tattoos as long as they do not interfere with the uniform and the image. But some of the companies may not hire you simply because you have a tattoo.

Can UPS Pilots Have Tattoos?

Like many other companies, UPS had a very strict policy against displaying tattoos by its employees. So the pilots who fly the planes for UPS had to follow these guidelines very specifically.

But since 2021 there has been a shift in the policy leading to new guidelines regarding appearance at UPS. The employees are now allowed to display their tattoos.

But there are still provisions to disallow some tattoos at UPS. UPS pilots cannot display tattoos that are offensive or have them in the hands, face or neck.

Can FedEx Pilots Have Tattoos?

FedEx employees are permitted to display their tattoos. But for pilots it is easier to get hired if you have a trustworthy image.

It would be preferable at FedEx if your tattoos were not visible if you want to get hired. If you are considering getting a tattoo be mindful of its size and placement if you want to be a pilot.

Can Cargo Pilots Have Tattoos?

Ship Hanger Tattoo

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Cargo pilots don’t usually deal with passengers who are looking to them for a sense of security. They usually carry animals and goods.

Cargo pilots enjoy having fewer obligations to present themselves as authority figures for their clients. So some of them have tattoos.

But to get hired it is a good idea to appear for an interview looking at your professional best. Shirts with long sleeves can hide small tattoos and very obvious loud tattoos are better avoided..

Is Tattoo Allowed In Aerospace Engineering?

Aerospace engineers hold a highly respectable job in a position of authority. Their appearance may not have a bearing on their profession directly, but like any other profession it matters.

If you decide you want a tattoo then follow the ideology of easy concealability. Make sure it is small and easy to hide when you are working.

Can You Have Tattoos As An Air Traffic Controller?

Air Traffic Controllers are responsible for the safe passage of an airplane from take off to landing while avoiding clashing with another airplane. The success of the aviation industry depends on the efficiency of the Air Traffic Controllers in this task.

As a result, Air Traffic Controllers do not need to interact with the passengers of the flights. So no strict rules need to be followed regarding their general look.

So Air Traffic Controllers are allowed to have tattoos as it is not in any way a hindrance to their functioning. But like all professionals a healthy presentation in the work environment is appreciated by all.

Can Delta Pilots Have Tattoos?

Delta Airlines follows strict guidelines and protocols as is needed of them by the demands of the passengers. Their pilots are not allowed to wear any exposed tattoos according to their Uniform and Appearance Guidelines.

You will not find a single Delta Airlines pilot with tattoos visible in their hands or the face and neck area. These are the only areas visible when they are in uniform and they must remain clear of tattoos.

In fact, none of the flight attendants are allowed to display tattoos when in uniform if they work for Delta Airlines. So if you want to work for Delta Airlines you must follow their Uniform and Appearance Guidelines.

What Airlines Allow Pilots To Have Tattoos?

Pilot standing

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Most companies are very strict about not allowing their pilots to get tattoos as it is difficult to project an image of quiet authority to the passengers if you have tattoos. Some companies allow their pilots to have tattoos as long as they adhere to the Uniform and Appearance Guideline of each company.

UPS, FedEx, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines are some of the companies in commercial aviation which do allow their employees to have tattoos. But these companies have different approaches when it comes to displaying these tattoos.

Both UPS and FedEx are cargo companies which do not deal with commercial passengers. So their pilots are allowed to display their tattoos as long as they are not offensive for some particular reason.

Delta Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines have to deal with commercial passengers. As a result their pilots are under very strict guidelines to not display their tattoos even if they have them.

FAQ Relating To Can Pilots Have Tattoos

The rules regarding tattoos and whether they are allowed are changing constantly in the aviation industry as a large portion of their work is to deal with commercial passengers. The image the pilots portray is a very important aspect of their ability to do their job successfully.

So the rules for being able to have tattoos depends on whether you deal with commercial passengers or not. For cargo pilots it is not important and they can have tattoos.

For other pilots, they are allowed to have tattoos. They are bound by strict codes on where they can place them and how large they can be.

Most pilots have to be able to conceal their tattoo when they wear their uniforms. But even if a company is lenient and allows their pilots to display tattoos there are some restrictions on what kinds of tattoos are permitted.

The following is a list of things which are not allowed even if visible tattoos are permitted:

  • Profanity
  • Vulgar images
  • Gang related symbols
  • Racially insensitive images
  • Images depicting violence

Can A Pilot Get A Tattoo?

Yes, pilots can get tattoos like most other people. But because maintaining an image for the commercial passengers is a large part of the aviation industry there are often strict rules and regulations around it.

While these Uniform and Appearance Guidelines will continue to change with time, there are some basic principles that will always be followed.

It is a good idea to avoid getting a tattoo on any visible part of the body which cannot be covered by a uniform. So tattoos in the arm, hand, face or neck regions are simply a bad idea for any budding pilot.

If you have to display your tattoo you must ensure that it is small, inoffensive and non-threatening. Besides, it must also conform to general rules about avoiding offending people with vulgarity.

Do Any Airlines Allow Tattoos?

Several top airlines have rules based on similar guiding principles when it comes to allowing tattoos. Here are the highlights from Delta Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

  • Delta Airlines: Delta Airlines does not allow its employees to display tattoos. It specifically prohibits visible tattoos in the face, neck, hands, arms and legs.
  • United Airlines: This company does not allow display of tattoos. But employees can have tattoos as long as they are fully covered by the standard uniform.
  • American Airlines: They also do not allow free display of tattoos by the employees. But due to regular changes in the design of the uniforms the allowed manner of concealment of the tattoos are regularly updated.
  • Southwest Airlines: They also prevent open display of tattoos while in uniform. But they do allow additional concealment with make up and scarves.

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