Can a Pharmacy Technician have tattoos or piercings?

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People choose to get tattoos and piercings for a whole host of reasons. To mark a special occasion, display their individuality, or just because they like how a certain design looks.

Well, whatever the reason, we think tattoos and piercings are great!

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with our assessment of body art. 

And while having tattoos and piercings won’t stop you from becoming a PTCB certified pharmacy technician, some employers view visible tattoos and piercings as unprofessional. 

      Want to check how prepared you are for your PTCB exam? Try our free test here!

So, before you decide to go under the needle, it pays to consider how your decision could affect your pharmaceutical career.

Let’s start by looking at whether pharmacy techs can get a job if they have tattoos:

Can pharmacy technicians have tattoos?

OK, so there’s no law stating that pharmacy technicians can’t have tattoos. After all, having ink won’t stop you from passing your PTCB exam. But that doesn’t stop some pharmacies from having their own policies on visible tattoos.

And while it isn’t common for pharmacy policies to ban all tattoos outright, it is fairly common to find rules that state no ‘distasteful tattoos’ should be visible. Or even that all body art must be covered up by clothes or flesh-colored bandaids. 

Now what constitutes a ‘distasteful tattoo’ is open to interpretation. And often these policies put the final decision on what body art is acceptable to the hiring manager.

But what about the big pharmacy chains? Let’s look at CVS as an example:

CVS tattoo policy for pharmacy techs

According to our research, CVS doesn’t have a countrywide policy on tattoos

And, while some managers do insist on tattoos being covered, many employees report that CVS is very lenient on body art. Great news for all you tattoo fans out there!

But, while having tattoos shouldn’t stop you from finding a job, it is a good idea to carefully consider what tattoos you choose. Remember, no manager wants to field endless complaints. So, try to stay away from profanities and the like!

OK, so we’ve looked at tattoos. But what about piercings? Are they likely to hurt your pharmacy career before it even begins?

Let’s take a look:

Can pharmacy technicians have ear piercings?

Pierced ears are some of the most common piercings in the USA. And, generally speaking, pharmacy technicians are allowed to wear earrings to work.

Now some pharmacies might request that earrings be kept to simple studs in the workplace. And occasionally, managers may have a personal issue with someone having lots of ear piercings. But rules banning ear piercings for pharmacy technicians are rare.

Hurray!

Now, what about nose piercings? 

Can pharmacy technicians have a nose piercing?

As with tattoos, nose piercings are usually at the discretion of the pharmacy manager. Generally speaking, small piercings are more readily accepted than large piercings. And some managers might state that only a small stud may be worn.

OK, but what about any other types of piercings you might have? Let’s take a look:

Can pharmacy technicians have any other visible piercings?

Now, ears and noses might be some of the most common places that people in the US have pierced. But what if you have your lip, tongue, cheek, or somewhere a little more private pierced instead?

Well, when it comes to visible piercings, manager discretion is the most common rule. And while some managers are likely to be fans of your piercings, others might be a little more unsure. Especially if your piercings are large or particularly unusual.

Oh and if your piercing is of a more private nature? Well, relax, they don’t need to know about it, do they?

Now, let’s look at what another of the big pharmacy chains has to say about piercings: 

Walgreens piercing policy for pharmacy technicians 

According to our research, Walgreens doesn’t have a strictly administered policy on piercings for its pharmacy technicians. 

Most decisions on what piercings are allowed are left to individual managers. And often they are quite lenient with what they deem acceptable.

OK, so we’ve covered piercings and tattoos. What’s next?

Can pharmacy technicians have fake nails?

Whether pharmacy technicians can wear fake nails depends on where they work, and what duties they are expected to perform.

You see, artificial nails are not allowed for anyone performing IV compounding operations

Now, IV compounding is much more common in hospital pharmacies than it is in retail establishments. Meaning that retail pharmacies are a better option for anyone who doesn’t want to forgo their acrylics. 

But what if you’re not bothered about fake nails? What if you’d just like to wear some simple nail polish?

Can pharmacy technicians wear nail polish?

Generally speaking, most pharmacies allow their technicians to wear nail polish. Though in the interest of professionalism, some will request that you keep to conservative colors and save bright colors for your days off.

The Takeaway

We’ve looked at tattoos, piercings, and nails, and unless you have a massive F*** you written across your forehead, you should be able to find a pharmacy that will accept your permanent body art. And that’s great news!

Now all you need to do is pass your PTCB exam. Luckily, we have exactly the right study guide you need to pass the exam on your first attempt.

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones

Michelle is Medical Hero's in-house expert on the PTCB exam and pharmacy technician careers.