I want to learn about careers as a Tattoo Artist

Find out everything you need to know about becoming a Tattoo Artist.

Job Title – Tattoo Artist


Tattooing has been practiced by many cultures dating back to 200 BC. There are two types of tattoo artists: professional and amateur. The professional has a tattoo license and is very safe to go to.

Typical Job Activities

Pricks skin of patron, using needled electric tool, that inserts indelible nontoxic pigment into skin to form decorative or ornamental design
Shaves area to receive tattoo and washes it, using germicidal soap
Presses charcoal-coated stencil, draws design, or traces pattern of design onto skin of patron, to mark outline of design
Dips needles of tool into coloured pigment solution and presses needles into skin to insert indelible pigment into skin following outline of design
Applies sterile dressing to area
Sterilizes needles in steam-heated cabinet
Mixes nontoxic coloured pigments according to formula
Adjusts and repairs needled electric tool, using hand tools, such as screwdrivers and pliers
May draw original designs on paper, trace designs onto acetate sheet, and cut out design to form pattern or stencil, using stylus and knife

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Related Occupations

Body piercer
Body painting artist

Educational Requirements

Grade 9 certificate

Compulsory subjects: Art
Recommended subjects: None

Entry to workplace

Certification or licensing standards may require a tattoo artist to complete training or an apprenticeship in an approved setting and under the supervision and guidance of another established professional in the field. This can take 1-2 years. Some states mandate that apprentices hold a special apprentice license or permit, usually earned by filling out an application and paying a fee.

What natural skills and/or aptitudes do I need for this occupation?

Be artistic
Have good eye-hand coordination
Have good colour vision
Have a steady hand

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Employment Opportunities


Market Competitiveness


Income Potential


Self-Employment Opportunities


International Employment Opportunities


Possible Employers

Tattoo studios

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Relevant Contact Details

Council for Piercing and Tattoo Professionals

Career Progress and Path

Experience in specific field
Work performance

Possible Career Paths

Specialist career in the specific field
Own business

Employment Stability

Moderately stable

Reasons to consider this career

I can start a business in this field or with these skills
I can work with my hands
I can design new things
I can work for myself