Tattoo Artist Jobs

Do you love to draw? What if you were paid to draw cool designs? What if you drew on someone’s skin? That’s what a tattoo artist does…

For centuries tattooing has been a form of human decoration. Tattooing is the act of changing the skin’s pigment by inserting ink into the dermis layer of the skin. It takes place all around the world – from the streets of L.A. to the island of Tahiti.

People get tattoos to mark rites of passage, symbolize status, proclaim religious or spiritual beliefs, decorate their bodies, show their love for someone, to identify groups, or for punishment. There are plenty of reasons that people get inked.

Tattoo Artist Working on Ankle Tattoo Photo PicAd

Tattoos are permanent, unless you can fork out the money for expensive laser removal. When you commit to a tattoo, you are committing your skin for life. It’s a big decision. The job of a tattoo artist is to design and ink the tattoos. It’s a pretty cool job.

Tattooists need to develop a portfolio that highlights their strengths, styles, designs, and images. Next they need to visit tattoo studios and ask to apprentice. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t get a quick response. There are plenty of wannabes out there who aren’t serious about this career. You’ll be chosen if you are persistent and show talent. Plus, it’s a good idea to have some tattoos because it shows your commitment to and understanding of the tattooing culture. Your body is your reference.

Apprenticeships are the only way to get into this industry. There are tattoo courses and schools out there, but they are usually just revenue generators for tattoo studios – not a way to start a career. Apprenticeships last about 3 years and give you the chance to learn the trade from a legitimate tattoo artist.

Tattoo artists do more than just tattoo. You need solid communication skills to talk with customers about what they want tattooed. Next you have to draw and design the tattoo. Once the client gives it the thumbs up, you need to discuss the process and paperwork. Then it’s time to sterilize and sanitize work areas, equipment, clients, and yourself. Tattooing is a high-risk job for disease transmission because you are working with needles and blood. Then it’s time to put needles to skin and start inking. After a successful tattooing, you must advise clients on proper tattoo care. Finally, remember to take a photo for your portfolio.

Tattooing isn’t for everyone. It takes a long time to learn this apprentice based art form.

Some tattoo artists have degrees in fine arts or formal training in art and colors. Tattoo artists either work at a tattoo studio or from home. Either way, they have to follow state regulations which govern the trade.

Tattoo artists can make good money. Wages are based on location, experience, and ability. It also helps if you develop a niche like tribal artwork, oriental styles, or dragons. Pay is usually commission based and averages out to about $50 per hour. A novice can make about $40,000 per year, while a tattoo studio owner could make around $100,000. You may also want to get into body piercing to make a few extra bucks.

If you are serious about a career as a tattoo artist make sure you have good hand-eye coordination, are comfortable around needles, are talented at drawing, and willing to tattoo your skin. As a tattoo artist your job is to help people choose intricate skin artwork that makes a statement. Can you do that?

Quick Facts About Tattoo Artist Jobs

Job Title: Tattoo Artist
Office: Tattoo Parlor
Description: Designs and inks tattoos onto people’s skin
Certifications/Education: No formal education. Apprenticeship is necessary.
Necessary Skills: Creative, Drawing Ability, Hand-Eye Coordination, Good portfolio
Potential Employers: Tattoo Studios
Pay: $40,000 to $100,000 per year; depends on location, experience, and ability

Helpful Tattoo Artist Employment Links:

Search Tattoo Artist and Other Artist Jobs on JobMonkey
Alliance of Professional Tattooists
National Tattoo Association
Tattoo Artist Magazine
Tattoo Directory
State Regulations

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