We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Become a Tattoo Artist?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Becoming a tattoo artist involves more than being able to draw well and buying a tattoo gun. To become a tattoo artist, most individuals must go through a long apprenticeship with an experienced tattoo artist. Other requirements, such as acquiring proper state licenses, also are necessary before you can open your own shop and become a tattoo artist.

If you are thinking of becoming a tattoo artist, chances are you are most likely already a skilled artist. Practicing these skills and honing your talent is essential, if you want to become a tattoo artist. Although it is not necessary, some individuals may find that it is helpful to take art classes, usually at a local high school or college. Doing so can also help you put together an impressive portfolio, which you will need to land an apprenticeship.

Working as a tattoo artist's apprentice will help you learn valuable skills. Finding a tattoo artist willing to work with you may be difficult. Some tattoo artists may decide that they do not have the time, patience, or resources to take on a trainee. When you find a tattooing apprenticeship, be sure that you have adequate savings or alternate income to support yourself. You will not usually be paid during this apprenticeship, which can sometimes last for a couple of years.

For the first few weeks of your tattoo apprenticeship, you will most likely find yourself doing menial tasks, such as cleaning or stocking needed supplies. After your teacher believes that you are serious and truly want to become a tattoo artist, he will then most likely assign other tasks. You may assist as a tattoo designer, learn sterilization techniques, or practice tattooing on inanimate objects, like fruit or practice skin. During these practices, your teacher will observe you closely, and usually offer constructive criticism or advice.

When he feels confident in your abilities to decorate an orange, he may then allow you to practice on willing clients. At first, this may involve simple tattooing tasks. For example, you may begin with tattooing outlines or, possibly, shading. As your skills improve, you may begin to tattoo entire pieces.

Opening a successful tattooing business, however, does not require just talent and experience. It also requires knowledge about running a business. While you will most likely learn many of these skills during a tattoo apprenticeship, taking a course in business management can be very helpful.

Before you become a tattoo artist and open up your own shop, you should first check local laws. Most areas require that tattoo artists obtain a business license, as well as a special license, or permit, for tattoo artists. A local health department inspection will likely be required for this permit, though regulations vary, depending on the area.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.