Tattoo Artist Job Description

Tattoo Artist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a tattoo artist job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a tattoo artist. Feel free to use our tattoo artist job description template to produce your own tattoo artist job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a tattoo artist.


Who is a Tattoo Artist?

A tattoo artist is someone who permanently inscribes phrases or images on the skin of his clients. This is accomplished by puncturing the skin with a tiny needle to inject ink beneath the skin’s surface. One of the oldest artistic disciplines known to man is tattooing.

In earlier times, are being applied for decoration and also for religious or status-related connotations. Numerous walk-in tattoo studios provide clients access to hundreds or even thousands of photos from which to pick. Some customers choose to bring their own image or have an original tattoo designed for them, and they look for a tattoo artist who can execute the work on their skin.

Due to the numerous germs and diseases that are easily transmitted through the blood, a tattoo artist must take extra precautions to ensure the client’s safety as well as the sterilization of all tools prior to each visit and the proper disposal of tattooing needles after each usage.


Tattoo Artist Job Description

What is a tattoo artist job description? A tattoo artist job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a tattoo artist in an organization. Below are the tattoo artist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a tattoo artist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The tattoo artist carries out the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Make appointments with customers to go through the price.
  • Shave different parts of the client’s body to prepare for tattoo applications.
  • Use antibacterial soap to clean different parts of the client’s skin.
  • Give clients advice on the best tattoo sizes, colors, and placement.
  • Pay close attention to the client’s requests to completely grasp their tattoo concepts.
  • Show customers several designs should they not have any tattoo designs in mind.
  • Use a tattoo gun to permanently ink the chosen designs onto the skin of the client.
  • Dress the freshly tattooed regions in sterile bandages.
  • Give clients advice on how to take care of freshly tattooed skin.
  • Observe state and federal health requirements to maintain a clean and secure workplace.
  • Carry out custom designs and exceptional customer service to guarantee client happiness.
  • Apply stencils or other markings to the bodies of clients.
  • Clean, sterilize, and store equipment, tools, and supplies utilized in the tattooing process.
  • Create unique tattoo designs based on the concept or idea of each client.
  • Consult with customers to learn about their tattoo ideas, including size, placement, colors, and potential difficulties.
  • Create design sketches or modify previously created designs that clients have provided.
  • Ensure that apprentices and other tattoo artists are carrying out their responsibilities properly by supervising them.



To qualify for the role of a tattoo artist you are required to possess the following requirements:

  1. Education: The majority of tattoo artists have a GED or at least a high school diploma. Some artists opt to pursue a two-year associate’s degree in visual arts, graphic design, or a closely related subject. A four-year bachelor’s degree in fine arts or in fine arts with a focus on graphic design is another popular choice among artists.
  2. Experience and training: Many tattoo artists pick up the unique knowledge and abilities necessary for their jobs on the job. The artist may work under the close supervision of another tattoo artist during the training period, which could run from a few months to a year.
  3. Licenses and certificates: Depending on the type of work you plan to conduct, accreditation from a reputable industry group might show your commitment to the field.


Essential Skills

Some of the necessary skills required to become a tattoo artist include all of the following:

  1. A keen focus on detail: When it comes to professional tattooing, the artwork itself can be highly intricate, but there is much more to it than that. When it comes to succeeding in tattooing, someone who is detail-oriented will have an edge because the capacity to pay attention to minute details of the work and a willingness to learn the best practices for nearly every area of the work are crucial.
  2. Flexibility: People who are interested in this professional path should be open to the opportunities that arise. Flexibility in this area might help boost work chances because when apprenticeship opportunities do present themselves, they might not be exactly what one had in mind. In order to accomplish some objectives, it can be essential to work in a different setting than what was initially planned or to move to a different region of the country.
  3. Skills in customer service: You can communicate with customers and help them feel at ease by using your customer service talents. It’s crucial for tattoo artists to put their clients at ease because they frequently work with people who are having massive, permanent designs placed on their bodies. You can utilize your customer service abilities to pay attention to your clients’ demands, learn more about them, and ensure that they are happy with their tattoo.
  4. Knowledge of Drawing Techniques: Tattoo artists make unique designs for customers using their drawing abilities. In order to ensure that the tattoo matches the client’s body and their expectations, they can also edit pre-existing designs using this talent.
  5. Effective Time management skills: Numerous clients are frequently scheduled throughout the day for tattoo artists. Strong time management abilities may ensure that each client’s tattoo is finished on schedule. This can assist them in producing high-quality work and maintaining a satisfied clientele.
  6. Possession of artistic talents: The foundations of what it takes to succeed as a tattoo artist are present if you have artistic talent. Even if you have an innate talent, think about honing your abilities with classes in fine or graphic arts. Clients frequently request that tattoo artists create new designs or alter already-existing tattoos, so body artists need to be able to conceptualize their work and make it functional in real life.
  7. Health Knowledge: Any tattoo parlor places a high priority on customer safety; thus, a tattoo artist’s qualifications must also include proficiency in basic health and hygiene practices. In several states, tattoo artists are required to have CPR and basic first aid training. They must understand how to adhere to infection-control guidelines issued by the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the Center for Disease Prevention, tattoo artists need to be able to detect skin structure and function, discern prevalent skin illnesses, understand the consequences of scarring on the body, and understand the physiology of wound healing.

Giving skin tests for allergies is another aspect of the job. Tattoo artists must receive special training to check clients for blemishes, open sores, and indications of intravenous drug use. They must also understand how to properly clean their hands, their tools, and the skin of their clients.

  1. Interpersonal Competence: Tattoo artists must have excellent interpersonal skills, including active listening and clear communication. They need to be able to hear and comprehend directions from clients for drawings. Tattoo artists also discuss their tools and needle options with their customers. They must be able to comprehend and obtain medical histories from clients, judge whether getting a tattoo would be harmful to a client, and obtain informed consent for the process. Tattoo artists must also inform customers about how to care for a tattoo, including warning signals of infection and when it would be necessary for them to follow up with a doctor, both orally and in writing.
  2. Skills in coordination and concentration: Tattoo artists require both physical and mental endurance. They must have the physical stamina to remain still for an extended period of time, as well as the mental stamina to focus on a detailed drawing. Additionally, they need exceptional hand-eye coordination. Due to the fact that tattoo machines are powerful steel devices with needles that may pierce the skin up to 3,000 times per minute, any lapse in concentration or shaky hands can result in painful and expensive blunders for customers.
  3. Persistence: It takes work to be a tattoo artist. Persistence and tenacity are qualities that set successful people apart from unsuccessful ones. These characteristics are still required even when a tattoo artist has a successful career. There will always be new discoveries and methods to learn, and artists should constantly be working to improve their work.


How to Become a Tattoo Artist

A step-by-step guide to becoming a tattoo artist includes all of the following:

  1. Attend education courses for tattoo artists: While working as an apprentice for an experienced tattoo artist is a great way to learn many of the skills needed for a successful profession, certain state and municipal regulatory organizations, such as health departments, also demand classroom training. This knowledge qualifies one as a certified tattoo artist. One can hone their talents and learn the procedures required to become a tattoo artist at a tattoo school or tattoo college. Seminars on disease prevention, skin illnesses and infections, and training in blood-borne pathogen prevention are among the tattoo artist college courses that may be necessary for licensure. Similar to this, tattoo artist schools provide tattoo workshops where students can learn to tattoo on real people while also receiving instruction in tattoo artist specialties including line shading and color blending, stencil making, and tattoo history. Tattoo education training improves one’s skills and knowledge, prospects for employment in the future, and reputation in the community, however, it is not required.  Students who successfully finish these courses are awarded a tattoo certificate.
  2. Establish a portfolio: A high level of artistic talent and inventiveness is required of aspiring tattoo artists. An artist must finish a professional portfolio showcasing his or her best works of art before being accepted into an apprenticeship program working in a shop. The artist’s versatility and capacity to depict a wide range of subjects should be on display in the portfolio. In addition to original artwork, a portfolio may also include excellent photos or drawings.

A prospective tattoo artist can learn a variety of art techniques, such as scale, proportion, and shading, through art programs, whether in high school or through a neighborhood community center. These techniques are all important to succeeding as a tattoo artist. Portfolios should include 25–200 finished tattoo and drawing designs. Make sure the artist’s imagination and variety are fully displayed in these pieces, which should be 100 percent original.

A CV and cover letter should be included in your portfolio as it is the best practice for how to become a tattoo apprentice. Your tattoo education and experience should be listed on your CV, and the tattoo artist you want to intern with should be mentioned in your cover letter. Include a primary point about one piece in your portfolio, a few highlights from your relevant experience and enthusiasm, and other information as appropriate. You might think about purchasing individual business cards to include in your portfolio.

  1. Finish your apprenticeship: One of the prerequisites for tattoo artists to become licensed is to complete an apprenticeship. The Alliance of Professional Tattooists, or APT for short, recommends at least a three-year apprenticeship. An aspiring tattoo artist will learn how to create tattoos, use a tattoo machine, and clean equipment while working in a shop with an experienced tattooist during an apprenticeship. Additionally, some apprenticeship programs teach students about the business side of tattooing, which can help ambitious artists get ready to open their own shop. The APT claims that free apprenticeships are uncommon. Frequently, an apprentice may pay the artist to teach him or her, or the apprentice will sign a contract promising to continue working for the business for a specified period of time after the apprenticeship is over. The average cost of an apprenticeship is $5,000, but it can go up to $10,000.

When looking for a mentor, you should be sure to look around reputable, long-standing tattoo parlors. One of the most crucial factors is that your mentor and his/her/their shop adhere to appropriate hygiene standards and norms. For an apprenticeship to be successful, learning health and safety procedures is essential. Make sure the mentor you want has a large clientele and has had previous apprentices. You want to make sure your mentor has experience with the abilities required for your success because this relationship might be difficult. You should choose a mentor who will provoke and stimulate you during your time working together, since, as you should keep in mind, your apprenticeship is designed to push you.

Be professional, respectful, and informed when you reach out to your mentor and ask to work together. Try to set up an in-person meeting, conduct the required research, and prepare all of your materials in advance.

  1. Procurement of Necessary Equipment: All you need to submit an apprenticeship application is your portfolio. However, as you gain experience, you might want to spend money on tools and a basic tattoo kit. Make sure to consult your mentor before investing any more money in your profession. Basic equipment includes:
    • Medical gloves made of rubber
    • Heat transfer paper and a machine.
    • A foot switch and a power source.
    • Various inks – basic pigment colors and black.
    • A variety of configurations, each with its own tubes and tips.
    • Vaseline and ink caps
    • One spray bottle each for alcohol and soap.
  1. Obtain a license: To succeed as a tattoo artist, you certainly must have a tattoo license. Each state has its own rules for obtaining a tattoo license. For instance, Oregon mandates that licensees complete 50 tattoos and a minimum of 360 hours of training with an authorized artist. The standard response to “how do you get a license for tattooing?” nearly invariably mentions passing a written test and having your abilities evaluated. There are some jurisdictions, like Arizona, where tattoo artists do not need to obtain a license, but you should be wary of these exemptions because they will significantly impact your experience.
  2. Make use of the power of social media: You should start looking for clients as soon as you have a tattoo artist license. Utilizing social networking websites is the simplest way to do this. The best and most efficient way to start disseminating your work is to keep continuous records of your sketches and designs from the start. To get a jump start, you may even create your login and start adding to your page while enrolled in your classes. If you do this once a month with intention, you will be able to establish a large network, share your professional work, and access potential clients when you are ready. Research your favorite tattoo artists and make sure to follow their sites as well.
  3. Keep learning for advancement: For their license to be renewed, tattoo artists are required by several states to earn a certain number of CEUs. Seminars and programs are available as choices for continuing education.

A tattoo artist can gain access to a number of continuing education programs as well as networking opportunities in the field by becoming a member of a professional organization like the APT or the Association of Professional Tattoo Artists. For instance, some organizations offer services that connect potential clients with tattoo artists’ online portfolios and host competitions where artists can refine their abilities.


Where to Work as a Tattoo Artist

Tattoo artists work at tattoo studios


Tattoo Artist Salary Scale

The average annual wage for tattoo artists in the USA is $49,570, or $25.42 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $100,000 per year, while entry-level roles start at $32,500.

In the United Kingdom, a tattoo artist makes an average of £10 per hour and £21,543 per year. Tattoo artists typically earn between £16,308 and £25,162 per year in income. In general, a tattoo artist’s highest level of schooling is a high school diploma. This examination of remuneration is based on salary survey data gathered from anonymous employees and employers in the United Kingdom.

In Canada, a tattoo artist makes an average of $39,000 a year, or $20 per hour. Most experienced workers can earn up to $50,713 per year, while entry-level occupations start at $30,225 annually.

Tattoo artists in Australia earn an average of $64,080 per year.

The average gross pay for tattoo artists in Ireland is €29,072, which equates to an hourly wage of €14. Additionally, they receive a bonus that is typically €381. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in Ireland. The typical compensation for an entry-level tattoo artist (with 1-3 years of experience) is €22,395. The average income for senior-level tattoo artists (8+ years of experience) is €34,554.

In Germany, a tattoo artist makes an average of €30,714 per year and €15 per hour. Tattoo artists typically make between €23,250 and €35,874 per year. In general, a tattoo artist’s highest level of schooling is a high school diploma. This compensation study is based on wage survey information obtained from anonymous employees and employers in Germany.

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