National Avg. Salary

$62,130 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

0.7% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

High School Diploma Programs & Degrees →

Attributes

  • Creativity Focused
  • Flexible Hours
  • Good Money From Tips
  • High Job Satisfaction

What Could My Degree Cost?

By registering for free with OnlineDegree.com, your degree could be 25-30% less, and save you time.

Learn More →

Tattoo artists use specialized tools to apply permanent designs to the skin using non-toxic ink. They may create tattoos of their own design or apply tattoos in designs requested by clients. Tattoo artists may work in tattoo shops or own their own businesses. Tool sanitation and safety is of critical importance.

You Could Save on a Degree Toward Your Tattoo Artist Career

Find Potential Schools

Find a university and degree you like from our accredited partners across the country (we’ll help you find the right fit)

Take Our Free Courses

That could receive units towards that degree…Tuition-free!

Activate Discounts

That could instantly lower the cost of your degree by 5-25%

OnlineDegree.com Helps Make College More Affordable…for Free.

See How it Works

Job Description

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in tattoo artist roles:

  • Apply permanent ink to client skin in requested designs and patterns
  • Use a variety of tools and techniques to apply permanent designs
  • Create designs for clients or apply designs selected or submitted by clients
  • Ensure proper sanitizing and care of tools to prevent the spread of disease and infection
  • Educate clients on appropriate care of tattoos

A Day in the Life

Tattoo artists are artists who apply their designs to skin rather than other surfaces or materials. They use a specialized, non-toxic ink that creates permanent designs on client skin. To apply tattoos, tattoo artists must use a variety of tools. Additionally, they must ensure proper sanitation and care for tools to prevent the spread of disease and infection. Improperly sanitized, reusable tools can cause severe health issues, so it’s critical that tattoo artists always follow standardized sanitation protocols.

Many tattoo artists spend time creating their own designs. These designs are inserted into portfolios for clients to review when considering a new tattoo. Clients can choose tattoo designs from the tattoo artist’s portfolio, can bring in their own design, or can request a custom design from the artist. Many tattoo artists are trained as artists—either self-taught or in school—and use their training and talents to create special designs that meet client specifications.

Another important role of the tattoo artist is educating clients on tattoos. First, they must ensure clients understand that tattoos are permanent. Second, they must teach clients how to care for their tattoos, particularly in the weeks after application where the risk of infection is more likely. Many tattoo artists also offer body piercing services and may be trained as piercers. These tattoo artists install tongue, ear, eyebrow, nose, and other piercings for clients and teach clients how to care for new piercings.

Typical Work Schedule

There really is no typical work schedule for tattoo artists. Some work first-shift hours, some work second-shift, and some may work third-shift. Jobs can be either full-time or part-time depending on the employer and tattoo artist’s preferences. Evening and weekend work is common as those tend to be the busiest times for tattoo shops.

Typical Employers

Many tattoo artists are self-employed and own their own shops, share ownership of a shop with one or more other tattoo artists, or rent a booth in an established tattoo shop. Others work for tattoo chains or shops owned by other tattoo artists or business people.

Free Courses Towards My Degree?

Yep. Take a bunch of free courses at OnlineDegree.com that could receive credit toward your college degree. Saving you time and money on your way to a Tattoo Artist career

  • Tuition Free
  • Beginner (No experience needed)
  • 24/7, Self-paced
  • Detailed Videos & Exercises
Free Courses →

Want To Be a Tattoo Artist? Start Your Path Today.

Take Over 15 Free Courses at OnlineDegree.com that Could Receive Credits Towards Your College Degree.

See How it Works →

or Learn More →

Tattoo Artist Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

Low Range

$38,920

Average

$62,130

High Range

$100,240

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$19/hr

Average

$30/hr

High Range

$48/hr

How do Tattoo Artist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Tattoo Artist's can make an average annual salary of $62,130, or $30 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $38,920 or $19 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #250 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Start Your Path Today, Free!

Our goal is to help people save thousands of dollars on tuition. By activating discounts and taking free courses at OnlineDegree.com, you could save up to 30% on your college degree.

See How it Works →

How To Become

No formal higher education is required in order to work as a tattoo artist. Instead, most tattoo artists learn the trade through apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are usually one- or two-year paid study programs under an experienced tattoo artist where apprentices learn how to apply tattoos, how to use tools, and how to ensure proper care for and sanitation of tattoo application tools. In some states and localities, apprentices must obtain an apprentice license to assist tattoo artists in their shops.

Formal requirements for tattoo artists are determined by state or local governments. Some states enforce strict guidelines as to the qualifications a tattoo artist must have in order to apply tattoos on clients in the state. Other states leave the requirements decision up to local governments. Even in states with loose regulations, obtaining the proper licensure or certification can be beneficial for tattoo artists because it inspires confidence in their abilities and safety among potential clients.

Because tattoo artists are in artistic positions, many find that a certificate or degree with a focus on art to be beneficial. Some pursue bachelor of fine arts degrees where they learn to perfect their craft, focusing on drawing and related areas. Because tattoos are permanent, low-quality work can be detrimental to a tattoo artist’s career. With a thorough education in art, aspiring tattoo artists are better prepared to apply tattoos that meet client specifications perfectly and result in increased business.


Start Your Path To Become a Tattoo Artist, Free!

At OnlineDegree.com you could receive college credits towards your degree by taking free courses online. Potentially saving you thousands of dollars and time.

See How it Works →

Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree

    High School Diploma

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Tattoo Artist. a High School Diploma is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Tattoo Artist

  • 1.9%   Doctorate
  • 12%   Masters
  • 45%   Bachelors
  • 9%   Associates
  • 18.4%   College
  • 10.7%   High School
  • 3%   Less than High School

Want To Be a Tattoo Artist? Get Started!

Take Over 15 Free Courses at OnlineDegree.com That Could Receive Credits Towards College... Saving You Both Time and Money.

See How it Works →

or Learn More →

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

13,400

2024 Est. Jobs

13,500

Job Growth Rate

0.7%

Est. New Jobs

100

How does Tattoo Artist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 100 jobs for a total of 13,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 0.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #583 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

Start Your Path Today, Free!

Our goal is to help people save thousands of dollars on tuition. By activating discounts and taking free courses at OnlineDegree.com, you could save up to 30% on your college degree.

See How it Works →

What Companies Employ The Most Tattoo Artists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 5,400 --- ---
Federal government, excluding postal service 3,400 -300 0%
Personal care services 1,700 100 0%

Want To Be a Tattoo Artist? Get Started!

Take Free Courses at OnlineDegree.com That Could Receive Credits Towards College... Saving You Both Time and Money. Awesome.

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →