Alternative titles for this job include Body artist

Tattooists create permanent artwork on their clients' bodies.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

30 to 40 variable

You could work

evenings as customers demand

How to become a tattooist

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role


You could start as an assistant by finding a tattooist who is willing to take you on and train you.

It may be possible to work as a customer service assistant in a larger studio, answering enquiries and booking appointments. From there, you could become a trainee as opportunities come up.

You'll need:

  • an interest in tattooing
  • artistic ability
  • a portfolio of your artwork and design ideas to showcase your talents

More information

Career tips

Many tattooists have experience or qualifications in art and design.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • concentration skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You must register both yourself and your premises with your local council for a tattoo, piercing and electrolysis licence.

You'll need to vaccinated against hepatitis B.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • advising clients on suitable tattoos
  • making sure the chosen design is exactly what the client wants
  • checking that clients understand that the tattoo is permanent
  • copying the chosen design onto the customer’s skin, either by drawing freehand or using a transfer
  • following the design lines with an electrically-operated needle, which injects ink under the skin
  • making sure all equipment is sterilised and clean, and following strict hygiene and health and safety procedures

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You could open your own tattoo studio.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a tattooist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a tattooist?

Search for training courses near you.

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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