How to become a tattooist and body piercer
You can get into this job through:
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You could start as an assistant in a tattoo parlour or body piercing studio. You would need to find a registered tattooist or body piercer, who is willing to take you on and train you.
You would learn alongside them in the workplace to get the skills, knowledge and experience needed for the job.
For tattooing, you'll need:
- an interest in tattooing designs
- artistic ability
- a portfolio of your own artwork and design ideas to showcase your talents
You might have to start as a customer service assistant in a studio, answering enquiries and booking appointments. From there, you could look out for trainee opportunities.
You could take short training courses and distance learning courses. These will not make you fully qualified. You'll also need to get hands-on, supervised experience in a registered studio.
Many tattooists have experience or qualifications in art and design. It can be useful to have a portfolio of your work.
It's useful to know about the styles and history of tattooing across different cultures. This can help you understand the traditions and meaning of images and how they are meant to be used.
Networking is a good way to get your skills known. Look for online community forums that can put you in touch with experienced tattooists or piercers.
Further informationYou can find out more about training with a registered body piercer from the UK Association of Professional Piercers.
You can also find out more about working in this and other creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.