Become a Tattoo Artist

How to Become a Tattoo Artist and the Different Types

Tattoos have been a part of human culture for thousands of years and continue to be a popular form of self-expression. If you have an artistic talent and a passion for tattoos, you may be wondering how to become a tattoo artist. We will cover everything you need to know about becoming a successful tattoo artist, including the time it takes to become one, the steps to take, and the skills and traits you’ll need.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Tattoo Artist?

Becoming a professional tattoo artist takes time, dedication, and a lot of hard work. The amount of time it takes to become a tattoo artist can vary greatly, depending on a number of factors, including your level of experience, the quality of your education, and the amount of time you’re able to dedicate to your training. On average, it can take anywhere from six months to 3 years becoming a professional tattoo artist.

Necessary Education for Tattoo Artist

There is no specific education requirement to become a tattoo artist, but there are several paths that can help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the field. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Apprenticeship: One of the most traditional and effective ways to become a tattoo artist is through an apprenticeship. During an apprenticeship, you’ll work with a seasoned tattoo artist and learn the basics of tattooing, including how to use equipment, prepare needles, mix ink, and sterilize your workspace. Apprenticeships typically last one to two years and can provide you with hands-on training and experience.
  • Art school: If you have a strong background in art, you may want to consider attending art school to further develop your skills. Art school can provide you with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of art, such as color theory, composition, and drawing, and can help you improve your artistic abilities.
  • Online courses: Online courses and workshops can provide you with a comprehensive education in tattooing, from the basics of equipment and techniques to the latest styles and trends. Online courses are flexible and can be taken at your own pace, making them a convenient option for those who want to improve their skills or start a new career.
  • Workshops and seminars: Workshops and seminars can provide you with hands-on training and the opportunity to learn from experienced tattoo artists. Attending workshops and seminars can help you stay current on the latest techniques and styles and can provide you with the opportunity to network with other tattoo artists.

In general, the best way to become a tattoo artist is to combine formal education with hands-on experience. Whether you choose to attend art school, participate in an apprenticeship, or take online courses, it’s important to continue practicing and developing your skills to become a successful tattoo artist.

How to Write Tattoo Artists Resume

To write a successful tattoo artist resume, follow these steps:

  • This is your chance to make a good first impression, so use it to summarize your relevant experience and qualifications in a clear and concise manner.
  • If you have any formal training or certifications related to tattooing, list them here, including the name of the school, program, and date of completion.
  • Start with your most recent job and work backwards, listing the name of the shop, your role, and the dates you worked there. Highlight the skills and responsibilities you had, such as designing tattoos, preparing the skin, and using sterilization techniques.
  • A portfolio of your best work is essential for a tattoo artist’s resume. You can include high-quality images of your tattoos, along with a description of the design, placement, and clients you worked with.
  • Tattoo artists need  variety of skills, such as attention to detail, creativity, customer service, and the ability to work under pressure. List the skills you have that are most relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • If you have any references from previous clients, employers, or colleagues, include them on your resume. This can help give potential employers confidence in your work and experience.
  • Use a clear, easy-to-read font, and keep your resume to one or two pages. Make sure it is well-organized and free of errors.
  • is a professional resume writing service that can help you create a high-quality and effective resume. They offer a variety of resume writing services, including resume writing, cover letter writing, and LinkedIn profile creation. They have a team of experienced writers who specialize in creating resumes for various industries, including the tattoo artist field. By using a professional resume writing service, you can benefit from the expertise and knowledge of a seasoned writer, who can help you showcase your skills, experience, and achievements in the best possible light. They can help you tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for, highlight your unique selling points, and ensure that your resume is free of errors and typos.
  • If you are looking to create a professional and effective resume, consider using a service like

Job Board Where you Find Tattoo Artists jobs

You can find tattoo artist jobs on a variety of job boards, such as:

Indeed: A popular job search engine that allows you to search for jobs by keyword, location, and industry.

Jobsath: A comprehensive job board that offers a wide range of job postings, including tattoo artist positions.

Glassdoor: A job board that also provides company reviews and salary information, making it easier to find a job that’s the right fit for you.

LinkedIn: A professional networking site that also offers job postings, including tattoo artist positions.

ZipRecruiter: A job search engine that aggregates job postings from a variety of sources, including company websites and job boards.

It’s also a good idea to check local classifieds and websites, as well as social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, where tattoo artists may advertise their services and look for new job opportunities.

How to Become a Tattoo Artist

Gain experience in the arts: Tattoo artists need to have a strong foundation in the arts, including drawing, sketching, and shading. If you don’t already have experience in these areas, consider taking art classes or workshops to improve your skills.

Research Apprenticeships

One of the best ways to learn how to tattoo is to find a professional tattoo artist who is willing to take you on as an apprentice. Apprenticeships usually last for one to two years and involve working with a professional tattoo artist to learn the ins and outs of the trade.

Studying the Basics of Tattooing

To become a professional tattoo artist, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of the basics of tattooing, including the equipment, supplies, and techniques used in the process. There are many books and online resources available that can help you learn the basics.

Get a Portfolio Together

To show potential clients and employers your skills and abilities, you’ll need to have a portfolio of your work. As you gain experience and build your portfolio, be sure to include pictures of your best work and any awards or recognition you’ve received.

Get licensed

Most states require tattoo artists to be licensed. To obtain a license, you’ll typically need to pass a written exam and complete a certain number of hours of training.

Find work

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and obtained your license, you can start looking for work as a tattoo artist. Consider working at a tattoo shop or starting your own business.

Become a Tattoo Artist: Essential Skills and Traits

To become a successful tattoo artist, you’ll need to have a variety of skills and traits, including:

Artistic ability: As a tattoo artist, your ability to create beautiful, high-quality tattoos is essential. You should have a strong foundation in the arts and be able to draw, sketch, and shade with ease.

Attention to detail: Tattooing requires precision and attention to detail. You’ll need to be meticulous and meticulous when it comes to creating tattoos that look clean and professional.

Customer service skills: Tattooing is a service industry, and you’ll need to be able to provide excellent customer service to your clients. This includes being able to listen to their needs and being able to work with them to create tattoos that they love.

Sterilization skills: Tattoo artists need to be knowledgeable about sterilization and infection control. This is essential to protect your clients and keep them safe during the tattooing process.

Physical dexterity:Physical dexterity is an important skill for tattoo artists as it requires the ability to control the tattoo machine with precision and steadiness for extended periods of time. This skill can be developed through practice and repetition, and by working on building up your hand strength and stability.

Creativity: Tattoo artists should be creative and have an artistic vision. This helps you to come up with unique designs and ideas that will stand out and make your tattoos memorable.

Adaptability: Tattooing is an ever-evolving field, and tattoo artists need to be able to adapt and keep up with the latest techniques, styles, and trends. This requires a willingness to learn and an open-minded approach to new ideas and techniques.

Types of Tattoo Artist

There are several types of tattoo artists, each with their own unique set of skills and specialties. Some of the most common types of tattoo artists include:

Traditional Tattoo Artists

Traditional tattoo artists specialize in classic, timeless designs and techniques, such as bold lines and bright colors. They often work with traditional imagery, such as hearts, anchors, and roses.

Realistic Tattoo Artists

Realistic tattoo artists specialize in creating tattoos that look like photographs. They have a high level of skill in shading and blending colors to create lifelike portraits and other images.

Black and Gray Tattoo Artists

Black and gray tattoo artists specialize in creating tattoos using only black ink and different shades of gray. They have a high level of skill in creating intricate designs with subtle shading and contrast.

New School Tattoo Artists 

New school tattoo artists specialize in bold, bright tattoos with a more cartoonish style. They often incorporate bold lines, vibrant colors, and exaggerated features into their designs.

Watercolor Tattoo Artists

Watercolor tattoo artists specialize in creating tattoos that look like they were painted with watercolor paint. They have a high level of skill in blending colors and creating a soft, ethereal look.

Lettering Tattoo Artists

Lettering tattoo artists specialize in creating tattoos that feature beautiful lettering and calligraphy. They have a high level of skill in creating text that is both legible and visually appealing.

Biomechanical Tattoo Artists 

Biomechanical tattoo artists specialize in creating tattoos that feature mechanical or robotic elements. They often incorporate gears, wires, and other mechanical elements into their designs to create a unique and futuristic look.

Each type of tattoo artist has its own set of skills and specialties, and the best tattoo artist for you will depend on the type of tattoo you want and your personal preferences. It’s important to do your research and find an artist whose work you admire and who has the skills and experience necessary to create the tattoo you want.


Tattoo artists are highly skilled professionals who use their artistic talents to create tattoos for their clients. They need a combination of technical skills, creativity, and customer service skills to succeed in the field. To find a job as a tattoo artist, it’s important to have a strong portfolio, a well-written resume, and the ability to network with potential employers.

Tattoo artists play a crucial role in helping people express themselves through their body art, and they can make a real difference in their clients’ lives. With the right skills, experience, and portfolio, you can pursue a successful and rewarding career as a tattoo artist.

How to Become a Tattoo Artist: FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about becoming a tattoo artist:

What Skills do I Need to Become a Tattoo Artist?

Good hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, and artistic talent are essential for success as a tattoo artist. You also need to be able to work well under pressure, be comfortable communicating with clients, and have excellent interpersonal skills.

Is a Formal Education Required to Become a Tattoo Artist?

No, there is no formal education requirement to become a tattoo artist. However, many tattoo artists choose to attend art school or participate in an apprenticeship to develop their skills and knowledge.

How Do I Get Started as a Tattoo Artist?

The best way to get started as a tattoo artist is to participate in an apprenticeship with a seasoned tattoo artist. You can also take online courses, attend workshops and seminars, and practice your skills as much as possible to become a successful tattoo artist.

What are the Licensing Requirements for Tattoo Artists?

Licensing requirements for tattoo artists vary by state and jurisdiction, but most states require tattoo artists to pass a bloodborne pathogens exam and obtain a license to practice. It’s important to research the licensing requirements in your area to ensure that you are in compliance with all local regulations.

What are the Job Prospects for Tattoo Artists?

The job outlook for tattoo artists is positive, with many tattoo artists enjoying successful careers and a high level of job satisfaction. The demand for tattoo artists is growing, and many tattoo artists are able to build successful careers and earn a good living.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn as a Tattoo Artist?

The salary of a tattoo artist varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and demand. On average, tattoo artists can expect to earn between $30,000 and $100,000 per year, with experienced tattoo artists earning the highest salaries.

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