How To Become a State Certified Tattoo Artist

Client signing contract

Art is found everywhere and anytime of the day. One's opinion of art varies. A piece of crumpled paper may even be considered as art to some but not to others. Painting is one of the most celebrated art forms and can be done on any part of any physical object. Drawing or painting can not only be put into a paper or sketch pad. You can also paint on the ceiling (as in the case of the Sistine Chapel). You can draw and fill your walls with creative figures and signs (which is what some call graffiti or vandalism, but "wall art" or mural art to others).

Even the skin is not exempt. The colorful figures and signs put on your skin are what are known as tattoos. Some may think of them as a way of dirtying your body, but tattoos are also a way of releasing your artistry in you. That is why the people who make tattoos are also called artists. Being a certified tattoo artist is quite simple actually. If you want to be a state certified tattoo artist, here’s how:

  • Enroll in workshops that provide lessons on becoming a tattoo artist. If you don't have such workshops in your area, then try checking online. Just make sure that their guidelines provided by your State's Department of Health are met by the said workshop or online class. In most states, you will need to be of legal age, that is, eighteen years old or above, to be able to pursue a career in tattoo art. Tattoo schools in some states may also require you to be at least a high school graduate (or its GED equivalent). You may also need to take and pass practical and/or written exams before being admitted into the program. Many states also require you to have first aid and CPR certifications prior to program admission.
  • It is well known that tattooing uses invasive tools which can result in harmful effects to the health of a person receiving the tattoo. So, it is a must to know the skin anatomy and physiology, standard procedures for tattoos, ethics in design for body artists, and other required specifications published by your State. You will need to undergo apprenticeship under the supervision of a master tattoo artist. The apprenticeship period teaches you a lot of techniques. For example, you will learn lessons on infection control. You will also be most likely required to perform procedures on non-human subjects. In North Carolina, for example, you are required to perform 400 tattoos on the skin of pigs, which are then evaluated by the county’s health department in order to assess whether you have already learned how to tattoo safely.
  • In some states, they will allow you to earn a license after you have served your apprenticeship in certified training programs or classes. Theses courses will provide necessary information when it comes to becoming a certified tattoo artist. These apprenticeships usually last from 24 to 36 months. But, don't worry. Usually, on your second year you get to be paid already, depending on the shops you are apprenticing.

Make sure when you are applying for apprenticeship that the program is clean and sterile. Your health is always at risk when talking about tattoos, since the process is an invasive procedure. Another thing to remember: if you are about to start your own tattoo parlor, it is not advisable to buy your equipment from those supply companies that are not shop-affiliated. There is a tendency that despite their affordable price, they may not be of high quality. It is also ill advise to just study on your own and practice at home without attending tattoo programs or workshops since you will not be acquainted with the blood-borne diseases associated with that line of work and also the etiquette one must posses in becoming a tattoo artist. Always remember that the welfare of your customers lies in your hands.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: