How a Tattoo Apprenticeship Can Help You Launch Your Career

According to market research, the tattoo industry is generating an estimated $1.6 billion in revenue in the US annually, making it the 6th most rapidly growing industry in US history.

Becoming a tattoo artist is an excellent career for people with artistic talent. Moreover, because the tattoo industry shows no signs of slowing, it may be a wise career choice financially. But how does one become a tattoo artist?

The primary step is to apply for a tattoo apprenticeship, so if you’re an artist looking to get into tattooing, keep reading as we tell you how.


What Is a Tattoo Apprenticeship?

Becoming a tattoo apprentice is an excellent way to learn everything you need about tattooing. You are taught the craft by an established tattoo artist, with the apprenticeship typically lasting around two years.

Usually, the training begins with safety, correct sanitation procedures, and how to build a machine before getting to any hands-on work on clients. As you progress, you will be given more opportunities to tattoo willing customers.

Taking a tattoo apprenticeship is one of the most important steps toward your future career as a tattoo artist. 

Why Is It So Important?

While you can learn to become a tattoo artist in other ways, finding an established artist to mentor can give you extra insight into the tattoo industry.

1. You Learn the Basics

When you enter an apprenticeship, you begin with the basics, ultimately determining your career’s continued success. Your mentor will instruct you in tattoo shop hygiene, which is imperative to know if you don’t want your customers to get infected and sue. 

You’ll learn how to keep your workstation clean and sterile. You are working with open wounds, so you want to protect your customers from infection.

2. You Improve Your Art

To get a tattoo apprenticeship, you need to be a decent enough artist if you want to be successful. This means it’s essential to work on your portfolio, which you will use to get the apprenticeship.

Once you have a mentor, they will help you refine your talent, ultimately improving your tattoos. Ask your mentor to critique your artwork and spend as much time as you can improving your art.

3. You Learn the Machine

A tattoo machine is a complex device if you aren’t familiar with it. Once you have a tattoo apprenticeship, your mentor will teach you about the machine, including how to take apart and rebuild it.

This helps you familiarise yourself with the mechanics of it, which will be helpful when you are permitted to work on real skin.

4. You Learn How a Shop Works

Getting a two-year apprenticeship with a good artist means you will be working in their shop for the entire duration. This gives you an excellent insight into how a tattoo shop is run and how to run one successfully. This is useful if you want to open a shop one day.

5. You Make Connections

Making connections in the tattoo industry can go a long way to getting you more business leads. If you make friends in the industry, referrals can come your way if other artists want to recommend you if they’re fully booked.

Find Your Perfect Mentor

Now that you know what a tattoo apprenticeship is and why it’s so crucial for your future career as a tattoo artist, we recommend you approach a few tattoo shops that you admire and enquire if they’re looking to take on an apprentice. If they aren’t accepting, ask them if they know who are.

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