How Much Does The Average Tattoo Artist Make?
How much does a Tattoo Artist make? – Tattoo artists make $63,584 per year on average, or $30. 57 per hour, in the United States. Tattoo artists on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $27,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $148,000.
- 1 Where do tattoo artists get paid the most?
- 2 What tattoo artist makes the most money?
- 3 Can you make a living as a tattoo artist?
- 4 How much is a full sleeve tattoo?
- 5 Is tattooing a good side hustle?
- 6 Is tattooing a stressful job?
- 7 Are tattoo artists happy?
Where do tattoo artists get paid the most?
What tattoo artist makes the most money?
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Can you make a living as a tattoo artist?
How Much Do Tattooists Earn Annually? – According to the ZipRecruiter ‘s latest update, it is believed that tattoo artists in the United States have an annual income of $99,956. This means they earn on average $48. 06 an hour, or $8,330 as a monthly salary.
- Of course, this is just an average estimate;
- Some tattoo artists can earn as much as $300,000, while others earn as low as $12,000;
- To be more specific, currently, the highest-earning tattoo artists make annually around $260,000, while the lowest-earning tattooist in 2021 earns approximately $39,000;
But, why do these numbers vary so much? Why is the discrepancy between low- and high-earning tattoo artists so significant? The reason for this lies in factors like the state where the tattoo artists work, opportunities for economic or wage advancement, even how much people tip them after a completed tattoo work.
Of course, there are things like the quality of work, reputation, location of the tattoo studio, the cost of owning the studio as well as the tools and equipment, and so much more. We do have to mention that the majority of tattoo artists don’t own their own studio at the beginning of their careers.
They have to work for someone else, which means they do not receive their full earnings. The shopkeeper generally collects up to 70% commission for every tattoo completed at their shop. This means you’ll only earn between $30 or $40 for a $100 tattoo since the shopkeepers take the commission of up to $70.
However, with enough time and experience, even a beginner in the industry can improve their earnings by gaining and growing the clientele. As the customer number grows, especially the number of regular and valuable customers, so does the cost of the tattoo increase.
As a result, the commission lowers, especially if the tattooist decides to go solo. This gives the tattooist an opportunity to charge more, earn more, and build a stable business.
What are the cons of being a tattoo artist?
How much is a full sleeve tattoo?
How Much Does a Sleeve Tattoo Cost? – A full-sleeve tattoo will usually cost between $2,000 and $4,000. These tattoos are so expensive because they can take many days to complete depending on size and detail. If you’re getting a sleeve tattoo containing many colors, expect to pay even more than this.
- Most tattoo artists charge for their services by the hour;
- The amount that they charge is based on how popular or experienced they are, as well as the city they work in;
- Popular and experienced artists tend to charge higher rates, as do artists based in busy cities;
The average rate that tattoo artists charge per hour can be anywhere from $50 to over $200, with the U. average being around $80. Depending on the overall design of your sleeve, as well as how big your arm is, you can work out an approximate cost. Intricate and detailed designs on bigger arms will take more hours of work to complete.
Generally speaking, it should take a minimum of ten to fifteen hours to complete a full sleeve. However, as the size and detail of a design go up, so does the time it takes to complete. Some sleeves may take up to eighty hours from start to finish.
Factoring in the hourly rate of your tattoo artist, sleeves could cost anywhere between $2000 and $16,000. The only way to get an accurate picture of what a sleeve will cost you is to speak to your tattoo artist. Discuss the design you have in mind with a few different artists and see if there is any major difference in price.
Is being a tattoo artist difficult?
10 Things You Should Know Before Becoming A Tattoo Artist –
- If you’re good at drawing, it doesn’t mean you’ll be good at tattooing!
- Becoming a tattoo artist doesn’t mean you’ll become rich; at the beginning of your career, you’ll probably work for free!
- You don’t have to go to a tattoo school to become a tattoo artist!
- Prepare to invest heavily into a tattoo machine and tattoo equipment!
- No one can guarantee you success in the industry; you may or may not become successful and have a profitable business!
- Don’t expect your every tattoo to be perfect; there will be times when you mess up, badly!
- You’ll have to learn to say NO to customers’ bad tattoo design ideas!
- You’ll have to learn to be extremely focused on tattooing only, for hours!
- Expect to start having back issues, pain in the arms, and neck after only a few years of tattooing!
- Becoming a tattoo artist will take a lot of hard work, and we’re talking about years of dedication and commitment!
Do tattoo artists get paid an hour?
The average hourly rate for Tattoo Artist ranges from $18 to $22 with the average hourly pay of $20. The total hourly cash compensation, which includes base and short-term incentives, can vary anywhere from $19 to $24 with the average total hourly cash compensation of $21.
Is tattooing a good side hustle?
Tattoo artists have a passion for permanent body modification. Becoming a tattoo artist can be a lengthy process. Most tattoo artists have studied in an apprenticeship for years before venturing out on their own. Unlike many other careers, most tattoo artists must have natural talent that they can start to work with.
Tattoo artists spend many years refining their own artistic skills before they start tattooing ink into someone’s skin. Regulations Regulations on becoming a tattoo artist vary from state to state. Some states leave tattoo regulation up to the individual city which means that the requirements of becoming a tattoo artist can be different in each city of a state.
Looking up individual state requirements is the first step toward becoming a tattoo artist. Some states like South Dakota require no licensing, apprenticeship or testing to become a tattoo artist. Other states like Tennessee require a 1 year apprenticeship, licensing and inspections by the state.
Many states require a license from the American Association of Micropigmentation which has its own requirements to meet before issuing a license. Ensuring you meet all of the qualifications in your state is the first step toward becoming a licensed tattoo artist.
Pay Pay for a tattoo artist is going to vary as much as the amount of work required to get certified within the different states. The average income in 2010 for a tattoo artist was $32,000 annually. The great difference in pay depends on the level of work that a tattoo artist is willing to put in, their natural skill, and their ability to get repeat business.
A bad tattoo artist is going to make significantly less than one who is booked for months because of word of mouth. A tattoo artist can work as much as 7 days a week or as little as 1 tattoo a week, which is part of the reason for the variation in the pay rates.
Advantages Tattoo artists often love what they do. They get to utilize their natural talent to give people permanent body modifications. Tattoo artists often set their own schedules and are not forced to work traditional hours. In addition to having a large amount of flexibility, tattoo artists can have multiple occupations.
- This makes it the ideal choice for someone who wants to pursue multiple career paths at the same time;
- Disadvantages Tattoo artists who are just beginning do not have a large client base;
- This can lead to infrequent work or spending large volumes of time idle in a shop waiting for a client;
Tattoo artists often work late into the night to accommodate their client’s needs. Tattoo artists who want to work more traditional hours may not find that they get many clients who are willing to come in for a tattoo at 10 AM on a Monday. Taking the Initial Steps Regardless of the regulation required in your state you should participate in an apprenticeship.
- Find a willing tattoo artist who will apprentice you;
- Investigate the steps that are necessary to become a licensed tattoo artist in your city and state;
- Make sure that you have obtained all of the necessary licenses before beginning your work as a tattoo artist;
Once you have completed an apprenticeship and obtained all of the necessary licenses, you are ready to begin your new and exciting career as a tattoo artist. .
Can a tattoo artist become rich?
Does New York regulate tattoo facilities? – Tattooing and body piercing are regulated by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Tattoo and body piercing businesses need a permit. Individual tattoo and piercing artists need a permit too. In New York City, businesses must also follow rules from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Thereof, can you get rich from tattooing? Tattoo artists can make good money because they do everything from infinity symbols on fingers to stunning full body designs. Gifted artistry, steady hands and raw courage are required when skin is your canvas.
Famous body artists can earn up to $500 per hour, or more.
Is it worth it to become a tattoo artist?
You’re Ready to Work for Yourself – Unlike your office or retail job, when you’re working at a tattoo shop you’re working for yourself. Some artists work as independent contractors while others are employees, but either way, you’re responsible for your own work.
If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. You won’t make money by sitting around. There’s no specific tattoo artist salary; you get out what you put in. For some people, this is too much responsibility. While some established artists can work short hours with high-end clients, beginners aren’t in this position.
They have to work around the clock to draw designs and tattoo clients. It’s a lot of work and you’ll leave tired. If it’s right for you, you’ll also leave happy. Does this appeal to you? One of the benefits of being a tattoo artist is that you have a high earning potential.
Good and established artists with consistent clients can make well over a thousand dollars per week. Some make six figures. You don’t get to that point overnight. If you want that money, you need to work for it.
There’s no one to promote you or give you more hours. .
Is tattooing a stressful job?
Working as a tattooist is not that stressful. Compared to many other jobs, working as a tattoo artist is also not that stressful. Sure, you really have to focus on your work to avoid mistakes that could ruin the visual appearance of the skin of your clients.
How many days do tattoo artists work?
Skills and Qualifications – A tattoo artist trains by becoming an apprentice. This usually takes between 2 and 3 years. The only way to do this is by approaching a working tattoo artist and applying for the position. You will expected to buy your own equipment and sterilising kit and will not be paid for the apprenticeship.
Expect to work around 6 hours a day for 6 days a week. Over time, greater responsibility will be awarded, until you can tattoo unsupervised. Once enough work experience has been amassed, a licence to practise must be obtained from the local council.
The catch is that you must be working and have experience to obtain one and you have to obtain one to work. That is why the apprenticeship is necessary. Working without a licence incurs a heavy penalty. Once the apprenticeship period is over you work on simple designs, moving to more complex work as your experience progresses.
Are tattoo artists happy?
Tattoo artists are one of the happiest careers in the United States. At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, tattoo artists rate their career happiness 3.
How much do tattoo artists make in Utah?
How much does a Tattoo Artist make in Utah? The average Tattoo Artist salary in Utah is $40,109 as of July 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $36,463 and $44,282. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.
How much do tattoo artists make a year NZ?
The average tattoo artist gross salary in New Zealand is $44,095 or an equivalent hourly rate of $21. In addition, they earn an average bonus of $578. Salary estimates based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in New Zealand.
How do tattoo artists get paid Australia?
Tattoos, formerly depicted as symbols of rebellion and subculture allegiance, are increasingly gaining respect in the fine art world. People all over the world are becoming more interested in getting inked. One in every five Australians has at least one tattoo, and there is a greater need than ever for skilled tattoo artists. Tattoos are temporary skin markings or designs created by puncturing the skin with needles loaded with dye.
- Tattooing dates back to the dawn of humanity, and thanks to its long history, the craft has grown in popularity once more;
- A career as a tattoo artist, like many other artistic disciplines, is not very easy to achieve;
If you are someone with a creative eye, steady hand, and love for tattoos, a career as a tattoo artist might be the right choice for you. Read the following article to know everything you need to know about how to become a tattoo artist in Australia. What Does a Tattoo Artist do? A tattoo artist is a professional artist who designs and applies tattoos to the customer’s desire by injecting ink and other pigments underneath the skin with a small sterilised needle.
- Tattoo artists can open their own shops, can work privately for customers or work for others;
- Many tattoo parlours have hundreds of images from which the client can choose;
- However, some clients want to bring their artwork or have a custom tattoo done for them, so tattoo artists must be able to meet customers’ demand as well as advise them on tattoo problems such as size, form, colour and placement on the body;
The tattoo artist will transfer the artwork to the client’s skin after it has been chosen and the position of the picture is adjusted numerous times till the customer is satisfied. Personal Requirements for a Tattoo Artist Tattooing is a highly specialised profession that demands a distinct set of skills, such as:
- Maturity – A tattoo artist should be very mature in dealing with their clients. They should be able to say ‘NO’ to undesirable tattoo designs.
- Interpersonal skills – Tattoo artists must be able to work well with people. They must have good listening skills and must be able to comprehend client instructions for drawings. They also need to explain how to care for a tattoo.
- Steady hand – You have to understand that tattooing is painting art on live skin. Therefore, the skills and talents need to be exceptionally high, with a steady hand and attention to the minutest details. They also should be comfortable with needles.
- Personal hygiene is essential – The safety of the customer should be crucial for any tattoo artist, therefore, the prerequisites for a tattoo artist include skills and knowledge in the fundamentals of health and cleanliness.
- Artistic skills – The art tattoo artists draw on their customers will endure a lifetime, so it’s crucial to have excellent drawing skills and the ability to understand client preferences.
- Concentration skills – Tattoo artists have to be extremely focused. They require both physical and mental stamina to sit for long hours on a detailed drawing. They should also have excellent hand-eye coordination. Tattoo machines are powerful steel devices with needles that pierce the skin up to 3,000 times per minute, so any lapse in concentration or shaky hand can result in painful, costly mistakes for customers.
3. Major Duties and Tasks of a Tattoo Artist
- Consulting customers to learn more about the services they require.
- Explaining the procedure to the client.
- Assisting the customer with picking an image, interpreting the customer’s thought to produce a picture, designing an image for the client, and creating a stencil of the image.
- Keeping the rooms and equipment clean and sterile under state or territorial skin penetration laws.
- Making tattoo stencils, designing tattoos, and creating line drawings from photocopies.
- Maintaining stringent hygiene and contamination control requirements while doing needle piercings and tattoos with a tattoo machine.
- Creating new designs and drawing them out.
- Informing clients about after-care practices.
- Promoting themselves to increase their client base.
Tattooing is a skill that requires a lot of experience, education, and apprenticeship. To excel in tattooing, one must have an artistic background. Therefore, before practising tattooing, it is important to strengthen one’s drawing abilities and illustration techniques. Here’s how you can get started. Steps to Become a Tattoo Artist in Australia Step 1: Learn How to Draw
- The best way to get started is to start drawing on your own. You only need a pencil and a notebook to get started. Draw what you see, what you think, and what others describe. Determine whether you truly enjoy drawing and creating art, especially art for others. Because you’ll be drawing requests most of the time, you must be at ease creating work that satisfies people’s requirements.
- It wouldn’t be hard to shift from sketching on paper to drawing on the skin if you’re already a hands-on artist.
- Tattoo machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and a typical tattoo machine weighs between 220 grams and 226 grams. It is thus preferable to practise sketching using heavy pencils or thick pens to obtain the feel and weight of an actual tattoo gun.
- Explore numerous art forms and analyse the works of great tattoo artists while learning. It will assist you in recognising the type of art that you enjoy doing.
Step 2: Practise Sketching on Contoured Surfaces
- Tattooing gets difficult for a novice since the human body is not as flat as a canvas or a piece of paper. Thus, sketching on moulded or curved surfaces requires greater practice. It is usually preferable to experiment on a fruit, bottle or pigskin before immediately puncturing the skin. Fruits that are great to practise tattooing are citrus fruits with thick skins, such as oranges and grapefruit, and unripe bananas.
- Pig skin, on the other hand, is considered to be a perfect match to human skin, which is ideal for learning how to colour a tattoo properly. This is the recommended medium for apprenticing with a tattoo artist because you will be able to measure the depth of the needle in the skin.
Step 3: Purchase a Low-cost Tattoo Machine When you’re confident and comfortable using your replacement pen, invest in a low-cost tattoo machine. There are several types of basic tattoo machines, including rotary, coil, linear, shader, and pneumatic. It is best to select a coil or rotary machine to keep things simple. Step 4: Make a Tattoo Apprentice Portfolio Building an attractive portfolio is one of the most crucial tools on the road to becoming a tattoo artist. Below are some points to be kept in mind when collating your portfolio:
How to Create a Portfolio:
- Include a cover letter and a resume that highlights your education and experience in this field.
- Your strongest works should be put towards the beginning and end of your portfolio.
- The works you include in your portfolio should complement rather than compete with one another.
- You will probably be quizzed on your work. Prepare to address a few main components for each piece in your portfolio so that you are ready to tackle any topic your potential mentor may bring up.
Note: Include any art that displays your skills. It may be a photograph of your sculpture, a piece of graffiti, or digital creation. Remember, this is a tattoo portfolio, therefore your artistic talents should show through. If you have flash sheets, include them. In other words, you can include objects that aren’t appropriate for tattoos as long as the majority of the pieces on show demonstrate your design, drawing, line, shading, and colour scheme.
It allows mentors to see your finest work and decide whether your unique style is what they are looking for in a trainee. Mistakes to avoid when making a portfolio There are a couple of things that you need to avoid when constructing a portfolio.
Plagiarized works – Presenting someone else’s ideas or works as your own might land you in trouble and jeopardise your career before it ever gets started. Including photographs of tattoos you’ve had done – If you are not a professional tattoo artist, do not submit photographs of tattoos you have done.
For starters, tattooing without a licence is illegal. Second, it shows that you are unconcerned with your client’s well-being or the art of tattooing. It additionally warns them that you might have some undesirable “scratcher” behaviours that need to be addressed making it more challenging to coach you.
Step 6: Tattoo Artist Apprenticeship The journey to become a tattoo artist will always involve an apprenticeship with an accomplished artist, and the majority of the learning will take place during this period. A tattoo apprenticeship is where you will get the most hands-on training.
You will not only learn the skill in the most effective way but also you will acquire business skills, relationship-building skills, and the finest sanitary practices. Once you are certain about your drawing skills and the ability to design alluring tattoos, it’s time to put what you have learned into practice and start applying what you have studied in a real-world setting.
You will need to work with a tattoo artist to learn the craft. Here are some things to consider while looking for a tattoo artist to work with. Look for an artist who:
- Works at a reputable tattoo parlour.
- Make sure they follow fundamental hygiene requirements and have a large number of clients. Avoid stores that appear to be vacant or ones that can’t inform you about basic hygiene practices.
- Look for someone who has experience in mentoring and has a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
- Who is capable of challenging you: You should choose someone who can push you to your limits, challenge you, and hold you accountable. Choose a mentor who isn’t overly eager to be pleased; a relaxed attitude will not help you in the long run.
5. Tattoo Courses and Training While most careers require some sort of formal education, a prospective tattoo artist is often expected to participate in an apprenticeship. Although there is no BA in Tattoos or Ph. in Inking, the majority of tattoo artists have an art degree or background before beginning their apprenticeship.
However, many major cities and universities offer tattoo artist courses where they will teach about history, philosophy, and concepts of proper tattooing. You’ll also learn about the safety precautions that must be taken to reduce the numerous risks associated with tattooing, as well as how to teach your clients about proper tattoo aftercare.
There are many online courses available for those who can’t find a course nearby or can’t afford hundreds of dollars in tuition. How Long is a Tattoo Apprenticeship in Australia? Typically a few years, however, some can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Some have been known to last even longer, depending on the pace at which your mentor decides to teach you.
It’s a good idea to verify the state’s Department of Health website for specific requirements. Following your apprenticeship , you will be eligible to apply for certification in your state or area. How to Get a Tattoo Licence in Australia? All those who wish to work professionally as tattoo artists must have a tattoo license.
The criteria to obtain a license aren’t very difficult although they vary by state. However, you will probably need to complete a specific amount of apprenticeship hours, attend certain health and safety training and pass a test on hygienic tattooing procedures to get a tattoo certificate in Australia.
- In addition, you will need an ID, a national police check, and details regarding your previous and current jobs;
- You will also have to pay a modest application fee and fill out a form;
- How to Become a Tattoo Artist Without a Licence? A few states in the United States require tattoo artists to get licenses, which expect them to be no less than 18 years of age, have secondary school graduation , and have finished a particular amount of endorsed apprenticeship hours;
Your state, city, and country might have different requirements. Tattoo artists in South Korea are needed to be qualified medical physicians. Tattoo artists in Australia do not require a tattooing licence, but they will need an operator licence if they plan to work from home or have their store.
- Do Tattoo Apprentices Get Paid in Australia? An apprenticeship in tattooing is similar to a college or summer internship;
- Therefore, it’s unusual for tattoo trainees to get paid;
- While you’re conducting your apprenticeship, it’s best to obtain side employment;
10. How Much do Tattoo Artists Get Paid in Australia? Your pay will be determined by a variety of factors including your reputation, experience , location, the number of customers you deal with, and the amount you charge for your tattoos. Tattoo artists are often paid by the hour, however, some artists charge per tattoo or by dimension size.
In Australia, most tattoo artists charge by the hour, starting at $AUD17. 70 per hour and going up to $AUD500 per hour. Annually, the typical tattoo artist’s salary would be about $AUD48, 000 per year. When you initially start, you might expect to work for less money or perhaps for free (as an apprentice).
As your portfolio and confidence increase, you’ll be able to charge more, attract new clients, and make a solid, steady income doing what you love. 11. Closing words Tattoos are an excellent method of self-expression. So, if you are passionate about becoming a tattoo artist, all you need to do is to brush up your artistic skills. Useful Links to Explore:
- English Language Requirements for Australia
- Cultural differences you may experience in Australia
- How to find Part-Time work as a Student in Australia
- Seven Tips for Students on a Budget in Australia
- How to get a Scholarship to Study in Australia
- Driving in Australia as an International Student
- How to change your Course or Institute in Australia
- The Benefits of a Professional Year Program (PYP)
- A Complete Guide to Study in Australia
- Types of Education in Australia
- What to Study in Australia?
Do tattoo artists keep all the money?
Credit: David Clifton Getting tattooed can be an expensive undertaking, typically costing upwards of $100 for even small designs. Given the cost of a new piece of ink, it’s easy to assume that all tattoo artists are raking it in, but the reality is that no tattooer takes home the full amount paid by their clients. And while seasoned tattooers charge more than a novice or apprentice—meaning they bring in more money per appointment—they, like all artists, have a large number of expenses associated with their practice.
The amount of each client payment that an artist has left over after additional expenses varies. Leah Samuels , resident artist at Baby , a private tattoo studio in Los Angeles, says that artists ultimately take home “anywhere from 70 percent to 50 percent, depending on the studio,” but for some, this percentage is lower.
According to Yi Stropky , the Vancouver-based artist known for his clever, minimal style, says that “between 30 percent and 50 percent is normal.