How to become a tattoo artist

How to become a tattoo artist - A tattoo artist tattooing the underarm of a man.

Are you a really creative person and love tattoos? Have you worked in many work sectors, but they do not seem to boost your creativity enough? Maybe you have thought about becoming a tattoo artist, but you don’t know if it is the right path for you? Maybe you are also asking yourself: “How to become a tattoo artist?” Well, this blogpost is perfect for you. 


Nowadays, the desire to become a professional tattoo artist has increased a lot, no wonder. Tattooing is a very creative but also fulfilling profession, since you feel proud if you can create a masterpiece on a human skin – which will stay on that person forever, as a special memory. As beautiful as this profession is, it also comes with difficulties, which we are going to discuss in this blogpost. Stay tuned and continue to read, if you want to learn more about this profession. 


Personal Capacities/Skills

As harsh as it sounds, not everyone is born to be a tattoo artist, since there are some skill that you need in order to make it to the top. But don’t fell demoralised yet, because you should own some of these skills, but do not forget that skills can be learned. Just put some hard work and passion in what you do, and you will make it to the top no doubt


Now take a look at some of the skills that you need: 

  • Social Skills

Don’t forget that as a tattoo artist you will have to work with people, which means that you also have to be a good listener and communicator. You will have to listen to your clients ideas in order to create a tattoo that satisfies them. Also don’t forget to be kind, to make them come back to you and recommend you to their friends. 

How to become a tattoo artist. Tattoo artist. Woman communicating with a man in front of a lake.
How to become a tattoo artist. tattoo artist. a sketching book on a table with an owl sketched on it.
  • Creativity 

Don’t forget that you should be able to turn a vision into reality. You also have to take their ideas and transform them into a design, that is carefully adapted to the individual person, but also to the body part the tattoo is going to be drawn on. 

  • A steady hand 

    how to become a tattoo artist

It should be clear why having a steady hand is one of the most important physical skills of a tattoo artist. Once you mess up there is no going back. But this skill can also be learned, if you want to know how you can easily search up guides or tips on YouTube or Google.

How to become a tattoo artist. tattoo artist. The back of a woman with an oriental tattoo.
  • You should be willing to inform yourself about other cultures 

This is actually a really important point for a tattoo artist, since you will have a lot of different customers with different backgrounds. Some of them will want a cultural tattoo,  such as a tribal tattoo or a henna style tattoo, which most of the time have hidden and very important meanings that should be respected and not messed up. 

  • Extreme attention to detail 

There is nothing worse than a messy looking tattoo, or a tattoo with missed spots. It is normal to sometimes mess up, but this should be rare because a tattoo artist should have a feeling for detail and even be a little bit picky, in a good way, about details. 

how to become a tattoo artist. tattoo artist. a tattoo artist tattooing the upper arm of a woman

Now having cleared up the skills that you need to bring in order to become a tattoo artist, let’s get to the actual fun part, which is the answer to the frequently asked question:

“How to become a tattoo artist?” 


1. You should have a full ended education or degree 

This is actually not a must, but it will make your way to the top much easier and increase your credibility. 

2. Get an art related education 

This is also not necessarily a must but similar to number one. It is just best to have something in hand, even more it’s already art related so that your clients actually trust you more easily. 

3. Work on your skills

If you don’t have the before listed skills required to become a tattoo artist, you should for sure start working on them.

4. Build a Portfolio

Document and collect your designs and experiences. At this point you could also start practicing with a tattoo machine on fake skin to get used to it. 

5. Ask to work as a tattoo student in a good studio 

This aspect is very important. Choose a tattoo studio carefully and try to get in as a tattoo student in order to collect knowledge.

6. End the apprenticeship successfully 

Be sure to know the real deal and collect enough knowledge to go and continue your own path, since the length of apprenticeships is more or less individual. 

7. Get certified

How to get certified and what is required surely depends on many factors such as, the country and state you are living in. Normally you will have to get many hygiene certifications, which are the most important ones, the others variate from country to country and state to state. 

how to become a tattoo artist. tattoo artist. The hand of a man sketching on a tablet.

From this point on, many possibilities will start coming your way. Maybe you will open your own tattoo studio, or maybe work as a tattoo artist in an already existing studio. 

Private alternatives 


In some European countries, but also some American States, you can find private tattoo academies. These academies are helpful because you will get a specific degree of a known academy with a high reputation. This would make your way to success much easier, but it is not a must. If you have some questions about these academies, go look at our frequently asked questions to see if you can find your answer.

Now we are ging to get objective, and talk about the pros and cons of becoming a tattoo artist.


Pros and Cons of becoming a tattoo artist 


  • It doesn’t necessarily require a degree
  • You get to learn a lot of people 
  • You can be creative 
  • You can open your own business
  • You feel gratified by your artwork
  • You create your own positive work environment 


  • You have a lot of responsibilities
  • You have a lot of competition
  • You have to stay up to date
  • Your income depends on many factors that you can’t control
  • You have to stay focussed for several hours at a time
  • You have to be able to take pressure

Most asked Questions

You practice on fake skin, fruits like oranges or even eggshells 

$10.000 – $15.000, but keep in mind that the costs variate depending on the country and state.

A common apprenticeship usually takes 1-3 years, but as we said before, it can also variate.

Theoretically, yes, but you have to improve and become better before drawing complex designs on a human canva. 

Now you have good foundation how the path could look like. Even if some things that you have read made you lose hope or demoralised you, keep going!

If this what you really want to do, and it is what your soul burns for, just keep going and continue doing your thing. We wish you the best luck and a world of success.

If you want to learn more about tattoos in general, go take a look at some of our other blogposts


Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram

Original price was: €74,00.Current price is: €67,00.
Original price was: €111,00.Current price is: €97,00.
Original price was: €185,00.Current price is: €157,00.
Original price was: €370,00.Current price is: €296,00.
Original price was: €925,00.Current price is: €694,00.
Original price was: €1.850,00.Current price is: €1.110,00.