So You Want to Be a Tattoo Artist? Here’s How to Become an Apprentice

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Get a tattoo education

Tattooing is one of the oldest art forms, and is still highly-celebrated today. In fact, having a tattoo is more accepted in modern society than ever before, with more than 20% of American adults having at least one tattoo.

It’s one thing to have a tattoo — but another thing entirely to want to become a tattoo artist. These artists are highly-committed to their craft of creating beautiful, high-quality images that stay on their customers’ skin forever. However, there’s no formal education required to become a tattoo artist, which makes this career path seemingly difficult to enter.

For most aspiring tattoo artists, the first step to get a tattoo education is to become an apprentice tattoo artist, where you’ll follow the daily guidance of a professional, certified tattooist. Want to learn how to become a tattoo apprentice? To get started, you will want to follow these simple steps:

Complete your general education

First, you’ll want to earn your high school diploma or complete your GED requirement. Most tattoo parlors will refuse to take on apprentice tattoo artists who don’t have either of these. Additionally, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old to be an apprentice.

Build a portfolio

If you have a natural artistic talent, it’s a good idea to start putting together a portfolio of your best work. This portfolio will show off your eye for color, versatility, attention to detail and other skills necessary to succeed at tattooing. This is what will show a tattoo parlor that you have what it takes to succeed.

Apply for an apprenticeship

Once you have your education and portfolio in hand, you’re ready to apply for an apprenticeship. You should aim for an apprenticeship of at least three years to follow APT standards. During this apprenticeship, you’ll learn about designing tattoos, operating the tattoo machine and sterilizing this equipment. Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you can get your license to practice as a professional tattooist!

Have any other questions for us about what it takes to learn how to tattoo? Feel free to ask by leaving a comment for us below!

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