How to become a Body Artist

Body artists decorate or modify the bodies of their customers using techniques such as tattooing and piercing. While some body artists perform a combination of these techniques, it is not uncommon for a body artist to specialise in one area, such as tattooing or piercing.

Personal requirements of a Body Artist

  • Maturity
  • Good interpersonal skills and an ability to put the customer at ease
  • Steady hand
  • Good personal hygiene
  • Responsible attitude to work (to eliminate risk of transmitting blood-borne diseases)
  • Comfortable with needles
  • Self-promotion skills
  • Artistic ability (for a tattooist)

Education & Training for a Body Artist

To become a body artist, extensive on-the-job training is usually required. Before a reputable studio will consider you for training, you will need to display a high level of motivation and dedication, as competition for such positions can be extremely strong. In order to be considered for training as a tattooist, you will also be required to possess a high level of drawing skill and be able to produce a portfolio of your designs. The length of training can vary considerably and may range from eight to 12 months for a body piercer and up to five years for a tattooist. You will be required to observe all procedures before attempting them and will then be closely supervised the first time you attempt a new procedure. Typically, you will not be paid during this period of observation and training. During this training period, you will learn about sterilisation, cross-contamination and other health and safety issues. You may also learn about different piercing and tattooing techniques, equipment maintenance and repair, jewellery quality and selection, customer service and anatomy.

Avg. weekly wage:

$575

Future growth:

very strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 1.1%

NSW 32.6%

NT 1.1%

QLD 26.9%

SA 3.3%

TAS 2.3%

VIC 23.4%

WA 9.3%

Hours worked:

41.5

Unemployment:

average

Gender split:

Male 27.1%

Female 72.9%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 0%

Not completed Year 12: 10.2%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 36.7%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 12.2%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 28.6%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 12.2%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 24.1%

Above 35 years: 61.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.




Additional Information
Many studios prefer to train individuals in their mid-twenties or older. Body artists are usually required to possess a Provide First Aid Certificate.
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