Information on Becoming a Pro Piercer/Tattoo Artist
Aspiring Piercers may be assisted via observation of a video, a magazine, or by attending a seminar or training class. None of these venues alone can provide the training and information required to become a piercer.
It is widely agreed that an apprenticeship is the best way to learn the art of piercing.
What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is defined as a specific period of guided progress through the basic, intermediate and advanced levels of piercing training. During an apprenticeship, the novice piercer should do the following:
Locate a suitable apprenticeship in a reputable studio under a well-respected, highly skilled and experienced professional.
Attend a bloodborne pathogens training class, such as that given by OSHA, Red Cross, or The National Safety Council.
Attend a First Aid/CPR class, such as that given by Red Cross or the YMCA.
Spend a minimum of three months full time as a trainee, learning sterilization, disinfection, cross-contamination and other health and safety issues before piercing.
Spend a minimum of six months to one year in full-time supervised training as an apprentice before achieving the title of piercer. Location, volume and studio standards will help to determine the duration of an apprenticeship.
Observe all procedures before attempting them, and only attempt a new procedure with close supervision by a senior/training piercer.
Learn customer service, appropriate jewelry quality and selection, aftercare procedures, and troubleshooting.
Attend a reputable training seminar of four days or longer. The course should combine lectures on anatomy, safety, hygiene, techniques, and hands-on piercing experience.
Some states have passed legislation requiring courses in anatomy, etc. in order to be licensed for piercing. (MA is one)
Since Body Piercing became "popular" or the "in-thing" many new so-called schools have popped up.
It is too bad that most of these shops are NOT run by people schooled in business, nor do they almost ever have the employees best interest in mind when they hire them.
There are many, many piercers that have been lured in with the you can make tons of money, our shop is the busiest in town, dont worry everyone has to sign a contract speech. Only to find out that, there are chair rental fees, and a so-many-year you must work for the company catch. And some times the apprenticeship can cost you thousands of dollars.
Over the past 10 years, literally 100s of people have asked about apprenticeships, but for a shop to have more than two piercers are really not needed. Even in a very busy studio like ours. Out of that over the 10 years, we have hired 4 apprentice piercers. Only 3 that have completed their apprenticeship.
RED CROSS AND SCHOOL
Things to better your chances of gaining an apprenticeship:
First Aid Certification
Passed Collage Courses in Anatomy and Physiology
Bloodborn Pathogen & Cross Contamination Certification
Trained in Sterilization Procedures and Equipment Use
Trained in Sanitation and Waste Handling
Trained in Preventing Disease Transmission
Training Cleaning Sterilizing All Tools & Equipment
Customer Relations and Service Training
Must Pass Blood and Drug tests.
This is NOT just a summer job or something to do on the side, if you are trained well by a skilled piercer, and have three or more years JUST to apprentice, you could make build a great reputation, you have a good chance to make it as a professional body piercer.
Most apprentices hold down another job (or two), as most tattoo or piercing apprenticeships do not pay that well, or not at all. In fact it is a common practice for you to pay the studio for the apprenticeship while learning.
Remember, practicing on your friends is not only dangerous - BUT - in most states now, it IS a criminal offense. And in this industry, once you are labeled a hack - it follows you forever.
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