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Arts & crafts

Tattooist

Tattooists create permanent artwork on their clients' bodies.

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

30 to 40 variable

You could work: evenings; as customers demand

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • advising clients on suitable tattoos
  • making sure the chosen design is exactly what the client wants
  • checking that clients understand that the tattoo is permanent
  • copying the chosen design onto the customer’s skin, either by drawing freehand or using a transfer
  • following the design lines with an electrically-operated needle, which injects ink under the skin
  • making sure all equipment is sterilised and clean, and following strict hygiene and health and safety procedures

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a creative studio.

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
Work

You could start as an assistant by finding a tattooist who is willing to take you on and train you.

It may be possible to work as a customer service assistant in a larger studio, answering enquiries and booking appointments. From there, you could become a trainee as opportunities come up.

You'll need:

  • an interest in tattooing
  • artistic ability
  • a portfolio of your artwork and design ideas to showcase your talents

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

Many tattooists have experience or qualifications in art and design.

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You could open your own tattoo studio.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • concentration skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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