How to Get a Tattoo & Piercing Certification

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Getting a tattoo or piercing certification is not usually necessary in most states and can generally be obtained over the Internet without any training. Complete a tattooing and piercing apprenticeship to gather the necessary skills with help from a tattoo artist in this free video on tattoo shops.

Part of the Video Series: Tattoo Advice & Business
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Video Transcript

When you're going to get certified to be a tattoo artist, or a body piercer from state to state the regulations vary. Here in Arizona there is no licensing or certification, but in California, some other states along the coast here there are. Throughout the Midwest there usually isn't any kind of regulations or licensing, but along the east coast in the major cities a lot of those cities, not necessarily the state, have certifications or licensing that you have to obtain. In spite of the licensing it's not always a good indicator that the person performing the procedure is necessarily qualified to. Just because they have a license doesn't mean that they are good at what they're doing. A lot of times these certifications or licensing you can purchase on the Internet for a nominal fee without having to actually go through any kind of training or schools. There are schools that you can go to that teach you some basic information, but mostly they're designed to create profit for a company; not necessarily create good working artists. The licensing in some states basically is the same for beauticians or cosmetologists. They don't necessarily pertain to the craft of tattooing. So, be careful out there when you're trying to get some kind of license or certification. You don't usually have to have any training to obtain one. I went through a year long apprenticeship where I learned all the fundamental mechanics of operating the equipment, and disease control, and all the basic basics from a guy that had been tattooing for fifteen years at that time. And in the last seventeen years the most important knowledge that I received was from sharing information from other artists, and also developing my own, my own techniques and methods along the way; just trial and error.

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