How Do You Become A Tattoo Apprentice?

If you’re really into the tattooing industry and have the skills to back it up, why not get a tattoo apprenticeship? Tattoo apprenticeships are a formal procedure of getting into the tattoo biz.

By acquiring adequate information about being a tattoo artist and the other tasks involved, you can make it big. After getting through with your apprenticeship, you will achieve a certificate that you can add to your professional résumé. From there, you can make your debut in the tattooing industry.

It’s not simple getting a tattoo apprenticeship as it’s a machine with a lot of moving parts. You have to prepare for a lot.

Tattoo apprenticeships are not necessary for getting into the tattoo industry, but it indeed gives you an upper hand.  If you’re still confused about getting a tattoo apprenticeship, then read keep reading.

This article will guide you on whether or not you need an apprenticeship and if it’s worth it.

Is It Hard To Get a Tattoo Apprenticeship?

Yes, getting a tattoo apprenticeship is hard, but it’s also not impossible. You will have to put in a lot of effort when trying to get a tattoo apprenticeship.

The first thing you will need to do is find a reputable tattoo shop or private mentor. They will help you get your tattoo apprenticeship.

Simply looking up online, you can find different tattoo parlors that offer tattoo apprenticeships.

Once you come across a reputable one, you have to give them your portfolio. A good portfolio can go a long way in creating a great impression.

Before giving in your resume, just know that an apprenticeship isn’t necessary to become a tattoo artist. However, tattoo apprenticeships make it easier for you to get a job in the tattoo industry.

They also offer plenty of on-hands experience that will help add to your expertise, preparing you for the big leagues.

Once you drop in your portfolio, you will have to go for an interview if you get a call for one. During the interview, the respected mentor will get to know more about you. They learn what drives you to create art why you want to get into the business.

The tricky thing is to find the right tattoo apprenticeship. And for that, you will have to carry out a lot of research.

You don’t want to step into the wrong one and waste your time. Therefore, to help you avoid that, are few things that make up a good tattoo apprenticeship:

Ask Around Apprentices Who Have Worked Under the Specific Artist

The best way to know you’re picking the right tattoo apprenticeship is by asking people who have gone to them before. This way, you will know about the experience they had at a specific tattoo parlor.

Depending on how their time went, they will recommend whether you should go to them or not. This will help you in shortlisting the right one.

If the Artist Has Graduated a Number of Apprentices

You will want to go to a tattoo artist that has experience with training other apprentices. You want to ensure that you’re not the first one as you don’t want to take that risk. No matter how good the tattoo artists might be, it doesn’t mean they’ll be a good mentor.

You can know this by asking the artist directly about their experience training aspiring students. You should also ask for how long they have been training students.

At this point, you should also make it clear to them that you’re looking for someone to train you. Some artists can confuse apprentices with other jobs, such as a free assistant.

Check if you’re allowed to Work on Human Skin

You will gain more experience once you start tattooing on human skin. Hence you must find out if you will get the chance to do this, as some mentors don’t allow it.

You will start to gain real experience once you begin practicing on human skin. When you start working, your guide will watch you see how good you are and what needs improvement.

If you are unable to do work on human skin, you can always do some practicing on your own using fake human skin.

You can pick up several sheets for under $20 and it provides great practice until you get approval to perform a tattoo on a person. You can pick up these practice sheets at Amazon by clicking here.

Know About the Time- Frame of the Apprenticeship

Asking how long the program will last is an important question to ask your mentor before enrolling. It would be best if you went to a place that cares about you as an individual.

Most mentors will focus on you getting into the industry and making good money. But you need someone who’s interested in helping you become a better artist and person.

Of course, a chance to work with them in the future in their own tattoo parlor is also a good bonus. You can rest assured that you will have a place to work after you graduate and receive your tattoo apprenticeship.

Know the Chance of Getting a Job at the Same Shop

Once you graduate, you don’t want to waste time and do nothing about the apprenticeship you just earned. You must find out if the tattoo shop you’re getting your apprenticeship from will offer you a job.

It’s not easy finding a job as a tattoo artist, let alone as a new one. So it is essential to look find out if you have a future in a shop before enrolling.

How Do I Get Hired as An Apprentice?

To become a professional tattoo artist, find a reputable tattoo parlor that will hire you as an apprentice. Now, finding someone to hire you as an apprentice can be really hard, especially in the tattoo industry.

It takes years to land a job, or if you’re lucky and have a thriving portfolio, days. Mentioned below are a few things you must do to help you get a job as an apprentice:

Keep In Touch With Reputable Artists and Tattoo Parlors

To get into the tattooing industry, you need to make good contacts with artists and clients from your apprenticeship.

Very few tattoo parlous hire tattoo apprentices, so you must maintain a professional relationship with a potential mentor if you want to convince them. You can also drop in your portfolio in different parlors and let them know you’re looking for a particular job.

It might take time to get an answer from someone, but if you get in touch with the right tattoo parlors, you’ll get your answer.

Keep Drawing

The more you keep drawing, the stronger portfolio you can create. If you aren’t able to find a place that’s hiring instantly, keep practicing and maintaining your skills as you could get an offer in one of the most unexpected times.

Change Your Tattoo Style

Adapt to different tattooing styles, so that tattoo parlors are aware of the variety of skills you have. The more experience and knowledge you have about tattooing, the more chances in a tattoo parlor hiring you as a tattoo apprenticeship.

Don’t Give Up

Sometimes, it can get a bit frustrating when you don’t get offers after gaining your apprenticeship. But remember that you’ve put in a lot of effort in gaining your tattoo apprenticeship.

For that sake, don’t give up and keep looking. In the meantime, keep working on improving your tattooing skills.

How Much On Average Are Tattoo Apprenticeships Paid?

Tattoo Apprentice’s usually earn quite a bulky salary. On average, they earn around $53,586, and on an hourly basis, that’s $26 per hour.  These are the rates for the United States, but they can vary across different countries.

As you can see, tattoo apprentices earn a hefty amount as a lot of skill and learning goes into becoming one. So if you look at this job from the money aspect, you should go for it if you have the interest.

Are Tattoo Courses Worth Taking?

It’s always worth doing something you’re interested in, especially if you want to take it up as a future job.

Tattoo courses for apprenticeships are worth taking, but this depends on the course you’re going for. After all, not all institutes and mentors offer the same type of course.  It takes around two years to complete an apprenticeship, but this is not the same for all.

The only drawback of taking a course is that you won’t have control of when you can start tattooing or completing your course.

The main learning to become an apprenticeship take place at the end of the second year, so yes, you will have to wait for a while to get to the gist of it, but in the end, it is worth it as you most certainly gain the experience and qualification along with a certificate.

This certificate will help you get into the right tattoo parlor. All you have to do is make sure you get into the right course at the right place.

The Bottom-Line

Gaining a tattoo apprenticeship can be quite draining, and at times, you may want to give up. If you ever find yourself giving up, remind yourself of what got you to do this in the first place and that the world has yet to see your talented side.

Things don’t go as planned for some people as they thought they would, even after becoming a tattoo apprentice. But this doesn’t mean you stop tattooing all at once.

Make sure that you keep practicing and never give up on your tattooing skills.