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Arts & crafts


Tattooists create permanent artwork on their clients' bodies.

Annual Salary


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

What's it all about?

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

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.

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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