A tattoo artist, also known as a Tattoo Artist, is a professional who creates permanent designs on the skin. But how can you become a professional tattoo artist?
This is a relatively new profession that has seen exponential growth in the last 10 years (+376%) due to the increasing demand for tattoos, especially after the COVID lockdown (+36% compared to 2021).
It represents a relatively new profession that can open the doors to significant career opportunities, but it requires talent, dedication, and a few steps to take before you can start working.
First and foremost, to become a professional tattoo artist, you need to possess certain intrinsic skills, such as manual dexterity, artistic taste, and a basic artistic inclination.
However, these skills alone are not enough: it is also mandatory to meet fundamental requirements to comply with the regulatory process correctly.
Let’s explore the essential steps to embark on a career as a tattoo artist and turn it into a long and successful journey.
The required training to become a professional tattoo artist
The first requirement for starting a career as a tattoo artist is to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma (secondary school diploma).
The next mandatory step, as required by law (Regional Law No. 13 of July 23, 2021), is to obtain a Regional Certification, valid throughout the national and European territory, by attending a 1500-hour professional course.
The course is divided into:
- 750 hours of theory with classroom lessons.
- 250 hours of practice in the laboratory.
- 500 hours of an internship or apprenticeship.
To obtain the Certification, it is also necessary to pass the final examination, which qualifies you for the profession.
The theoretical training is essential to acquire a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in the field, learn basic techniques, understand various styles, and learn to comply with all hygiene and health regulations established by competent authorities for the professional execution of tattoos.
Practical training is crucial to improve artistic skills, refine techniques, learn to handle tools, and develop a personal style – all essential values to become a high-level tattoo artist.
Additionally, the professional course provides hygienic and health certification for the profession, necessary to operate in compliance with safety and environmental hygiene standards.
Internships and apprenticeships to become a professional tattoo artist
While training is essential to develop and certify all the skills of a professional tattoo artist, internships or apprenticeships are equally important for enhancing practical experience.
Internships allow future tattoo artists to work closely with the industry’s best professionals.
This is a unique opportunity to delve into various tattoo techniques, improve equipment handling skills, and gain practical knowledge of the required hygiene and safety.
Moreover, working within a tattoo studio also helps to learn to independently perform the profession and manage clients from the moment of welcome to tattoo creation and post-tattoo care.
Additionally, internships offer a chance to network within the tattoo world: working side by side with experienced tattoo artists and renowned artists allows you to build professional relationships to access job opportunities and lay the foundation for opening your own tattoo studio.
Finally, internships also serve as a useful test: they help determine if the daily commitment this profession entails, with long working hours and constant challenges, is sustainable or not.
For all these reasons, internships are an integral part of the training process and represent the final stage of the professional course.
Mandatory ongoing training for professional tattoo artists
Once officially becoming a professional tattoo artist, the training journey does not end but continues with mandatory ongoing updates.
All tattoo practitioners must attend a 24-hour mandatory continuing education course every three years to continue practicing their profession legally, under the current law. Failure to comply can result in penalties, fines, and the revocation of the operating license.
This new regulation has been implemented to ensure the safety and quality of services provided by tattoo artists.
The mandatory update course covers various critical topics, including workplace safety, legal requirements, environmental requirements, equipment, and tattoo and post-tattoo care.
It is, therefore, essential for all professional tattoo artists to ensure they participate in the required update courses to continue operating safely.
Furthermore, ongoing training provides an opportunity to improve one’s skills and offer high-quality services to clients, reducing the number of unprofessional tattoo artists operating illegally in the industry.
Becoming a professional tattoo artist with the Milano Tattoo School professional courses
To qualify for a career as a tattoo artist, the starting point is to attend the 1500-hour Tattoo Operator Course.
At Milano Tattoo School, this course is regularly offered and taught by a staff of 20 experienced tattoo artists with over twenty years of experience in the art of tattooing and teaching various tattoo styles.
Additionally, the teaching staff includes high-level masters specializing in various disciplines, such as psychologists, doctors, biologists, equipment and pigment experts, safety and privacy professionals, and more.
This team ensures exclusive and comprehensive education from every perspective, with innovative teaching methods, advanced technologies, and quality equipment to support students daily.
The Milano Tattoo School Tattoo Operator Course consists of 1500 hours, divided into 1000 hours of theory and practice on synthetic skin and on a live model for the creation of 30 tattoos in different styles, and 500 hours of internships and apprenticeships at tattoo studios affiliated with MTS.
Moreover, during the course, students have the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars with internationally renowned tattoo artists and renowned artists organized within the school.
To date, over 6000 students have chosen the Milano Tattoo & Piercing Tattoo Operator Course and have realized their dreams: they have entered the job market with internships and placements in tattoo studios and now successfully practice the profession of tattoo artists, equipped with the necessary tools and skills to open their tattoo studios.
Contact us to discover the dates of the next course to become a professional tattoo artist at the Milano Tattoo School.