Tattoo School (Meaning, Requirements, Training, Apprenticeship)5 min read


Traditionally, people enter the tattoo profession through a formal apprenticeship.

However, in recent years, as a result of how popular tattoos have become, it has led to the establishment of Tattoo Schools, and as of recent, there has been an increase in the number of these Tattoo Schools.

Tattoo Schools are ephemeral institutes that train people to become tattoo artists. This training is provided as part of intensive courses which could last for a few weeks or even up to 2 years.

If you have the intention to become a professional at drawing tattoos, you might be tempted to want to apply to one of these tattoo schools.

Unlike doing apprentice training, attending a Tattoo School takes a longer time to complete but is equally reliable, if not even better.

What is a Tattoo School? 

The tattoo industry is the only regulated art form, which is believed to be for a good reason.


For example, when working on human skin, you must learn to maintain a sterile working environment and not transmit infection or blood-borne diseases.

A state-approved tattoo school will teach you all you need to know to get your tattoo artist license, but it’s where students learn how to flourish in the tattoo industry that’s most important.

Mere earning a license won’t make you an awesome tattoo artist.

The secret to becoming a fantastic tattoo artist is building a solid foundation in tattoo art and acquiring knowledge from experienced professionals, both of which will offer you a massive advantage in becoming a world-class tattoo artist.

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What you can learn from a Tattoo School:

Attending a tattoo school would allow students to learn the basic learning of tattooing, i.e. creating basic black tattoos.


Since getting a permanent tattoo is nothing more than a minor surgical process, training isn’t just about getting tattoos; it is mostly about getting good quality tattoos, understanding hygiene and safety standards, refining, and detailing.

It goes without saying that as a tattoo artist, you will be giving the person a work of art to wear for the rest of their life.

Students in a Tattoo School will receive lessons on the different types of tattoo equipment: recent and traditional ones; the different types of needles and their uses.

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Personal Requirements for a Tattoo Artist:

Attending a Tattoo School would help instill some particular skills required of a tattoo artist. A typical tattoo artist should possess the following attributes:

  • Artistic ability (for a tattoo artist)
  • Maturity
  • Self-promotion skills
  • Good interpersonal skills and the skills to make the clients feel calm at all time
  • Comfortable with needles
  • Steady hand
  • Good working attitude (to remove the risk of passing on blood-borne diseases)
  • Good personal hygiene

Training, a Tattoo Artist, will receive in a Tattoo School:

If you must become a tattoo artist, it requires comprehensive training on-the-job.

Before a reputable Tattoo School accepts you into its institution, you will be required to demonstrate a good deal of dedication and motivation, as the competition for a spot can be high.

Students with good drawing skills would be the first set to be considered by Tattoo Schools; you will also need to produce a portfolio of your works.

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The duration of getting trained to be a tattoo artist differs by the different Tattoo Schools. 

Getting educated to be a tattoo artist in an ideal Tattoo School takes an average of 2 years.

Some Tattoo Schools do, however, offer students to chance to achieve their dreams in a much shorter duration, where it takes a few months to earn a license as a tattoo artist.

In attending a Tattoo School, go through all the procedures before trying them and be carefully supervised the first time you try a new procedure.

Generally, there is no payment during this observation and training period. 


In your training, you will learn about cross-contamination, sterilization, and other health and safety issues.

You can also learn about different techniques such as:

  • Piercing
  • Equipment repair and maintenance
  • Customer service
  • Anatomy
  • Jewelry quality and selection

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Tattoo School vs. Apprenticeship 


As we now know, a tattoo school is a state-accredited educational institution, similar to a regular college.

Likewise, a tattoo apprenticeship is a way for students to learn directly from their mentor.

Unlike in a Tattoo School, students undergoing apprenticeship do not get to learn in a classroom. 


A tattoo school is bound to follow a pre-established (state-approved) curriculum and offers consistency with both learning and timing for completing the program.

An apprenticeship is done on a mentor’s or instructor’s schedule instead of a Tattoo School, which has hands-on hours that may be suitable for your schedule. 

It is challenging to come across quality tattoos apprenticeship.

This is because the best tattoo artists do not always turn out to be the best art teachers.


Not all artists are willing to take in an apprentice who would eventually become a competitor, so most times, the few tattoo artists that accept to mentor others are the ones looking for extra hands that come for free.

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Upon completing your studies at a tattoo school, you will get a license. Also, you will get tattoos in the state you earn your license.

Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you will need to get a shop to hang up your license to begin working.

Typically, the apprenticeship program offers you this option, but in many cases, it requires you to work under the direction of your mentor.

A tattoo school offers you the chance to be very flexible, study on your terms and go after whatever career you want. 


All everyone is trying to do these days is find a job and start making money.

Completing your program from a Tattoo School and earning a license as a tattoo artist would be very beneficial in getting a job as a tattoo artist, that is, if you are not ready to open up your own business.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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