Tattoo Artist Salary

Pay for Tattoo Artists in the United States is very modest at just $31K annually. The bottom of the pay range sits near $19K, and the top verges on $211K per year. Tattoo Artists largely appreciate their work and find this position highly satisfactory. Nearly one in eight enjoy medical while less than five percent get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to fewer than one in twenty. Male Tattoo Artists who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (63 percent) are men. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$18,289 - $59,425
(Median)
$18K
$31K
$59K
MEDIAN: $30,671
10%
50%
90%

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$8.30 - $127.66
(Median)
$8
$50
$130
MEDIAN: $49.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$18,289 - $59,425  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $29,590  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,652 - $211,273  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 107
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$8.30 - $127.66  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.12 - $12.58  
Overtime
$60.50  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $29,590  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,652 - $211,273  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 60
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Job Description for Tattoo Artist

A tattoo artist applies permanent artwork to people’s bodies with the use of needles. The tattoo artist should always comply with health codes. It is important to keep the facility and materials clean and sterilized. Some tattoo artists do freelance work, while others work for a company. Prior to being hired by a company, it will usually be necessary to present a portfolio and demonstrate work. Many tattoo artists will work on commission. Some tattoo shops will offer an apprenticeship for a tattoo artist to learn the skills needed for the job. This job may have lower or no pay.

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Tattoo Artist Tasks

  • Apply tattoos on customer skin.
  • Ensure the shop environment is sanitary and the tools are sterilized appropriately.
  • Design original or variations of known tattoos for customers.

Tattoo Artist Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Tattoo Artist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $31K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $41K. Tattoo Artists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $49K. For some reason, Tattoo Artists with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $46K.

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Experience Affects Tattoo Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 38%

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$36,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 11 votes.

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
35%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 12%
dental benefits
Dental: 5%
medical benefits
Vision: 5%
dental benefits
None: 88%
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