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Tattoo Artist Salary

Tattoo Artists in the United States can expect only a modest salary, with average pay of just $31K annually. The pay spectrum stretches from $18K to $211K per year. Less than one-tenth claim medical and dental insurance and less than five percent get vision coverage. The majority of Tattoo Artists (65 percent) survey respondents are male. It's exciting to note that the majority of individuals in this field enjoy their work considerably. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$13,381 - $59,180
(Median)
$13K
$31K
$59K
MEDIAN: $30,572
10%
50%
90%

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$9.92 - $126.71
(Median)
$9
$50
$130
MEDIAN: $49.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$13,381 - $59,180  
   
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).
)
$17,818 - $211,098  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 81
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$9.92 - $126.71  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.23 - $12.77  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$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).
)
$17,818 - $211,098  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 53
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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.


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $32K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $40K. Tattoo Artists bring in $50K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $46K by contrast.

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Experience Affects Tattoo Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 36%

Late-Career
up arrow 25%

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

National Average
$37,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
35 %
Male
65 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
34%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 9% dental benefits Dental: 5%
vision benefits Vision: 5% employee benefits None: 91%
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