Tattoo Artists in the United States are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $30K annually on average. There are more male Tattoo Artists than female among those who completed the questionnaire, making up 63 percent. Around a seventh enjoy medical while less than one in ten get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to less than 10 percent. Most Tattoo Artists like their work and job satisfaction is high. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$14,979 - $72,755
(Median)
$15K
$30K
$73K
MEDIAN: $30,380
10%
50%
90%

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$8.27 - $148.74
(Median)
$8
$79
$150
MEDIAN: $79.00
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$90K$180K$270K
Salary
$14,979 - $72,755  
   
Profit Sharing
$12,510  
Commission
$5,350  
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).
)
$17,134 - $245,550  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 108
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
$8.27 - $148.74  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.23 - $16.13  
Overtime
$75.50  
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
Commission
$5,350  
   
Profit Sharing
$12,510  
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).
)
$17,134 - $245,550  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 64
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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.

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Pay by Experience Level for Tattoo Artist

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


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Tattoo Artists. Individuals who have worked for fewer than five years bring in approximately $32K on average. Those in the five-to-10 year range can expect an average that is only a touch bigger at $40K. Tattoo Artists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $50K. Tattoo Artists who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $112K.

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Experience Affects Tattoo Artist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 188%

Experienced
up arrow 29%

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$39,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 18%

Skills That Affect Tattoo Artist Salaries

National Average
$39,000

tattoo artist
up arrow 27%

Customer Service
up arrow 36%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 16 votes.

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
31%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 14%
dental benefits
Dental: 7%
medical benefits
Vision: 5%
dental benefits
None: 84%
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