Tattoo Artist Salary

Tattoo Artists in the United States are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $31K annually on average. Job satisfaction for Tattoo Artists is extremely high. Nearly one-eighth report receiving medical coverage from their employers and less than five percent collect dental insurance. There are more male Tattoo Artists than female among those who completed the questionnaire, making up 64 percent. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$14,768 - $53,355

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$9.95 - $126.12

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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
$14,768 - $53,355  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $29,361  
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).
)
$18,954 - $211,657  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 88
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
$9.95 - $126.12  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.12 - $12.67  
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 - $29,361  
   
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).
)
$18,954 - $211,657  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 55
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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 $40K. Tattoo Artists bring in $50K after working for 10 to 20 years. Tattoo Artists who claim more than two decades of experience actually make somewhat smaller average paychecks of $42K.

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Experience Affects Tattoo Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 38%

Late-Career
up arrow 15%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$36,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
36 %
Male
64 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
34%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

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