Those pursuing careers as Tattoo Artists in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $30K annually. The majority of Tattoo Artists claim high levels of job satisfaction. Men make up a slight majority of Tattoo Artists (56 percent) who responded to the survey. Approximately one in seven enjoy medical while less than one-tenth get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to fewer than one in ten. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$15,622 - $61,042
$16K
$30K
$61K
MEDIAN: $29,755
10%
50%
90%

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$8.20 - $146.81
$8
$65
$150
MEDIAN: $65.00
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
$15,622 - $61,042  
   
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).
)
$17,435 - $236,955  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 99
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
$8.20 - $146.81  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.23 - $12.37  
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
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).
)
$17,435 - $236,955  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 62

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

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

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.


For many Tattoo Artists, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Folks who are navigating the first five years of their careers have a median salary of approximately $31K in this position. Those who have been around for five to 10 years don't get much more, though; the median salary in that group is $38K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Tattoo Artists make a median salary of $49K. Professionals who achieve more than 20 years of experience generally enjoy cushy salaries; their median compensation sits in the ballpark of $164K, a plump six-figure sum.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Tattoo Artist

Gender

Female
44 %
Male
56 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 14 votes.
037
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
10%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Tattoo Artist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 341%

Experienced
up arrow 33%

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$37,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 16%

Skills That Affect Tattoo Artist Salaries

National Average
$37,000

tattoo artist
up arrow 19%

Customer Service
up arrow 33%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 14 votes.

Gender

Female
44 %
Male
56 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 15%
dental benefits
Dental: 9%
vision benefits
Vision: 6%
dental benefits
None: 83%
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