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Tattoo Artist Salary

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. Earnings sit near $18K on the lower side but can approach $210K per year on the higher side. Roughly one in ten claim medical and dental insurance and less than five percent get vision coverage. Tattoo Artists who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 67 percent. This field is filled with high levels of job satisfaction; most Tattoo Artists are happy with their jobs. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$14,298 - $60,402
(Median)
$14K
$30K
$60K
MEDIAN: $30,449
10%
50%
90%

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$9.89 - $126.27
(Median)
$9
$49
$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$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$14,298 - $60,402  
   
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).
)
$17,880 - $209,719  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 78
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
$9.89 - $126.27  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.23 - $12.88  
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).
)
$17,880 - $209,719  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 51

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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

  • 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.


Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $32K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $40K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Tattoo Artists see a median salary of $49K after reaching one to two decades on the job. For some reason, Tattoo Artists with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $42K.

United States (change)

Experience Affects Tattoo Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 34%

Late-Career
up arrow 14%

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

National Average
$36,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 10 votes.

Gender

Female
33 %
Male
67 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
35%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 10% dental benefits Dental: 5%
vision benefits Vision: 5% employee benefits None: 90%
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