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How to Become a Licensed Tattoo Artist in Canada

Are you a lover of tattoos? and you would love to become a tattoo artist or just maybe you are an experienced tattoo artist who wish to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada but you have no idea how to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada, then you need to go through this article.

Who is a tattoo artist

A tattoo artist is also known as a tattooer or tattooist. A tattoo artist is an individual who applies permanent decorative tattoos, mostly in an established business called that is called a “tattoo shop”, “tattoo studio” or “tattoo parlour”. Tattoo artists normally learn their craft through an apprenticeship under a trained and experienced mentor.

Who is a licensed tattoo artist

A professional tattoo license or certification guarantees that the tattoo artist’s work is in line with health standards for the safe application of a tattoo, also that the artist is able to do his work properly.

A tattoo artist uses creative and artistic skills to place a design onto a client’s skin. Its requirements vary from state to state, a tattoo artist will need a state or local licensure or certification, which includes an apprenticeship and/or background check.

What is a tattoo artist Job description?

By using needles and pigments, a tattoo artist puts a permanent design directly on a client’s body, by injecting ink under a layer of skin. Clients can come to a tattoo artist with the picture or design or they n consult the tattoo artist to produce the desired image.

Tattoo artists apply their artistic skills to advise clients on the size, colour, design and placement of their body art. Various tattoo artists specialize in some artistic styles, and they are able to offer clients a portfolio of work to examine.

Tattoo artists are in charge of maintaining a safe and clean work environment, which includes donning gloves.

Licensing or Certification Requirements

Certification or licensing standards may require a tattoo artist to complete training or an apprenticeship in an approved setting and under the supervision and guidance of another established professional in the field. This can take 1-2 years. Some states mandate that apprentices hold a special apprentice license or permit, usually earned by filling out an application and paying a fee.

There are some applications for licensing or other state credentials which may require submission of photographs, fingerprints and personal history to ensure a background check to be done. Also, there should also be proof of training.

The government are not concerned about the creativity of a licensed tattoo artist. A licensed tattoo artist doesn’t require you to complete formal artistic training or have a degree in any specific art or design field.

But, mastering of the art of drawing and working with inks that are used for body art is important. The Mastery of artistic and technical skills makes the recipient of a tattoo leaves with an aesthetically-pleasing tattoo that has been professionally administered.

How to Becoming a licensed Tattoo Artist

There are various ways for you to be a licensed tattoo artist, and the steps that you would take are as follows:

Step 1. Take Tattoo Artist Education Courses

Various skills are needed for you to have a successful career as a licensed tattoo artist in Canada and it can be learned through an apprenticeship with a knowledgeable artist, but there are some health departments and other state and local regulatory agencies that require you to have a classroom experience.

A tattoo school or tattoo college is a place where you can develop your skills while learning the important practices for how to be a tattoo artist. Tattoo artist college courses involve seminars in disease prevention, skin diseases and infections and training in blood-borne pathogen prevention, and can be required for licensing.

Step 2. Compile a Portfolio

Aspiring tattoo artists are to have great artistic ability and creativity. Before an artist can have an apprenticeship working in a shop, he or she needs to have a complete professional portfolio showing his or her best works of art. The portfolio would display the artist’s versatility and ability to draw a variety of subjects. A portfolio should contain both original works and high-quality photographs or drawings.

Step 3. Complete an Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is one of the important tattoo artist requirements for how to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada. The Alliance of Professional Tattooists, otherwise known as APT for short, recommends an apprenticeship for a minimum of three years.

During the apprenticeship, a prospective artist is to work in a shop alongside a professional tattooist for him to learn design tattoos, how to operate a tattoo machine, and also how to sterilize equipment.

In Addition, some apprenticeships involve lessons on business aspects of tattooing and can prepare aspiring artists to have their own shop. An apprentice is expected to pay the artist in order for him to teach him/her or by signing a contract agreeing to work for the shop he or she apprentices in for an agreed number of years after which the apprenticeship is complete. The average apprenticeship costs $5,000 but could be as expensive as $10,000.

Step 4. Get a License

A tattoo license is greatly necessary for you to become a successful tattoo artist. The requirements on how to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada vary from state to state.

There are some states that require you to complete a minimum of 360 hours of training under an approved artist as well as 50 tattoos completed for you to be licensed. The general answer for the question Involves you writing an exam and then there is a skills assessment.


There you have it, we have come to the end of our guide on how to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada, we have taken time to routine the necessary steps needed to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada. It is important for you to follow these various steps in order for you to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canadaso you can freely express your skill.

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