The increasing popularity of tattoo artwork as a means of self-expression through body art has led to a high demand for skilled tattoo artists. As a result, more and more people are entering the tattoo industry.
However, before starting a career in this profession, interested individuals often want to know how much money does a tattoo artist make. The answer to this question depends on various factors.
And these factors include an artist’s skill level, experience, professional training certificate, location of the studio, and reputation and popularity of the artist. On average, most tattoo artists make between $15,000 to $107,000 per year.
But at same time, starting a career in the tattoo industry is not as easy as some may think. As it requires relevant education, although it’s not always required, it can be a plus point.
Further, much practice is needed to gain a high skill level in tattooing art, which can be challenging and time-consuming. Moreover, obtaining professional certification is quite expensive.
However, if you are still interested in pursuing this career despite the challenges. Then it’s essential to understand how much a tattoo artist makes a year and what factors influence the income of tattoo artists. This article will help to understand all of this in detail.
How Much Money Does a Tattoo Artist Make?
As I mentioned above, the earning potential in this field depends on various factors. However, there is an estimated average earning that beginners, intermediate and experienced individuals typically earn. The earning potential for all three is given below.
How Much Do Beginner Tattoo Artists Make?
Usually, beginner body ink designers with entry-level experience are paid less. They typically earn around $15,000 to $23,000 per year.
Once you’ve set up a good portfolio and have a high skill level, you can earn more. On average, an intermediate-level artist earns between $30,000 and $60,000 per year.
How much Experienced tattoo artists make
Highly experienced artists with years of experience earn more than both, sometimes even double the earnings of these two. Once you’re on this level, you can earn $80,000 to $150,00 annually.
Factors that Influence Tattoo Artist Income
Experience and skill level of the artist
This is the most important thing that directly impacts an artist’s earnings. Tattoo artists usually charge according to their skill level and experience.
For example, a newbie may charge around $50 to $80 per hour, depending on the tattoo ink design size and complexity.
On the other hand, an experienced tattoo artist may charge around $150 to $250 per hour. This way, you can get an idea of the earning potential.
You can also estimate it by multiplying the per-hour charge by the total number of working days per year. For example, 6 hours per day * 365 days * $150 per hour.
Location of the tattoo studio
The physical location of a tattoo studio can impact the cost of getting a tattoo. For instance, large and luxurious cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. tend to have a high cost of living.
As a result, it increases the overall tattoo operational cost for a studio, ultimately driving up the tattoo ink design’s cost.
On the other hand, cities with a lower cost of living typically offer more affordable tattooing rates. This means that tattoo artists often set their hourly charges based on the living costs of their location.
So, artists living in big cities may earn more but also face higher expenses for their tattooing work. On the other hand, artists in cheaper locations may earn less, but their overall living costs are also lower.
Reputation and popularity of the artist
Over time, some tattoo artists become famous for their unique designs and skill level. In recent times, social media has become the easiest way to gain fame and a huge fan following.
For example, tattoo artists like Kat Von and Keith McCurdy have amassed 9.1 million and 2.3 million Instagram followers, respectively. In other words, a celebrity artist will likely earn more than an unknown or unpopular artist.
Professional Certificate and Educational Background
Although education is not necessary to get started as a professional tattoo artist, a relevant degree, such as in Fine Art, can be best for some artists. Further, 27% of artists have a certificate in graphic design.
Furthermore, a relevant diploma or certificate can enhance creativity and skill level. In summary, artists with higher education and certification often charge higher rates and earn more.
Do tattoo artists make good money?
Yes, most artists make a good amount of money.
How profitable is tattooing?
Tattooing artwork is a highly profitable business with great earning potential, as more and more people are interested in getting their favorite ink designs.
A tattoo studio can earn more than $241,000 annually from this professional business.
Is tattooing a high demand?
Yes, tattoo artwork is in high demand, and more and more people are passionate about getting their favorite ink designs.
Is tattooing a difficult job?
Tattooing artwork is quite challenging, as it requires a lot of practice to develop good skills. Also, getting a professional license and setting up a studio is quite expensive.
How much do tattoo artists make in an hour?
Most artists charge per hour according to experience, studio location, skill level, and overall tattoo operational cost.
But on overage, a beginner or intermediate-level artist charges around 50$ to 80$ per hour. On the other hand, a highly experienced charge is around 150$ to 250$ per hour.
Is a tattoo a career?
Yes, it is a highly-paid career. But at the same time, starting as a tattoo artist is challenging.
A tattoo artist is a trending profession; if you are interested in this field, there is much-earning potential. However, many still want to know how much a tattoo artist makes.
When it comes to earnings, it usually depends on the artist’s skill and experience. However, most artists, from beginners to high-level, earn between $15,000 to $107,000 throughout the year, depending on their expertise.
Flora Jones is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 5 years of experience working at various studios in Arizona. In addition to her artistry, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise on various tattoo-related topics through her writing.