How To Become a Body Piercer

Heres how to become a piercer. Body piercing is a specialized profession that requires persons with unique abilities and creativity. While professional body piercers are not required to have formal education or certification, they must get sufficient training to operate comfortably and safely with needles and customers bodies. If you like artistic expression, meeting new people, and working in a flexible atmosphere, you can be interested in pursuing this program.

How to become a body piercer
  1. Research the industry. Learn as much as you can about body piercing to make sure you are comfortable performing this service and prepared to begin training. …
  2. Meet basic requirements. …
  3. Find a mentor. …
  4. Pass health and safety training. …
  5. Complete an apprenticeship. …
  6. Get a license. …
  7. Find a job.

How to Become a Professional Body Piercer |

What does a body piercer do?

A body piercer uses special needles and equipment to puncture a clients skin or body part and create an opening where they can place an implement or a piece of jewelry. Their daily job responsibilities might include:

Body piercers are either self-employed and own their own studio or work for a studio that employs several professional piercers. They might work normal weekdays and hours or have flexible schedules. Some piercing studios, for example, open later in the day and remain open into the night and on weekends to accommodate client demand.

What is a body piercer?

A body piercer is an artist who is professionally trained to place needles into peoples skin so they can wear body jewelry. Body piercers work with clients who want piercings for aesthetic, cultural or sensational reasons. They are trained to pierce a wide range of body parts, including ears, eyebrows, cheeks, navels, tongues, lips, collarbone areas and nearly any other body part the client wants pierced.

How to become a body piercer

Body piercers can choose several paths to employment, all of which require training and, ideally, an apprenticeship to work with needles, piercing equipment and human bodies safely. Follow these steps to become a body piercer:

1. Research the industry

Learn as much as you can about body piercing to make sure you are comfortable performing this service and prepared to begin training. Watch videos and articles about piercing online, read lifestyle and trade magazines about piercing or take a piercing seminar. Research the tools, equipment, terminology, procedures and types of piercing so you have enough knowledge to start your formal training or apprenticeship.

2. Meet basic requirements

To become a body piercer, you should be at least 18 years old and have excellent vision and hand-eye coordination. You should be comfortable working with all types of bodies and body parts and have good interpersonal skills. Some states have different requirements individuals must meet before they can become piercers, so check with your states requirements before taking training classes.

3. Find a mentor

To complete a body piercing apprenticeship, which the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) recommends for all body piercers, you need to first find a mentor willing to train you. The mentor should be a skilled and experienced body piercer who has been working in the industry for at least five years. Research piercers in your area, visit reputable studios and identify professionals you respect and want to work with. Talk to potential mentors, and ask if they have the time and interest in coaching you.

Choosing a mentor who is also an APP member shows their dedication to their craft and their level of professionalism.

4. Pass health and safety training

Most states and studios require body piercers to complete and maintain a series of health certifications because of the nature of their work. Body piercers must follow strict hygiene practices and are responsible for both their clients and their own safety during piercings. Required courses include:

You can complete these health and safety courses before or during your apprenticeship, but the earlier you do them, the sooner you can start practicing your piercing skills in a studio. You might also need to get vaccinated against bloodborne diseases such as a hepatitis B to meet OSHA requirements before practicing in a shop.

5. Complete an apprenticeship

Once you have found a mentor, you can begin fulfilling all the requirements of a body piercing apprenticeship. These requirements vary depending on the studio and the piercer, but the APP recommends a minimum of:

The apprenticeship period typically lasts six to 12 months. During this time, you learn about safety, customer service and types of piercing procedures and techniques while gaining hands-on experience. Some apprenticeships are paid, while others are unpaid.

6. Get a license

Some states and counties require body piercers to be licensed to work there. Check your states board of health website or ask your mentor if you need a special license to be a professional body piercer. You might need to study for and pass an exam about local health and safety laws to get licensed. Even if licensing is not required in your state, consider taking the exam to improve your job opportunities, as many studios prefer to hire licensed body piercers.

7. Find a job

Toward the end of your apprenticeship, ask your mentor or piercing studio owner if they have any job openings you can apply for. Often, an apprenticeship can lead to a job offer if you demonstrated good skills and customer service during your time there. Otherwise, ask your mentor for a letter of recommendation, and begin networking with local piercing studios. To apply for body piercing jobs, create a resume, business cards and a portfolio of your work. Show these and your letter of recommendation to prospective employers.

Skills for a body piercer

Body piercers should have the skills to perform accurate piercings and interact with customers of all types and backgrounds. Common body piercer skills include:

Body piercer salary and job outlook

The body piercing industry continues to maintain a steady level of employment and demand because of artistic and cultural piercing traditions and the need for skilled professionals to perform them.


How hard is it to become a piercer?

Finding a piercing apprenticeship can be just as difficult as finding one with a tattoo artist, but the requirements are a little different. You’re not going to be expected to have the same artistic talent, so you won’t need a portfolio. You do, however, still need to attract the attention of your potential mentor.

Do body piercers make good money?

Body Piercers in America make an average salary of $63,283 per year or $30 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $148,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.

Is being a body piercer a good career?

Body Piercing can be a career that rewarding, exciting, enjoyable and allow a level of freedom that a lot of more traditional professions can not offer.

How do I start a piercing apprenticeship?

How to Obtain a Piercing License in California
  1. Decide where you want to apprentice or work as a piercer. …
  2. Register with your county health department. …
  3. Pay the annual inspection fee of $105. …
  4. Check with the county health department for any additional fees or regulations.

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