Here's How to Become a Piercer

Here's 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 piercer

What is a body piercer?

A body piercer is an artist who has received professional training in the practice of inserting needles into people's flesh to enable them to wear body jewelry. Body piercers work with customers who desire piercings for a variety of reasons, including aesthetic, cultural, and sensational. They are trained to pierce a variety of body regions, including ears, brows, cheeks, navels, tongues, lips, collarbone areas, and almost any other body part requested by the customer.

What does a body piercer do?

A body piercer utilizes specialized needles and tools to puncture a client's skin or body part and create a hole for an object or piece of jewelry to be inserted.

Their everyday employment duties can include the following:

  • Consultations with customers and discussion of desired piercings
  • Assisting clients in selecting jewelry
  • Preparation and disinfection of bodily areas in preparation for piercing
  • To produce the piercing, needles, specific guns, and equipment are used.
  • Keeping work spaces, tools, equipment, and jewelry clean and disinfected
  • Instructing consumers on post-piercing care and cleaning
  • Observe all applicable health and safety laws and procedures
  • Administrative responsibilities such as answering phones and organizing appointments are included.

Body piercers can be self-employed and operate their own studio, or they can work for a studio that employs many professional piercers. They can work regular weekdays and hours or can operate on a flexible schedule. For example, some piercing studios operate later in the day and stay open late and on weekends to satisfy customer demand.

How to become a professional body piercer

Body piercers can pursue a variety of career options, all of which need training and, preferably, an apprenticeship to ensure the safe handling of needles, piercing equipment, and human bodies. To become a body piercer, follow these steps:

Get involved in the industry

Consume as much information on body piercing as possible to ensure that you are comfortable performing this service and are prepared to begin training. Online, you can see videos and articles on piercing, read piercing-related lifestyle and trade periodicals, or attend a piercing seminar. Conduct research on the tools, equipment, terminology, methods, and different types of piercing to ensure you have sufficient understanding before beginning formal training or an apprenticeship.

how to become a piercer

Meet the minimum requirements

You must be at least 18 years old and have great eyesight and hand-eye coordination in order to become a body piercer. You should feel at ease dealing with a variety of different bodies and body parts and possess strong interpersonal skills. Certain states have their own criteria for becoming piercers, so verify with your state's regulations before enrolling in training programs.

Find a mentor you can trust

To finish a body piercing apprenticeship, as recommended by the Association of Professional Piercers (APP), you must first locate a mentor willing to instruct you. The mentor should be a professional and experienced body piercer with at least five years of industry experience. Conduct research on local piercers, pay visits to respected studios, and select specialists you admire and wish to work with. Speak with possible mentors and inquire about their availability and interest in coaching you.

Choosing a mentor who is also an APP member demonstrates the mentor's commitment to their trade and expertise.

how to become a piercer

Pass the health and safety training

Due to the nature of their job, the majority of states and studios require body piercers to get and maintain a variety of health certificates. Body piercers must adhere to stringent cleanliness standards and are responsible for the safety of both their clients and themselves during piercings. The following courses are required:

  • CPR and first-aid classes are available via organizations such as the Red Cross or the YMCA.
  • Bloodborne pathogens training provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or an OSHA-accredited organization such as the National Safety Council or the American Red Cross.
  • Exposure Control Plans, Infection Control Plans, and Personal Protective Equipment Standards are all included in the APP.
  • Any further training required by law in your state

These health and safety courses can be completed prior to or during your apprenticeship, but the sooner you finish them, the sooner you can begin practicing your piercing abilities in a studio. Additionally, you can be required to get vaccinated against bloodborne illnesses such as hepatitis B in order to comply with OSHA standards prior to practicing in a shop.

Complete your apprenticeship

After locating a mentor, you can begin meeting all of the criteria for a body piercing apprenticeship.

These standards vary according to studio and piercer, however, the APP advises the following as a minimum:

how to become a piercer

  • 1,200 hours examining piercings, filling up documentation, and sterilizing equipment under the supervision of a mentor. Each day's apprenticeship hours are documented and signed by the mentor.
  • 100 hours of piercing observation, involving at least 100 distinct types of body piercings in diverse locations.
  • 50 piercings under supervision (following supervised piercing procedures).

Apprenticeships generally span six to twelve months. During this time, you will receive hands-on experience while learning about safety, customer service, and various piercing methods and techniques. Certain apprenticeships are compensated, while others are not.

Obtain a license

Certain states and counties need licensed body piercers to perform there. Consult your state's board of health website or inquire with your mentor to determine whether you require a special license to work as a professional body piercer. To obtain a license, you can need to prepare for and pass an exam covering local health and safety rules. Even if your state does not require licensure, consider taking the exam to enhance your work prospects, since many studios prefer to use certified body piercers.

how to become a piercer

Find a job

Ask your mentor or piercing studio owner at the conclusion of your apprenticeship if they have any employment opportunities for which you can apply. Often, an apprenticeship will result in a job offer if you exhibit strong talents and customer service throughout your time there. Alternatively, request a letter of recommendation from your mentor and begin networking with local piercing studios. Create a résumé, business cards, and a portfolio of your work to apply for body piercing employment. Prospective employers should see these together with your letter of recommendation.

Required skills of a body piercer

Body piercers should be able to conduct correct piercings and deal with a diverse range of consumers. Typical body piercer abilities include the following:

  • Interpersonal skills: Body piercers engage with a large number of customers and should possess the social skills necessary to ensure their comfort before to, during, and following operations. Additionally, they answer phones, greet clients, and promote a good atmosphere in the business.
  • Attention to detail: When doing body piercings, these specialists must demonstrate great precision and attention. Clients anticipate them to insert the needle exactly in the correct location.
  • Verbal communication: Body piercers should possess the verbal communication skills necessary to effectively explain the piercing procedure and aftercare instructions to customers, especially those who can be hesitant.
  • Creativity: These artists possess the creativity necessary to assist clients in selecting piercing places and jewelry types. They are able to envision what sort of piercing would look best on a certain individual.
  • Patience: When dealing with customers, body piercers must take their time to perform their task correctly and securely. They can spend more time teaching and discussing the technique to the customer than actually executing the piercing.

Body piercer job salary and outlook

Body piercers earn an average base income of $50,050 per year. This amount varies according to the piercer's experience, level of training, reputation, and geographic area. Body piercers in major locations such as New York and Los Angeles, for example, receive some of the highest pay in the industry. Flexible work schedules, employee discounts, and health and life insurance are all possible benefits.

Because of aesthetic and cultural piercing practices and the necessity for qualified experts to conduct them, the body piercing business has maintained a consistent level of employment and demand.

Common questions

Questions from job seekers.

How much does it cost to obtain a tattoo license in Texas?

The following are the license fees: (1) $450 for a tattoo-only studio or temporary location license valid for a defined period not to exceed seven days; (2) $600 for a tattoo-and-body-piercing studio or temporary location license valid for a given period not to exceed seven days.

Is a license required for tattoo and body piercing studios?

Yes. To operate a tattoo or body piercing studio in Texas, the studio must have a current license granted by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

how to become a piercer

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