Learning how to body pierce correctly takes many months, and years of experience. Although there are not any accredited degrees in body piercing, there are certain requirements you must fulfill before you begin body piercing clients. These requirements vary from state to state and from county to county. Usually, such requirements consist of taking an approved (as in approved by your local Health Department) blood-borne pathogen course and then a series of Hepatitis B vaccinations over a period of 9 months time to ensure you are not carrying the Hepatitis B virus.
Once you have completed your pathogen class and vaccinations, you must register with the county you will be working in. The fee for registering is usually nominal, but there may also be additional fees required from the city you are in. Check with your local Health Department for information on all requirements just to be sure, and make sure that you have all documentation present at your shop for inspection when requested by clients or health inspectors.
Once you are legitimately certified to body pierce, it is best to begin an apprenticeship with a seasoned body piercer. You will be mostly observing the process until you are deemed ready to pierce. When that time arrives, you will be supervised by your mentor. Until then, your apprenticeship will basically involve doing shop clean-up or other menial chores without pay. As with tattoo apprenticeships, you will also need to purchase your own professional starter body piercing kit and tools you will need to properly body pierce. There is a growing number of tattoo artists and body piercers that are choosing to be self-taught, viewing the old-school apprenticeship method as exploitative and unnecessary. Since apprenticing yourself to a shop is not a legal requirement for body artists, it will not affect your ability to become certified. However, it is still strongly suggested and by far the best way to learn, resulting in fewer mistakes and a safer environment for the client during the learning process.