With the onset of our current sluggish economy, there has been a proliferation of trade schools competing for students, making wild promises of future fortunes in jobs that in actuality are minimum wage positions. Not only do you need to be careful as to the type of work you go into, but you need to be equally careful in choosing the method you are educated. As with all things, there is vast differences in price, competence and placement expectations between these schools. Since most trade schools cost thousands of dollars to enroll, one must be very careful in making the right choice.
In the world of body art, there are basically four ways to do it. The first way is to find a mentor and become an apprentice. The second way is to seek education online by reading texts and watching instructional videos (these courses are usually also offered through the mail). Another way is to attend a school (in person) that specializes in tattoos and body piercing (there are very few of them, and the ones that are out there are very expensive). The last option, of course, is to be self-taught.
Of all the options open to you, apprenticeship is the best choice, as long as you are not being ‘charged’ to be an apprentice (remember, don’t pay twice – you will already be working for free), followed by attending a school in-person. Try to avoid any courses by mail, unless they provide you with unlimited access to videos and at least supply you with the tools and equipment you will need. (Also keep in mind that you will still have to take a blood-borne pathogen class approved by your health department, and fulfill any other requirements they have to become registered.) If you must, you can order videos by mail and teach yourself by practicing on friends, relatives and rubber prosthetic ears, faces, etc. Most important of all, don’t venture out until you are ready and have the experience, the licensing and proper credentials needed to perform body art legally, or you could wind up injuring someone. Remember, don’t start tattooing or body piercing until you have the knowledge, experience and have fulfilled the requirements required by your county health department or you could injure someone.