Whether you are looking to learn how to tattoo or body pierce, the traditional form of apprenticeship has by definition changed quite a bit in recent years. It used to be a simple matter of just volunteering your time and energy at a tattoo shop for a year or two in exchange for learning the proper procedures in shop hygiene, tattooing and piercing.
Now with the interest in tattooing buoyed by television shows and the increased popularity of tattoos in the mainstream population, finding a shop that will even take you as an apprentice can be a daunting task. Once you have the proper tattoo and body piercing supplies, you will need to either apprentice yourself to a mentor or teach yourself through various means. Be prepared to pay for the knowledge you are asking to receive, not just in time spent at the shop but in dollars. In a recent survey conducted by the Body Piercing News found that about 75% of shops now charge apprentices (between 3 and 10 thousand dollars). IF you are lucky enough to find a shop that will take you on (without charging money to do so) make sure you make the best of it and enjoy yourself. Remember, you will be learning one of very few recession-proof trades that will serve you (and your customers) forever.