Tattoo/Permanent Makeup Artist Licensing

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What Are the Education Requirements For Permanent Makeup Artists?

Being able to use tattoo needles is a very specialized skill that may make you an in-demand beauty and body art professional. Tattooing and permanent makeup application are very similar careers. They use the same tools, the same pigments, and often have overlapping clientele. Given the equipment you work with in this field and the fact that body art is permanent, it should come as no surprise that you have to meet some very strict education requirements before you start your career.

Sanitation and hygiene are extremely important subjects in any cosmetology career, but they are of particular focus in these fields. Tattoo needles can spread infection and pathogens extremely easily if they are not sanitized and stored properly. Your education will likely spend quite a bit of time on the subject.

Properly using tools and pigments for different looks and designs should be the focus of the rest of your program. Of course, the techniques you cover will depend on whether you want to study tattooing or permanent makeup. Overall training requirements differ quite a bit between states. Some only require you to complete a sanitation and hygiene program, while others require hundreds of hours in an approved tattooing program.

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What Are the Initial Licensing Requirements for Tattoo Makeup Artists?

To choose a program, spend a lot of time getting familiar with the licensing requirements of your individual state. This is one part of the beauty industry where requirements aren’t consistent across states. In some states, you only have to register your business as one that provides tattooing services or register yourself as a professional who provides tattooing services. In these states, you simply fill out the application, pay a licensing fee, and get your license.

In others, you have to go through a longer testing and application process to legally practice. This may involve passing a test in sanitation and hygiene, as well as one on specific tattooing techniques. Once you meet these requirements, you can apply for a license and begin working as a permanent makeup or tattoo artist.

In a very select handful of states, this field is still not regulated at all. If you happen to live in one of those states, you can simply begin working when you have the appropriate skills and knowledge. However, keep in mind that regulation is a big part of this field, so licensing requirements may change in the future.

How Do I Renew My Tattoo/ Permanent Makeup License?

If your state requires licensure, it is likely that it also expects you to renew your license if you want to keep working as a permanent makeup artist or a tattoo artist. States that do license permanent makeup artists typically require renewal every two years. However, some states require renewal as rarely as every three years or as often as every one year.

You should find that this process is a lot easier than the one you go through to get your first license. The renewal application is generally shorter than the initial licensing application, and fees tend to be lower as well.

Quite a few states require continuing education for beauty professionals who use tattoo needles. Depending on the state you live in, you may be expected to take courses in sanitation and hygiene or in the proper use of tattooing equipment. To get your license renewed, you may have to supply proof of these hours.

Can I Use My License In Another State?

In the future, you may decide that you want to broaden your horizons and move to a different state. If that’s the case, you may wonder if you need to go through the entire training and licensing process again. Hopefully, you can simply transfer your license or apply for license reciprocity. Quite a few states allow you to simply transfer your license if your state has equal or greater training requirements than your new state. Usually, you pay a fee to have your original board send your license to your new board. Once they verify your experience and training, you can get your license.

If you live in a state that does not require extensive training for tattoo artist—for example, if your state only required you to complete a hygiene and sanitation class—you may have to start over in your new state if your new state requires the completion of an entire curriculum. However, if you have work experience from your home state, that may take the place of some of your required training hours.

License reciprocity works in so many different ways that it is extremely important to look at the specific expectations regarding your home state and the state or states you are interested in moving to.

Find out how you can become a permanent makeup or tattoo artist by reaching out to tattooing schools near you!

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