How To Become A Licensed Tattoo Artist In Canada?

Being a tattoo artist is an exciting and lucrative career choice. It can be challenging, but there are many opportunities for success in this field.

While having a license to practice tattoos is required in most provinces across Canada, becoming one yourself requires more than just sitting down at your desk every day and drawing something onto someone’s body.

It’s about time we guide you on how to become a Licensed Tattoo Artist in Canada.

Who Is A Licensed Tattoo Artist In Canada?

A tattoo artist is a person who tattoos people. They are also known as tattooers, tattooists, and tattoo craftsmen. Tattooing is a type of body modification that uses permanent ink to insert pigment into the skin.

The tattooing process involves using needles or other implements with colored inks made from pigments suspended in water.

The pigment may be applied with mechanical means such as stencils or brushes (hand); alternatively, it can be applied by hand pump or hand-applied colorant directly onto skin surfaces (autoclave).

Practical Steps To Become A Licensed Tattoo Artist In Canada

There are practical procedures to become a Licensed Tattoo Artist in Canada. These procedures are explained below:

1. Pick A Training Institution.

You need to pick a training institution. The curriculum, instructors, location, and cost are all things you should consider when selecting a school.

A good tattoo artist has an excellent reputation for their work—you want to learn from someone who has already been successful in life! Check out the reviews of other students on the school’s website or social media pages and make sure that they’re positive ones.

If there are too many negative comments about how difficult it was or how expensive tuition was compared with other schools’ tuition fees, then perhaps this is not the right place for you.

It’s also worth looking into what kind of training programs they offer so that you’ll be able to buy into them before starting your studies at another institution later down the line after graduation from college/university, etcetera which could take years.

Read Also: New Caregiver Pilot Program Canada: What It Is & How Does It Work?

2. Follow Your Province’s Tattoo License Laws.

The next step is to check the laws in your province. Some provinces require more training, and some have stricter regulations than others. You should also be aware of the different rules that apply to tattooing minors (under 18 years old).

An example is British Columbia; you can only get a tattoo if it’s done by a licensed professional artist who has been practicing for at least two years.

3. Create A Portfolio.

Before you can apply for a job or take the exam, it’s essential to have your portfolio ready. Your portfolio should be professional and neat to represent you well when viewed by potential employers. It should also include examples of your work to demonstrate your artist’s abilities.

4. Get In Touch With Local Tattoo Studios For Apprenticeship Opportunities.

If you have the right attitude and if you have proper skills and training, getting into a tattoo studio can be an excellent way to start your career. Tattoo studios will usually be happy to take on apprentices if they’re willing to work hard to learn the trade.

However, sometimes it takes work to find a local studio that offers this opportunity. You might even think that all tattoo artists are making money hand over fist by charging high prices for their services, but this isn’t necessarily true. There are several opportunities for those who want them—keep looking.

5. Licensing Is Not The End.

Licensing is not the end, and it’s only the beginning of your career as a tattoo artist.

As you start out, you will want to keep learning and growing professionally and personally as an artist. You will also want to keep up with the latest trends in tattooing.

This means attending conventions or workshops where other artists share their knowledge with you so that you can get better at what you do.

If any specific techniques or styles interest you, then it is worth taking some time out from work so that these things can be learned from someone who has already mastered them.

Job Description Of A Licensed Tattoo Artist In Canada?

Tattooing is a form of art, and it’s one that has been around for centuries. However, it wasn’t until recently that tattoo artist became famous in their own right. After all, plenty of other professions can be found on the internet or at job fairs.

T tattoo artists are so in demand because they’re skilled in their craft, which means they can provide a service to others who want their body covered with ink and sometimes more than just one piece. 

Skills Of A Licensed Tattoo Artist In Canada

You should be able to work with different types of clients. You will need to be able to understand the human body, which means you must have a good understanding of anatomy and its functions.

You also must be able to draw and sketch well so that your designs are well-designed and attractive.

Finally, it is essential for any tattoo artist who wants their work licensed in Canada that they have an eye for detail as well as patience when working on smaller areas like tattoos on wrists or ankles where there can easily be mistakes made due to their small size compared with larger tattoos on more significant parts such as backsides where less attention needs to be paid towards them due their greater size relative to other body parts being worked.

Educational Requirements Of A Licensed Tattoo Artist In Canada?

A tattoo artist must be 18 years old or older to apply for a license. The applicant must also have either a high school diploma or equivalent or an apprenticeship certificate issued by an approved body in Canada that can provide the required education and training.

A tattoo artist who has completed their apprenticeship may apply for licensing if they meet all other age, experience, and education requirements outlined above. The licensing board will then decide whether to issue them with their own skill sets based on these points. 

Certifications Of A Licensed Tattoo Artist In Canada

Certifications are not mandatory in Canada, but they help show potential employers that you have the skills to be a tattoo artist. Certificates can be expensive and time-consuming, but they are optional if you want to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada.

Certifications can be earned online or through an apprenticeship program. If you choose this route, there are several options for certification programs, such as the Licensed Tattoo Artist Certification Program (LTCP).

This is offered by the American Society of Tattooists/Tattoo Artisans Guild International (ASTA/TAGI), which provides two levels of certification: Level 1- Advanced Level; Level 2 Certified Professional Tattooist.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 How Long Does It Take To Become A Tattoo Artist In Canada?

Tattoo apprenticeships typically take one to three years, depending on your progress.

2. How Much A Tattoo Artist Earns In Canada?

$39,000 per year.

3. How Do I Become A Tattoo Artist Without A Degree?

You don’t need an art degree to get into a tattoo artist school. But getting a formal education in the drawing is a good idea. 

4. Do You Need A License To Tattoo In Canada?

In Canada, tattoo artists don’t require a license as they do elsewhere. Still, studios adhere to strict health and safety requirements that prospective tattoo artists learn during apprenticeships.

5. How Much Do Tattoo Artists Charge Per Hour In Canada?

A reasonable hourly rate for getting a quality medium-to-large tattoo in Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Toronto is $175 to $190 per hour. 

6. Can I Tattoo If I Can’t Draw?

Technically the answer is yes, but only really once you become a better artist. 

7. What Are The Tattoo Laws In Canada?

Regarding age, the Act states that anybody below 16 must have their parent’s explicit consent before getting a tattoo or piercing. 

8. Do You Need A Qualification To Tattoo?

There are many different routes to becoming a tattoo artist, and individuals do not require a formal qualification. 

9. How Do I Ask For A Tattoo Apprenticeship?

Visit the tattoo shop in person and ask if the tattoo artist can look at your portfolio. 

10. Does Tattooing Make A Lot Of Money?

In the United States, tattoo artists make $51,867 per year on average or $24.94 per hour. 


To become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada, you’ll need to take classes and apprenticeships and earn some experience before applying for the proper license.

If you are searching for a job as a tattoo artist in Canada, consider looking into the licensing requirements of your province. There are different levels of experience required before applying for a license, and you must have the proper training before starting this journey, so check out this guide to learn more about how much education/training is needed first. 

Leave a Comment