With so many benefits for one low price, the decision is easy. Easy. Simple. Selfgood.

How Much Do Tattoo Artists Make?

Selfgood team, Marketing at Selfgood
how much does a tattoo artist make, average tattoo artist salary

Are you interested in becoming a tattoo artist but unsure if it’s worthwhile? With tattoos becoming increasingly popular, more people are turning to body art as a form of self-expression. Becoming a tattoo artist is gratifying, but it takes dedication to gain the skills needed for success. One of the potential artists’ main questions about this profession is, “How much does a tattoo artist make?” In this blog post, we will discuss the average wage and salary range for tattoo artists with varying experience levels and other benefits that may come with being part of the trade. So keep reading to learn whether pursuing this creative and lucrative industry could work out financially for you!

How Much Do Tattoo Artists Make?

tattoo artist earns, tattoo artists work, tattoo artists learn

Have you ever wondered how much money tattoo artists make in a year? The answer depends on various factors, including the artist’s location, experience level, and the quality of their work. To better understand the typical salary for many tattoo artists in the United States, we looked into average salaries by state. Please keep reading to find out what we discovered.

Tattoo Artist Salary in the US

According to data from PayScale, the median hourly rate for famous tattoo artists in the US is $9.21 per hour. That translates to an annual tattoo artist’s income of about $19,200 per year (assuming a 40-hour work week). However, that number can vary significantly depending on where you live and work. For example, tattoo artists in California make more than those living in other states because of higher living costs and demand for their services. As a result, the average hourly wage for tattoo artists in California is $15.87 per hour or approximately $33,000 annually (assuming a 40-hour work week).

Those living and working in Texas make less than their counterparts in other parts of the country due to lower living costs and competition from larger cities like Houston and Dallas. In Texas, a tattoo artist typically makes around $7.92 per hour or about $16,500 annually (assuming a 40-hour work week).

Experience also plays a vital role in determining how much money tattoo artists make each year. Those working as professionals for many years command higher wages than those just starting in the industry because they have built up an impressive portfolio and gained recognition from clients. It’s important to note that experienced tattoo artists may also charge higher rates due to their reputation within their local community or the industry.

Tattoo Artist Salaries By State – What Tattoo Artists Make

tattoo designer, tattoo shops, average tattoo artist salary, tattoo industry

The tattoo industry is a booming one. With more and more people getting tattoos, it’s no surprise that the demand for experienced tattoo artists has also increased. But how much do tattoo artists make? We looked at the average tattoo artist’s salary in seven states to see how much money they could make for their craft.

New York

New York is one of the most popular destinations for most tattoo artists and one of the highest-paying states for those already working in the field. According to PayScale, the median salary range for a tattoo artist in New York State is $31,000 – $46,000 per year. This is one of the highest salaries across all of the states we looked at and is likely due to the high cost of living in New York and fierce competition among experienced artists.


California often tops lists for an appealing tattoo studio to work as a professional artist. This doesn’t disappoint when tattooing withholding to PayScale. California-based tattoo artists earn an average of $32,000 – $45,000 annually. This tattoo artist’s salary reflects California’s competitive market, with many talented professionals from around the world vying for positions within established establishments or venturing out independently.


Texas may not be as competitive as some other states, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still an opportunity for talented ink slingers! According to PayScale, Texas-based tattoo artists earn an average salary ranging from $26,000 – $36,000 per year. While this isn’t as high as some other states on our list because of smaller demand and less competition, paying for anyone looking for steady work doing something they love is still good!


Tennessee has become quite popular amongst young professionals looking to move away from big cities like Los Angeles or New York while still pursuing dream careers like being a tattoo artist. According to PayScale, Tennessee-based artisans are making an average annual salary ranging from $21k – $35k per year–not too shabby! As with any job market, the experience will help you get further ahead, so don’t shy away from doing extra hours honing your craft if you want higher pay!


Florida may be known for its vibrant music scene & nightlife, but did you know it also offers excellent opportunities for aspiring & experienced tattooists? According to PayScale data reported by our Florida-based respondents, salaries range from around $25k – $37k annually, depending on experience & skill level! Plus, with beautiful beaches only minutes from many major cities like Miami or Ft Lauderdale, you can easily enjoy some time off after long shifts behind your machine!

New Jersey

While not typically seen on lists featuring a desirable tattoo shop to live & work as an artist (or anything else), New Jersey does have its benefits–especially regarding your wallet! According to PayScale data reported by our NJ-based respondents, salaries range between roughly $27k -$41k annually, depending on experience & skill level! So if you’re not afraid of hard work & hustle, maybe try out NJ before making big decisions about relocating elsewhere!

Washington DC

Last but not least, we have Washington, DC – home of politics & bureaucracy but also enough – home of some pretty decent opportunities if you’re looking into becoming a professional Tattoo Artist! After surveying our DC-based respondents, we discovered typical salaries should range between roughly 27K-48K annually depending on experience & skill level, making this city worth considering if you’re interested in entering this lucrative industry!

As you can see, plenty of options are available regarding where to pursue your career as a professional Tattoo Artist. All these locations offer unique advantages & drawbacks, so do your research carefully before committing yourself to any destination! However, regardless of where you end up starting – with enough dedication & hard work, anything is possible, so don’t give up on your dreams!

Strategies to Maximize Your Tattoo Business Income – What Tattoo Artists Make

independent contractor, cities for tattoo artists, highest paying cities

If you own a tattoo studio, you likely want to maximize your profits. Several strategies can help you increase your tattoo business income. But first, look at seven tips to get the job done.

1. Increase Your Prices

One way to increase income is to raise prices for services and merchandise. However, it is essential not to go overboard when increasing prices, as this could put customers off coming back for repeat business or even cost them their loyalty. On the other hand, a slight price increase could make a vast difference in profits without turning away customers if you still offer great value for money.

2. Offer Special Deals

You can also offer special deals occasionally, such as discounts or bundles of multiple services for one price or buy one get one free offer. This will encourage people to try more than one service from your shop, allowing you to make more money from each customer visit and build customer loyalty.

3. Cross-promote with Other Businesses

It’s also beneficial to cross-promote with other businesses offering complementary services or products, such as piercing parlors, beauty salons, clothing stores, etc. You can do this by offering coupons or vouchers and advertising on each other’s websites for a fee.

4. Offer Gift Cards

Gift cards are another way to boost sales and bring in extra revenue during slow times of the year, like the holidays or summer vacation season, when fewer customers are coming through the door. Be sure to promote gift cards on your website and social media accounts and at the shop itself so that people know they are an option when buying presents for friends and family who love tattoos!

5. Create merchandise

Merchandising is an excellent way to generate additional income for your tattoo business, and it doesn’t have to be limited just to t-shirts with your logo on them, either. Customers may find many options, such as hats, mugs, jewelry, and more, appealing enough to buy from you instead of somewhere else online (or, even better—a store!).

6. Network with Influencers

Another great way to boost sales is by networking with influencers with large followers on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. These people can help spread the word about your shop, inevitably leading to increased sales over time!

7. Update Your Technology

Finally, it’s essential not to forget about updating your technology every now & then. New machines & tools can help attract new customers who may not have been interested before because of outdated equipment or lack thereof! Plus, it will give existing clients something fresh & exciting, which may encourage them to visit again sooner rather than later!

These seven tips should give you plenty of ideas on increasing your tattoo business income quickly and efficiently while keeping your loyal clients happy too! Remember, though—it takes time & effort, but once implemented correctly, these strategies should pay dividends over time, so don’t be afraid to experiment & see what works best for you & your shop!

Bottom Line – What Tattoo Artists Make

Now that you know how much tattoo artists make, it’s time to think about strategies to maximize your earnings. If you’re a tattoo artist, consider the tips outlined in this blog post and see how you integrate them into your business. Remember, some factors affect how much money you make as a tattoo artist, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see an immediate increase in income. Instead, keep at it, and always strive to improve your craft! And be sure to check out our other blogs for more great business advice.