Body piercing has been a popular form of body art since at least 2500 BC, but our modern society has found new and unique ways celebrate the beauty of the human body through piercing that makes it more popular than ever. If you are interested in becoming a professional body piercing artist, you will need to go through an instructional body piercing apprenticeship program with a licensed body piercing shop.
Overview of Body Piercing Apprenticeship Programs
You will likely spend the first three months of your training learning the critical health and safety standards for body piercing, such as sterilization, disinfection, care and cleanup of piercings. To be honest, this might include more mopping and inventory than you hoped. After that, you will spend six months to a year working as a body piercing apprentice under the guidance of a registered body piercer before graduating.
Through your training, you will learn sterile techniques when administering piercings with one-time-use surgical-grade needles (professional body piercers never use piercing guns. Piercing guns are impossible to properly sanitize and not sharp enough to precisely pierce the flesh), and then inserting jewelry into the fresh piercing and advising the client on minimizing the risk of infection and optimizing healing. You will also provide provide maintenance care for previous piercings, such as reopening a healed-over piercing, or expanding the width of a piercing that is being gauged for plugs or tunnel jewelry.
Qualities a Body Piercing Candidate Should Have Before Starting a Body Piercing Apprenticeship Program
Some of the qualities that will be expected of you throughout your apprenticeship and as a professional body piercer are impeccable hygiene, good bedside manner and customer service skills, and a steady hand. Some of the work that a piercer does involves blood, other bodily fluids, ingrown jewelry, and infection. If you have a faint stomach, a career in body piercing may not be ideal for you.
Because the nature of a body piercer’s work brings them in regular contact with open wounds, you will need to register with the department of health and undergo a series of health tests to ensure you do not have any communicable diseases that could infect your clients. You will also need to get immunizations for diseases you may come in close contact with in the body piercing field.
How to Become a Piercing Apprentice
Body piercing apprenticeships tend to be highly competitive opportunities that might be hard to come by. Rather than waiting for an opportunity to open up, it’s a good idea to be proactive about seeking apprenticeship opportunities.
If you are wondering how to get a body piercing apprenticeship, a good place to start is by reviewing the Association of Professional Piercers database of local, registered body piercers. You can use this information to make contact with body piercers in your area and ask about apprenticeship opportunities. The more professional piercers you make contact with, the more likely you will land a shop who will take you on as an apprentice.
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