How to Become a Piercer: A Full Guide

If you’ve ever loved the art of body piercing and dream of turning it into a career, we’ll show you how you can get started on this ASAP.

Recent data has shown that the most common ethnicity among body piercers is white, which makes up 59.5% of all body piercers. Comparatively, 16.4% of body piercers are Hispanic or Latino, and 10.1% of body piercers are black or African American.

The data went ahead to reveal that 61.6% of all body piercers are female, while 38.4% are male.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to become a piercer, providing simple insights to make the journey easy for you.

Ready? Let’s get in!

Who is a Piercer?

A piercer is a professional who specializes in performing body piercings. They are trained and skilled in using sterile equipment to create openings in the skin for the insertion of jewelry, such as earrings, nose rings, belly button rings, and more.

Piercers work in licensed piercing studios or tattoo shops and follow strict health and safety protocols to ensure a hygienic and safe piercing experience for their clients.

In addition to performing piercings, piercers also provide aftercare advice to help clients properly care for their new piercings and prevent infection.

They may also offer guidance on choosing the right type of jewelry and provide information on healing times for different types of piercings.

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What qualifications do I need to become a piercer?

To become a piercer, you’ll typically need to complete an apprenticeship under an experienced piercer.

Look for studios or shops that offer formal apprenticeship programs, as this will provide you with hands-on training and guidance from a seasoned professional.

Additionally, many states require piercers to have a Bloodborne Pathogens certification, which can be obtained through an accredited program.

In terms of personal qualities, having good hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, and strong communication skills are important for success in this field.

It’s also important to have a genuine passion for body art and a commitment to upholding high standards of safety and hygiene.

Pursuing a career as a piercer can be incredibly rewarding if you’re dedicated to honing your craft and providing clients with safe and beautiful body modifications.

What are the basic requirements to become a piercer?

Becoming a piercer doesn’t require a formal education, but you need to meet certain criteria.

First and foremost, most states require you to be at least 18 years old. Additionally, you may need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Some states also require you to complete a bloodborne pathogens training course to ensure you understand health and safety regulations.

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How long does it take to become a certified body piercer?

Becoming a certified body piercer typically takes around 6 months to 1 year, depending on the program and your dedication to learning the necessary skills.

Many aspiring piercers choose to complete an apprenticeship under an experienced professional, which can provide valuable hands-on experience and mentorship.

During this time, you’ll learn about proper sterilization techniques, anatomy, jewelry selection, and aftercare procedures.

After completing your training or apprenticeship, you may need to pass a certification exam administered by a professional organization such as the Association of Professional Piercers.

Once certified, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to safely and professionally perform body piercings.

Keep in mind that requirements can vary by location, so it’s important to research the specific regulations in your area before pursuing certification.

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Can I learn how to pierce by watching online videos?

While it’s possible to learn some basic techniques and information about piercing by watching online videos, we would highly recommend seeking formal training from a professional piercer.

Piercing is a delicate and intricate art form that requires hands-on practice, proper sanitation knowledge, and an understanding of anatomy.

By learning from an experienced piercer, you can ensure that you are following best practices and safety protocols to avoid potential risks and complications.

Additionally, formal training will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions, receive feedback, and gain valuable insights from someone with real-world experience in the industry.

It’s important to prioritize the health and safety of your clients when it comes to body modification practices like piercing.

So while online videos can be informative, they should not be a substitute for professional training and mentorship in this field.

Apprenticeships are the golden ticket here. Seek out reputable piercing studios and express your interest in becoming an apprentice and then get trained.

What are the potential career paths for a qualified body piercer?

As a qualified body piercer, you have several potential career paths to explore.

One option is to work in a professional piercing studio or tattoo shop, where you can hone your skills and build a loyal client base.

You could also consider pursuing additional certifications or training in related fields such as tattoo artistry or permanent makeup application, expanding your expertise and marketability.

Another avenue to consider is opening your own piercing studio or collaborating with other artists to create a unique and thriving business.

With the increasing popularity of body modification and self-expression, there are ample opportunities to carve out a successful career in this field.

Whether you choose to specialize in body piercings, ear modifications, or even cosmetic piercings, the key is to stay passionate about your craft and always prioritize safety and professionalism.

What soft skills are crucial for a successful piercing career?

Patience, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills are paramount.

As a piercer, you’ll be working closely with clients, and ensuring they are comfortable and informed is important.

Moreover, a good eye for aesthetics and a steady hand are necessary for creating beautiful and symmetrical piercings.

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Is there an age requirement for pursuing a career as a body piercer?

There is no strict age requirement for pursuing a career as a body piercer, as the regulations can vary depending on your location.

In some places, you may need to be at least 18 years old to legally perform body piercing procedures, while in others there may be no specific age restriction.

It’s important to research the laws and regulations in your area to ensure that you meet the necessary requirements.

If you’re interested in becoming a body piercer, we recommend reaching out to local piercing studios or professional organizations for guidance on the specific age requirements in your area.

Are there any risks involved in becoming a professional piercer?

Becoming a professional piercer comes with its own set of risks, just like any other profession.

One of the main risks is the potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens and infections. It’s crucial for piercers to follow strict hygiene and safety protocols to minimize this risk.

Additionally, there’s also the risk of accidental injury to clients if proper techniques and tools are not used.

Another risk to consider is the potential for allergic reactions or complications from the piercing process itself. It’s important for piercers to have a thorough understanding of different skin types and medical conditions that may affect healing.

Despite these risks, many professional piercers find great fulfillment in their work and take pride in providing a safe and enjoyable experience for their clients. With proper training, education, and attention to detail, these risks can be managed effectively.

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What are the steps to obtaining a piercing license?

Licensing requirements vary by state, so it’s crucial to research the specific regulations in your area.

Generally, you’ll need to complete a certain number of apprenticeship hours, pass an exam, and demonstrate your knowledge of health and safety protocols.

Some states may also require you to submit proof of bloodborne pathogens training.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does a piercing apprenticeship cost?

Apprenticeships are typically unpaid or come with minimal stipends. However, the knowledge and hands-on experience gained during this period are invaluable. Some piercing studios may charge a fee for apprenticeships, covering materials and training resources.

Can I become a piercer without formal education?

Absolutely! While a formal education isn’t a requirement, a high school diploma or equivalent is often necessary. Your skills and knowledge will be honed during your apprenticeship, where hands-on experience is the focus.

Is it necessary to attend piercing school?

Piercing schools do exist, but they aren’t mandatory. Many successful piercers have gained their skills through apprenticeships. However, if you prefer a structured learning environment, a piercing school can be a viable option.

How long does it take to become a licensed piercer?

The timeline varies, but it typically takes a minimum of six months to a year to complete an apprenticeship and fulfill the licensing requirements. The process may take longer depending on the state and the individual’s dedication to learning and mastering the craft.


Embarking on a journey to become a piercer is an exciting venture filled with creativity and self-expression.

By following these steps and staying committed to continuous learning, you can turn your passion for body piercing into a rewarding and fulfilling career.



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