How to become a Body Piercer. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about this career.
What does a Body Piercer do?
As a body piercer, you would pierce various parts of your clients’ bodies with a needle or piercing gun and then insert different types of jewellery and metal as a form of decoration.
Your work would include:
- discussing with the client the type of piercing they want and advising on what may be suitable
- explaining the procedure and pointing out any risks involved
- advising on suitable types of metal and jewellery
- sterilising the piece of jewellery and the area which is being pierced
- disposing of the needle following health and safety guidelines
- showing the client how to care for the piercing as it heals, and what to do if there is a problem.
You could also train as a tattooist, and offer this service as well as piercing. See the Tattooist profile for details.
You will usually work five or six days a week, often including weekends. You may also work in the evening if your studio offers late-night opening.
You will be based in a studio or salon, which could be part of a beauty salon. You could also work as an ear piercer in a jewellery shop.
How much does a Body Piercer earn?
The amount you earn will depend on your personal talent and ability, the reputation of the studio or salon and, if you are self-employed, your ability to promote your business.
Other factors that will affect your earnings are the number of hours you work, the amount of competition in the area, and whether you offer tattooing as well as piercing.
As a trainee you may only receive travelling expenses at some studios, at others you will be paid a salary.
It is usual for body piercers to train through an apprenticeship with a skilled and experienced piercer. You should approach reputable local registered body piercers for details of possible training opportunities.
You can do short training courses run by private studios throughout the country. However, it is not possible to become a fully trained body piercer by this route, and it is recommended by the industry that you do an apprenticeship. This is because of the serious health problems which can be caused by incorrect or unhygienic piercing.
Local environmental health departments set requirements for cleanliness of piercing premises, registration of the piercer and cleansing of the equipment. These may vary from one area to another, so it is important to check with your local council.
If you are only interested in ear piercing, you can do the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) Level 2 Certificate in Ear Piercing.
Training and Development
The length of your apprenticeship will vary depending on the policy of the studio involved, but it can take between one and three years.
Your apprenticeship will include learning about:
- the possible dangers to the circulatory and nervous systems
- how to identify when a piercing is not suitable for a client
- other relevant health and safety issues.
Skills and Knowledge
- good hand-eye coordination and a steady hand
- very high standards of cleanliness and constant awareness of the need for hygiene
- knowledge of health and safety
- good spoken communication skills
- customer service skills.
You can work as a body piercer in piercing studios, tattoo studios and beauty therapy salons throughout the UK. You could also work as an ear piercer in a jewellery shop.
As an experienced body piercer, you could set up your own salon, possibly employing other piercers or tattooists.