A tattoo artist typically doesn't need a formal education to enter this profession. However, many tattoo artists take fine arts classes or get an art degree to hone their artistry skills and creativity. The formal requirement to get a license as a tattoo artist is to complete an apprenticeship.
State licensing for tattoo artists is common in the U.S., and most artists complete a two-year apprenticeship with a veteran tattoo artist. During the initial six to 12 months of the apprenticeship, the aspiring artist observes and learns health and safety practices. During the second year, the would-be artist begins performing tattoos under the supervision of the established artist.