The exact amount a tattoo artist gets paid varies depending upon his or her geographical location and experience. The average annual income for a tattoo artist as of 2013 is $32,000.
In 2013, the best-paying region for a tattoo artist was Washington, D.C. Artists in this area made an average of $50,000 per year. Artists in South Dakota, however, earned an average of just $25,000. In addition to geographic location, an artist's skill level also plays a major role in how much he or she earns. People are willing to pay more for tattoos from highly skilled or famous artists.