How to Charge for Tattooing as a Beginner

beginners eyebrow tattoo lip tattooing pricing your services Sep 05, 2022

Let’s talk about realistic expectations for cosmetic tattoo treatments and what you should consider before joining the industry.


I'm Rebecca Cody, I am a cosmetic tattoo artist, a makeup artist, a beauty therapist, a hairdresser, laser tattoo removalist, and a cosmetic tattoo trainer. I've been in the industry for a really long time over 12 years, in fact, and the reason that I got into cosmetic tattooing was because I wanted to give my clients longer-lasting results than what eyebrow tinting or Henna was doing. And I just wanted to be able to give them the brows they always wanted. 


That's what really led me into cosmetic tattooing, was my passion to help my clients. 


As a cosmetic tattoo trainer, I often get talking to a lot of my students about why they came into the industry. And what was the biggest pull for them to make the jump?

A lot of the students surprisingly tell me that the reason that they got into the industry is because it was advertised to them that they could make $5,000 a week. 


Now, this is not really an accurate statement of what's going to happen when you do start out as a cosmetic tattooist it's really when you become more advanced or even an expert that you hit the magical $5,000 a week, if not more.


These are people who have been in the industry for a really, really long time and have put in the hard work because cosmetic tattooing is like any other industry. And it's not really a get-rich-quick scheme. If you viewed it as that you're really not going to deliver the best results for your clients because you are going to be focused on the money rather than the treatment. 


So my first word of advice is if you're looking to get into the industry, don't come into the industry thinking that you're going to join because you're going to make all of this money because when you really think about it, that $5,000 that they're advertising that you're making, that's only revenue, that's not profit. 


That's not what you take home in hand, you still have to run your own business. But sometimes there can be a little bit of a shock when you first start your salon thinking that you're going to make all of this money and then you realize you quit your 40-hour-a-week job to invest and start a now 80-hour-week small business. 


My second word of advice, if you are looking to enter the industry is don’t follow the hype. Make sure that you do your research, don't just go with someone because they can guarantee and I put them in quotation marks “guarantee” that you will make this much a week (no one can guarantee how much you make a week in business), it's always going to be slow in the beginning. And we really do have to be realistic about pricing yourself compared to your experience. So normally they are on a bit of a scale. And the more experienced you are the higher the price. So when you're just starting out, you can't expect to charge $1,000 a treatment for a lip tattoo. Normally you'd be charging anywhere from $450 to $550 for the two treatments combined. 

Finally, if you are looking to get into the industry, obviously do your research, but make sure you go with a reputable training academy. By this I mean make sure that they are a registered training organisation so they're registered with the Australian government to provide nationally accredited courses. 


As you know, the diploma of cosmetic tattoo just got released. It is a really, really essential qualification that just got released in our industry and it is going to change the industry for the better when you are choosing your RTO to go with make sure that you call them or you speak to the trainer over the phone and that you just gel with your trainer really well. 


You don't want to be taught by someone that you know you don't gel with/you don't vibe with because it will just make training really awkward and not enjoyable at all. 


Make sure that the person that you are training with has reached the level of success that you want to get to. Because that is the fastest way to get somewhere is to learn from others. 


If you want to know more about training with me for the diploma, check out our info pack here


It's always a pleasure to talk to new artists and returning artists if you've been here before, so if you have a topic you'd like to know more about, please email us at [email protected]


Much Love,


Never stop learning 💕


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