Tattooing Apprenticeships FAQs

1. How much is it? Due to the extensive amount of training you will receive, our apprenticeships, when available, are $3,000. Potential apprentices with a strong art history or art portfolio may be eligible for a $500.00 discount. In addition to receiving one-on-one hands on training with skilled, experienced, professional tattoo artists, our apprentices are not subjected to the humiliations and abuses, that are common in this industry. Our intention is to teach you to the art and mechanics of tattooing in a safe clean environment in a professional manner.

2. Where are you located? Our apprentices are trained in Gastonia, North Carolina, about twenty minutes from Charlotte, or Spartanburg, South Carolina. We do not provide housing or transportation. We sometimes have apprenticeships available in our other North Carolina shops located in Charlotte, Boone, Hudson, Shelby, and Conover/Hickory.

3. Do you have a payment plan? Not at this time. We do accept cash, Visa, or MasterCard.

4. What is included in an apprenticeship? All apprentices are placed in a professional tattooing environment consisting of, on average, five to ten experienced tattoo artists. They may be observed daily in a high traffic shop. We start with the basics and go far beyond. Students are taught how to maintain a clean and safe environment for themselves and their customers, including sterilization techniques, auto-clave operation, set-up, bio-hazardous waste disposal, cross-contamination, and blood born pathogens. You will learn how to transfer stencils and stencil aesthetics. The mechanical side of operating, maintaining, and tuning tattoo machines, choosing the right needle groups for different effects, recognizing different skin types, as well as the artistic side of design, composition, placement, themes, custom work, and getting the most out of your tattoo flash. On the business end, you will learn the customer service and front end operations aspect of the business.

5. Do I need my own tattoo guns? Tattooing professionals, refer to their equipment as tattoo machines. These are not included in the apprenticeship cost, but we do have machines available for use during the apprenticeship at no cost, or for purchase at very reasonable prices.

6. Why should I pick you to apprentice me? Not all applications are approved, however, if you do become an apprentice through us, you will be learning from the largest tattoo artist employer in the United States. With over twenty five years of experience, tens of thousands of loyal customers, more than a half dozen successful shops running NOW, and a solid history of keeping customers happy and coming back for more, Ink Link Tattoos and Tattoo Wearhouse are tattooing industry icons.

7. Does a successful apprenticeship guarantee me full-time employment with you? Not at this time. However, the majority of successful apprentices are placed with us.

8. Do you also offer piercing apprenticeships? Occasionally, these are $1,500.00 when available. Please visit: for more information.

9. How can I find out more? Send us an e-mail, or call Jeff Mauney at (704) 629-8282.

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