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Body piercer

Body piercers pierce parts of clients' bodies with a needle and then insert different types of jewellery or metal.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements.

You could train for this job by approaching local registered body piercers to ask if they'll take you on as a trainee. 

There are home study courses and training courses run by studios throughout the country, but it’s not possible to become a fully trained body piercer this way. You’ll need supervised studio experience.

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’s important to check with your local council. 

If you’re only interested in ear piercing, you’ll just need a level 2 certificate in ear piercing.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent 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
  • communication skills
  • customer service skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties might 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’s a problem
You could also train as a tattooist, and offer this service as well as piercing.

4. Salary

How much you earn will depend on factors like your talent and ability, whether you offer tattooing as well as piercing, the reputation of the studio or salon, and how much you can charge if self-employed.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 5 or 6 days a week, often including weekends and in the evening.

You’ll work in a studio or salon, which could be part of a beauty salon, or as an ear piercer in a jewellery shop.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could set up your own salon, and employ other piercers or tattooists.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016