There are many ways to become a piercer, and there is the right way to become a piercer. Today we will be going over the right way to become a piercer.
Step 1: Seek for an apprenticeship
All aspiring piercers will need to complete an apprenticeship under a seasoned piercer. You want to do your research when selecting a piercer to apprentice you. I always recommend going to an APP, Association Of Professional Piercers, piercer that way you know the standards of sanitation, quality of jewelry, and piercing abilities are top-notch. Many great piercers are not apart of the APP, so it is definitely not the only option; it is just a good indicator that they take their craft seriously. If they are not apart of the APP, some questions to ask are:
- What type of jewelry do they use for initial piercings? (Answer should be: Implant grade steel or titanium or gold).
- Do they do any continued education? (Answer should be: yes, You want to make sure they are up to date on all new techniques and procedures).
- How long have they been a piercer? (Answer should be: At least 5 years).
- Have they every apprenticed anyone before? (Answer should be: yes)
- Were their previous apprentices successful in completing the apprenticeship? (Answer should be: yes)
- If so, where do they work now? (Answer should be: My shop or at least piercing in a shop) You want to make sure you are going to be taught by someone who knows what they are doing and takes it seriously. There are a lot of bad piercers out there, and you do not want one teaching you.
Step 2: Get pierced by your future teacher
Once you find a piercer you want to work with, I recommend going and getting a few piercings from them and ask questions while they are performing your piecing, get to know them. Once you have created a relationship with them, ask them if they would consider taking on an apprentice and if so, what you would need to do to be considered.
Step 3: Get some certificates and start networking
While you are getting to know the piercer, it is an excellent idea to get your Bloodborne pathogens certificate, First Aid certificate, CPR certified, and take any training classes available. Bloodborne Pathogens certificate is required in most places to be a piercer or apprentice since you will be working with blood. You will need to know the proper way to handle blood and other bodily fluids to prevent disease. The others are not required in most cases, but they are great to have and will show the piercer that you are serious about becoming a piercer. The APP has an annual conference for members and non-members, piercers and those interested in piercing I highly recommend going.
What will it cost?
Apprenticeship some times cost money depending on the piercer so make you are financially able to comment. Most apprenticeships are free, but you will be expected to be there on a set schedule and do tasks for the piercer. An apprenticeship can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. For example, when I have an apprentice, it is a one year program, I do not charge, but I expect commitment. The apprentice will come in 3 days a week for 8 hours. they are expected to clean every day when they arrive and before they leave. Throughout the rest of the day, they will be shadowing me and doing different tasks while learning. They will have homework every week.
Good luck in your quest to become a professional piercer, and please be one of the good ones!
Written by: Erica Bautista