How to Become a Licensed Tattoo Artist in Canada

Tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people getting inked as a way to express themselves or to commemorate significant events. As a result, the demand for professional tattoo artists has also grown. If you have a passion for art and a desire to become a licensed tattoo artist in Canada, this article will provide you with the necessary steps to achieve your goal.

How to Become a Licensed Tattoo Artist in Canada


Step 1: Research the Laws and Regulations in Your Province

The first step towards becoming a licensed tattoo artist in Canada is to research the laws and regulations in your province. Each province has its own set of regulations and requirements that you must follow to legally operate as a tattoo artist. Some provinces may require you to complete an apprenticeship or to have formal training, while others may only require you to obtain a license.

Step 2: Complete a Tattoo Apprenticeship Program

If your province requires you to complete an apprenticeship program, you will need to find a licensed tattoo artist who is willing to take you on as an apprentice. Apprenticeships typically last between 12 and 24 months, during which time you will learn the basics of tattooing, including hygiene and safety protocols, equipment maintenance, and tattoo design and application.

Step 3: Obtain Certification in Bloodborne Pathogens and Infection Control

As a tattoo artist, you will be working with needles and other equipment that can potentially transmit bloodborne pathogens. For this reason, most provinces require you to obtain certification in bloodborne pathogens and infection control before you can obtain a tattoo artist license. This certification typically involves completing a course on infection control and demonstrating your knowledge through a written exam.

Step 4: Obtain a Tattoo Artist License

Once you have completed your apprenticeship and obtained certification in bloodborne pathogens and infection control, you can apply for a tattoo artist license in your province. The requirements for obtaining a license may vary depending on where you live, but typically include submitting an application, providing proof of your certification and training, and paying a fee.

Step 5: Build Your Portfolio and Gain Experience

To become a successful tattoo artist, you will need to build your portfolio and gain experience. This involves working on your own designs and experimenting with different techniques to improve your skills. You can also attend tattoo conventions and events to network with other artists and showcase your work.

Step 6: Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Trends and Best Practices

The world of tattooing is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices. You can do this by attending seminars and workshops, reading industry publications, and staying active on social media to connect with other artists.


Becoming a licensed tattoo artist in Canada requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can obtain the necessary training and certifications to become a licensed tattoo artist and pursue a rewarding career in this exciting field. Good luck on your journey!

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