- Requires excellent hand-eye coordination, a steady hand, and very high standards of cleanliness
- With experience, you could set up your own salon, and employ other piercers or tattooists
- Work in a studio or salon, which could be part of a beauty salon, or work as an ear piercer in a jewellery shop
Body piercers work directly on their clients' bodies in a controlled indoor environment. Body piercers must stay up-to-date with health and safety procedures, and their attitude and professional demeanor are also important. They must have a positive attitude and pay close attention to detail in order to properly apply body piercings. Strong communication skills are also important to fully understand clients' wishes and ensure that they are fulfilled.
- Discuss with the client the type of piercing they want and advise on what may be suitable
- Explain the procedure and point out any risks involved
- Advise on suitable types of metal and jewellery
- Sterilise the piece of jewellery and the area which is being pierced
- Dispose of the needle following health and safety guidelines
- Show the client how to care for the piercing as it heals and what to do if there's a problem
Body piercers usually work in a studio or in a salon. Many people will be self-employed or freelance, but you will have to cover your overheads.
To become a body piercer you should have excellent verbal communication skills, the ability to work well with your hands and have sensitivity and understanding.
There are no set entry requirements to become a Body piercer however, 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.
Body piercing is unregulated, so choose courses carefully. A background in beauty, art or tattooing may be helpful.
You must be over 18 years old and you'll need to register both yourself and your premises with the environmental health department of your local council for a piercing licence. You should also be prepared to be vaccinated against hepatitis B.
You could also train as a tattooist, and offer this service as well as piercing. 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.
With experience, you could set up your own business and employ other piercers or tattooists.