How to Become a Body Piercer


Authored by Lee Wright in Body Arts
Published on 11-04-2009

Body piercing is growing in popularity as a source of personal expression. As a result, the profession of body piercer is also growing. To become a body piercer generally requires a knowledge and compliance with state laws, completion of some health and safety courses, and an apprenticeship with an established reputable body piercer.

The first step to becoming a body piercer is researching the laws in your state of residence. Some states require all body piercers to be licensed. License requirements in some states include initial completion of state mandated training courses and periodical refresher courses to renew a license. Other states require the owner of a salon that offers body piercing to be licensed, but employees are not individually licensed. The salons that offer body piercing are required to maintain a healthy, hygienic, and safe environment and are periodically inspected to make sure they meet minimum standards. The business owners are then responsible for hiring qualified personnel who have the appropriate knowledge and experience.

Whether a state requires individual licensing or not, most body piercers must complete a few minimum courses before they can work as a body piercer. Most employers may require Red Cross courses in first aid, CPR, sterilization, or hygiene, as well as a course in blood-borne pathogens. In addition, as the practice of body piercing is expanding the types of piercings are also expanding, and some new body piercers may find basic knowledge of anatomy very helpful. Some piercers find local college classes an excellent source for some of the basic knowledge needed to become an expert piercer. The requirements for each state and some state-sponsored courses offered can usually be found at state health department websites. The Red Cross website can also help you find appropriate local Red Cross sponsored classes.

As you learn about the state regulations and consider what educational courses you may need to take, you should also find an established reputable body piercer who can offer you an apprenticeship. The website of APP (Association of Professional Piercers), a non-profit organization dedicated to proper and safe piercing techniques, can help you find a body piercer near you.

A three, six, or twelve month apprenticeship allows new body piercers to observe all different kinds of piercings, learn the proper sterilization and safe piercing techniques, and learn about piercing aftercare and the problems that piercees may suffer. Because body piercing involves exposure to blood and bodily fluids, the proper piercing and sterilization techniques are necessary to keep both the customer and body piercer safe. An apprenticeship allows a new body piercer to learn proper techniques under the supervision of an experiences body piercer. In addition, new body piercers need to learn about the different types of jewelry and generally educate themselves in order to answer all customer questions.

If you are interested in becoming a body piercer you need to find out your state’s regulations. Educate yourself on health and safety issues. Finally, find a reputable body piercer and complete an apprenticeship. Given the growing trend of body piercing as personal expression, the proper training and knowledge can make body piercing an interesting and lucrative career field


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