So you want to be a body piercer?

In my almost 10 years of volunteering for Ask BME no one question has arisen more often than “how do I become a body piercer”.

The basic answer is “get an apprenticeship”, in this day and age there is no other reputable way into this industry. Being self taught was ok in the 90′s, when the internet was hardly in use so no one really knew any better and when piercing shops were rare and apprenticeships even rarer. Of course now there are so called “piercing schools” that claim to teach everything you need to know in a short course and then give you a nice printed up certificate proclaiming to the piercing community that you are indeed an idiot with no respect for this industry.

Ok, so it’s obvious an apprenticeship is the way to go, but how does one find an apprenticeship? If you are lucky it can be as simple as asking the piercer at your favorite shop and them being interested in you and desiring an apprentice at that very moment. However, any piercer worth their gloves gets asked for an apprenticeship on a regular basis and can’t possibly take on everyone that ask. Sometimes someone seeking an apprenticeship will respond to an ad such as those on the APP jobs page or other form of classifieds.

Or perhaps, you have always thought about being a piercer but didn’t even know where to look to find an apprenticeship until one day you were reading your favorite blog and the author was using it as an advertisement for an apprenticeship he was about to offer.

Long story short, I have one current apprentice. He is just starting to pierce on his own a bit, but I am in the process of opening a second location and need one more piercer to help me cover the shifts. Of course, I could hire a piercer who already knows how to pierce, but I prefer to train someone myself. I have hired other piercers in the past and honestly, I just prefer having someone I trained to do things my way. No conflict of techniques or aftercare, just all of us on the same page. So unless you are Mason, I don’t want anyone experienced as a piercer, I prefer a clean slate.

So if you are interested in learning to pierce by yours truly and meet the following requirements:

-Are willing to spend a week on a trial basis to “win” your spot as the next apprentice. This will be like reality tv, without the editing.

-Have your own transportation and be willing to relocate to the Northern VA/ Eastern WV area.

-Can support yourself without any income from the apprenticeship (until you are capable of piercing on your own).

-Are willing to work and take some abuse to earn your apprenticeship.

-Want to stay in the area and work as a full time piercer after the apprenticeship. I am looking for a long term reliable employee, if this is not what you want or where you want to be this is not the apprenticeship for you.

This could be your ticket into the piercing industry.

Here is info on me and my current shop. I won’t waste any more Modblog space on this tonight, so if you think you are interested, email me (using the link next to my picture below entries) for more information.


Think your not cool enough to get this apprenticeship?

I thought this picture of Atlanta, who beat out the competition last round may be enough to encourage ANYONE to think they can get this if they really want it.

34 thoughts on “So you want to be a body piercer?

  1. Never pay for an apprenticeship. You will regret it and you probably could have learned from someone who knows better for just the cost of your sweat and dignity.

  2. Wow this sounds like an amazing opportunity! I’ve always wanted to become a professional body piercer, it sounds like my dream job basically, but I really have NO idea where to start. If only this was closer to me, I’d SOOO be in there like swimwear xD

  3. Anyone thinking of taking this opportunity, TAKE IT, DO IT, DROP YOUR SHIT AND RUN TO TAKE IT.
    Sean is an amazing teacher and if anyone can beat the sense into someone or beat the pussy out of someone its sean.

  4. This is an AMAZING opportunity for those being considered. Good luck to everyone who applies!

  5. Damn, I got both my nipples and tongue pierced at comes a time and didn’t know you were part of Mod Blog. I’m like 5 minutes from there but sadly rocking the gov’t job >.<

  6. I’m bummed I’m stuck in crap hole Wyoming. It sounds like a great opportunity for some lucky person though!

  7. college student and from canada no transpo either ugghhh shitty but maybe next time.

  8. yes but sometimes aprenticeships are hard core and just too much i’ve heard about 3year long aprenticeships and things like that.
    ofcourse it is best way to learn 🙂

  9. “Can support yourself without any income from the apprenticeship (until you are capable of piercing on your own).”

    lol thats bullshit, what sort of person would take on a job where you aren’t going to getting paid?
    Get them cleaning, doing the paperwork.. whatever other odd/dirty jobs need to be getting done at the place but pay them for god sake.

  10. @Shaun, think that’s bullshit? People paying over 20 grand a year on college to get out and NOT have a job lined up.

    Apprenticeships are a time honored tradition, not just in our industries, but in numerous industries which go way back in history. This isn’t a job that doesn’t pay. It’s an education and their work is how they pay for this education.

    There are plenty of people willing to put the work in to become a piercer, these people will pay their dues and earn the respect of there future colleagues.

    If you don’t think people should pay their dues in life to get into the career of their choice, that my friend, is bullshit.

  11. @Shaun – That’s not bullshit, they are learning a trade and are guaranteed to have a job at his shop. That seems like payment enough for me.

    Sean, I wish you would reconsider the bit about a blank slate. I would love to learn from you.

  12. @Shaun,

    It’s more than reasonable to expect to not get paid until you can pull your own weight.

    I’d jump on this in seconds if I was near VA.

  13. Hey, I’m actually in the right location. I’ll have to check the shop out next time I’m passing through (you know, when it’s open and whatnot).

  14. I happen to know someone who fits the description to the T. Next time we are in the shop Ill force her to talk to you.

  15. what do you call a piercer without a girlfriend?…… homeless. it sounds to me like your just really stubborn and can’t find someone who can work with you. i’m starting to question bme. you were probably bitching about not being able to get a job cuz of all the people taking on apprentices at one point in time. or your just one of those people that fell into a kush job and don’t know how ridiculous this sounds. p.s. anybody thinking about this. having to hang out with rockstar tattoo artist’s and piercers all day every day sucks.

  16. Homeless? I’ll admit it’s not easy to make it successfully as a piercer, but no one who has apprenticed under me is homeless by any means.

    In fact, your in Austin, go check out Affinity and ask the owner Ryan Terillion(IAM: automutilation) how shitty it is to apprentice under me.

    Affinity Body Piercing located in Dandyland Tattoo at 513 E 6th St

  17. Yeah, it’s pretty horrible apprenticing under Sean Philips. I own my own piercing side of a shop where I make 100% of what I do/sell, live everyday doing exactly what I want and making amazing money working on 6th st, getting trained by and hanging out with my heroes, in an amazing town that I would have never came to if I didn’t have the freedom to go wherever I wanted because I had learned a skill where all I needed was my hands…

    It really sucks being so happy..

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