A resource for those people looking to obtain a tattoo apprenticeship in Chicago

Tattoo Apprenticeships – Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Competition - Medium
Current Progress
Current Progress
Competition -  Extremely High

Chicago has an estimated 160 tattoo studios and we've rated competition for tattoo apprenticeships as 'Extremely High' in this region. This competition has however been increasing. In the past few years as tattooing has grown in popularity, it has become harder and harder to find studios in Illinois and much of the Midwest willing to take on apprentices. 

What do I need before I apply?

Getting an apprenticeship within a tattoo studio takes solid preparation and hard work whether you're applying in Chicago ….or Athens! Before applying, at Tattooing 101 we encourage all our students to take the time to prepare properly:

  • Portfolio of drawings
  • Mix of styles presented well
  • Tattoo certifications completed

For more detail read our comprehensive article on How to Get a Tattoo Apprenticeship.

Physically approaching tattoo shops in Chicago

There are approximately 160 tattoo studios in Chicago, and most will have 1-2 apprentices in the shop. Not every shop will have an open spot, so you will need to spend the time approaching each shop directly. Ideally, you want to start with known, high-quality shops and artists. Our team has compiled a list of the best shops in Chicago below:

Top Studios in Chicago

Name
Address
Rating

1456 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States

3513 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, United States

1062 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642, United States

1147 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608, United States

3700 N Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL 60641, United States

1935 1/2 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States

3527 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60609, United States

Top Studios in Chicago

Name
Address
Rating

1456 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States

3513 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, United States

1062 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642, United States

1147 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608, United States

3700 N Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL 60641, United States

1935 1/2 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States

3527 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60609, United States

Other Online Resources to find a Tattoo Apprenticeship in Chicago

There are also a number of other places to check for a Tattoo Apprenticeship. We've gathered a list of the places that might help below

Local Facebook Groups

Local Job Boards

Tattoo Licensing Laws & Certifications in Chicago

Although not absolutely required to get your apprenticeship, it's always a good idea to be proactive and understand the licensing laws and certifications

Requirements

Experience

Must have minimum 36 hours under a licensed tattoo artist

Citizenship

Must be a US citizen

Certification

Must have blood-borne pathogen certificate

REQUIREMENTS


Experience

Must have minimum 36 hours under a licensed tattoo artist

Citizenship

Must be a US citizen

Certification

Must have blood-borne pathogen certificate

Requirements

Experience

Must have minimum 36 hours under a licensed tattoo artist

Citizenship

Must be a US citizen

Certification

Must have blood-borne pathogen certificate


What if I can't get an apprenticeship?

Is there another way into the tattoo industry?

Traditional tattoo apprenticeships do not suit everyone. The spots are limited and many people are unable to accept a full-time job without pay. The good news is there is another way to become a professional tattoo artist.

Tattooing 101 is the largest online tattoo artist education platform in the world, now with over 3,000 graduates - Turning beginners into professional tattoo artists within 90 days. Many of our students go straight into shops as paid artists or end up starting their own!

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain. When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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