Making an Informed Decision: Choosing the Right Tattoo School Near You

Man with tattoo on arm - a tattoo artist reading a paper on a desk.

Are you considering becoming a tattoo artist? You’ll be pleased that the tattoo industry increased its market size by over 23% in 2021. This makes becoming a tattoo artist a lucrative career choice for everybody, from recent college grads to former creative artists.

However, to become a tattoo artist, you’ll need to find a great tattoo academy to attend where you can learn the craft. Making an informed decision about which tattoo school to attend is a crucial step towards achieving your dream, and it’s not as easy as Googling “tattoo school near me.”

From understanding the different types of courses available to learning about apprenticeships and certification opportunities, there’s plenty for aspiring artisans to consider before enrolling in any institution. Read along as we demystify the process of making an informed choice when starting your journey as a professional tattoo artist.

What Is a Tattoo School?

Is going to a tattoo school or academy necessary? You bet. At least in today’s competitive tattooing landscape, it is. What is a tattoo academy, and what can you expect to learn?

A tattoo school is an educational institution that provides training and instruction on tattooing. It offers comprehensive courses where students learn the fundamentals of tattooing, from design and artistry to safety protocols and aftercare instructions. Depending on the tattoo school, students may also be able to receive certifications or diplomas upon completion of the program.

For example, at Florida Tattoo Academy, we’re currently the only tattoo and piercing academy licensed by the Florida Department of Education in the Tampa Bay area. This means that when you graduate, you receive the following (among other benefits!):

  • Education based on a state-licensed curriculum
  • Florida tattoo license
  • At least 60 hours of real tattooing experience for your portfolio
  • Industry guidance

Most tattoo schools offer unique curriculums tailored to meet a wide range of tattooing-related interests, and Florida Tattoo Academy is no different. Regardless of the program you choose, tattoo schools provide essential skills necessary for a successful career in tattooing.

Benefits of Being a Tattoo Student

Becoming a tattoo student is a great way to kickstart your tattooing career. Whether you’re a beginner who has never touched a tattoo gun or an experienced tattoo artist, enrolling in tattoo school can provide insights and experiences that textbooks and articles simply can’t.

From learning the basics of tattooing techniques to understanding proper sterilization methods, tattoo schools offer invaluable real-world training opportunities for tattoo students. For example, during our 11-week Essential Tattoo Course, you’ll learn things like the following:

  • The art of tattooing
  • Industry best practices
  • All about blood-born pathogens
  • Machine technology
  • Skin biology
  • Customer service basics
  • Tattoo pricing

And a whole lot more! In addition, attending a Florida tattoo school can also help build up a portfolio of work to showcase in the competitive world of tattooing. Overall, engaging in a tattoo school environment can help jump-start your tattooing career and set you up for success. It’s not just about learning the mechanics of tattooing; it’s about learning how to turn that into a career.

Tattoo School Near Me: How to Choose the Best

By now, you might be ready to enroll in the first tattoo course your see online. Google “tattoo school near me,” and you’ll find countless options of people claiming they have the experience to teach you everything you know. Avoid the temptation of jumping at the first offer you see online. Instead, consider these factors before making your decision.

Course Curriculum

Choosing a tattoo school is a very important decision, so it’s essential to thoroughly investigate course curriculums before enrolling. A course curriculum will provide insight into the following:

  • Learning material
  • Topics
  • Range of instruction
  • Length of course
  • Tattooing hours
  • More

Knowing this information helps potential students determine which course and school best suits their interests, needs, or career goals.

While it might not seem like a big deal to you initially, it’s incredibly important to ensure the course features the material you need to learn. Not only that, but it should include everything from safety protocols to help understanding the industry. If it doesn’t include everything you’d need to successfully transition to a working tattoo artist afterward, look for a different course.

Ultimately, taking the time to look at course curriculums allows you to compare and contrast different schools to make an informed decision when selecting the best one. Don’t skimp on this step; you deserve to invest in a course and academy that sets you up for success.


Next, look at who the instructors of the course are. Highly qualified instructors with industry experience are invaluable assets when learning a new skill.

What can an experienced instructor help you learn? They should be able to teach you all about the safety procedures, tattooing techniques, and industry standards associated with becoming a successful tattoo artist. They can also give helpful tips and tricks to perfect your art and solidify your knowledge base.

Furthermore, highly qualified instructors can become career mentors. They can teach you how to succeed in the highly competitive world of modern tattooing. For those reasons, it is imperative to consider the quality of the instructors before committing to any school.

Another pro tip? If you know what style of tattooing you’re interested in, try to choose a school with instructors who have experience in that style of tattooing. It’s not always necessary, but it can be an added plus.


Choosing the best tattoo school is important to ensure that you get a quality education with an industry-recognized curriculum and licensed instructors.

At Florida Tattoo Academy, we’re proud to be the only licensed school in the Tampa Bay area providing this level of education for budding tattoo artists. We have also been licensed by the Florida Department of Education, giving our graduates an added assurance that they will have a successful career in tattooing.

Unfortunately, many online schools are claiming they offer licensed and accredited courses when they don’t. You won’t receive the same benefits if you attend one of these classes. You also won’t likely receive the required Florida tattoo license that you would from attending a real licensed school.

When looking for a high-quality tattoo school, check for proper licensing and accreditation. If you don’t leave the course with a tattoo license, it’s definitely not worth your investment. You can learn about tattoo design on YouTube; what you want is a full-fledged course with experience and great instructors.

Hands-On Experience

Learning about the history of tattoos is important. So is learning about tattoos and art theory. However, any great tattoo school should teach you more than just theory. It’s incredibly important they offer you the chance to get some hands-on tattooing experience, too.

Tattooing is a skill you develop through dedicated practice and with the help of experienced tattoo artists. Therefore, when participating in tattoo courses or schools, it’s important to get hands-on tattooing experience to understand tattooing techniques and become familiar with the process of tattooing on an actual person.

After all, there are many resources available to learn theory. Only hands-on learning will give you the confidence you need as a tattoo artist. The best tattoo courses and schools provide their students with guidance from experienced tattoo professionals and access to professional tattoo equipment so they can practice safely.

Along with tattooing practice, you should look for courses or schools that include additional classes such as the following:

  • Anatomy
  • Art fundamentals
  • Health and safety laws
  • Infection control practices
  • Business development strategies
  • Portfolio building

All of these skills will help you develop the complete skillset required to build a successful tattoo career.


Finally, take time to read reviews from past students. Reading reviews from past students takes the guesswork out of choosing a tattoo course or school. It ensures that you’re making an informed decision.

What should you be looking for? Reviews can provide a better understanding of their experience in each course. Look for ones that talk about the quality of instruction, how much they learned, and what it was like to participate in the program. This information can prove invaluable and help you pick a school that’ll give you the best outcome for your money.

Taking reviews seriously isn’t just about saving money. It’s about making sure you get a quality education that matches your goals and expectations. We’re talking about your future career, after all. Invest time in ensuring you’re going to attend the right tattoo academy.

Florida Tattoo Academy

Speaking of the right tattoo academy, we’d like to introduce you to Florida Tattoo Academy. Forget about searching for the “best tattoo school near me” on Google. We’re right here!

If you’re ready to start your journey toward becoming a tattoo artist, we urge you to get in touch. We accept students nationwide, so it doesn’t matter where you’re located or how much experience you have. Click here to contact us for a tour of our facilities or to chat more about our tattoo courses!