Apprenticeship Program

We do not charge for apprenticeships, but we do have a structured program.

There is a lot of competition to get a spot, because after one year of apprenticing, our apprentices are guaranteed a booth to work in as a junior artist if they:

  • Fully complete their apprenticeship program AND
  • Pass their apprenticeship exam

Due to new insurance requirements, no apprentice will be allowed to tattoo on actual skin until fulfilling a full year of their apprenticeship. Consequently, instead of our previous four day requirement, we are open to the possibility of part-time apprentices now, provided that the apprentice can commit additional hours of drawing & marketing work from home.

Any apprentice who poses a health code risk or a gross violation -such as theft- will not be permitted to continue their apprenticeship and will be excused. We offer the list below in order to validate the completion of apprenticeships.

Interested in an Apprenticeship at The Shop?

About Apprenticeships at The Shop

We don’t charge for our apprenticeships, but you will be working hard towards your own education. We don’t engage in the traditional hazing, but we do expect our apprentices to put in a lot of effort, and this means cleaning, following through on projects, rigorous marketing, learning the craft.

A successful apprentice at The Shop will:

  • Commit to 3-4 days of training each week.
  • Be a self starter.
  • Draw everyday without being instructed to.
  • Ask questions, because no one is going to force you to learn.
  • Follow procedure.
  • Take advice & constructive criticism.
  • Treat all artists and guests with respect.
  • Be trustworthy.
  • Avoid alcohol abuse and narcotics abuse.
  • Maintain a positive attitude while at work.
  • Be hygienic.

Compile a Drawing Portfolio

If you are interested in a future apprenticeship, you will need to work on a drawing portfolio. It’s best to have your drawing portfolio ready to go. Tattoo apprenticeships are competitive and they don’t take long to fill usually. Your drawing portfolio should consist of about 30 designs that would be specific for tattooing. If you can demonstrate mastery of drawing fully finished, hand-drawn, non-digital designs in multiple genres (EX: Neo-Trad, Folk-Art, American Traditional, Dotwork, Illustrative, Realism, Geometric, Trash Polka), you will be more likely to be called in for an interview.

Check Your Social Media & Your Overall Mindset

Are you frequently hostile and rude on social media? We will probably notice. If we do, you won’t be chosen as an apprentice. Are you hateful, bigoted and racist on social media? We will probably notice. If we do, you won’t be chosen as an apprentice. Our apprentices are expected to conduct themselves with a basic level civility because our shop consists of six different businesses (individual artists own their own businesses) all in one shared space. It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist or some other political affiliation. We don’t care about that, but we don’t really want to be exposed to or have our clients exposed to people who are hostile, transphobic, sexist (even against dudes), homophobic, racist or generally nasty – even if the nastiness is cloaked with political correctness. Our business motto is “be kind.”

Should You Practice Tattooing On Fake Skin Before Your Apprenticeship?

The Shop prefers to take on apprentices who have never practiced tattooing before. Part of an apprenticeship is guidance on choosing and properly using quality supplies and equipment, so anyone with aspirations to apprentice down the road should avoid purchasing and using tattooing equipment. You are more likely to be offered an apprenticeship if you have never used a tattoo machine before. Please do not practice tattooing (not even on fake skin or fruit) outside of a licensed facility in order to avoid picking up improper habits. We do not train apprentices unless there is a booth available to offer them.


While apprentices at The Shop are still independent business owners, it doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to help accommodate you and build supports for you to thrive in your own business. Some of the most talented artists are neurodivergent, for example. Maybe you need to have breaks scheduled in. We can do that. Maybe you need help figuring out calculations for payouts, I can set you up easy reference charts. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out so that we can brainstorm accommodations together. Even though we’re not technically employers, we love helping artists.

Applying For A Tattoo Apprenticeship At Our Tattoo Shop

To apply for an apprenticeship or to be put on a list to be contacted should a booth become available, please fill out the form below.