17 Dec 2012

I received a message from a woman who had a question about certain legalities of piercing:

Hello my name is T and I've been piercing out of my home for the past 4 years and i have a problem. im starting to save money and build a business but someone is trying to bring me down. im currently creating a facebook page for my new business and an employee from a tattoo shop said he reported me to the police for piercing out of my home. ive been doing this for more than 4 years and i looked up on the internet for the state of pennsylvania you dont need a license to tattoo/pierce but hes telling me to get an apprenticeship. do i need that?

My reply:


I don't know anything about your local laws, but I know a great deal about professional piercing and I must say that it absolutely should take place out of a proper studio and not a home.

You can find out about the personal and environmental criteria set as an industry standard by the Association of Professional Piercers in the application for membership on this page: http://www.safepiercing.org/join-the-app/types-of-memberships/

You must have an autoclave that is spore tested regularly by an outside service, a separate enclosed area for piercing, a seperate steriliztion room, and much more.

Of course you will need to look into all applicable local laws on any qualifications a piercer must have. Even if no laws would prohibit you from working without an apprenticeship, I cannot advocate the operation of a piercing business without you having at least some formal training from a competent mentor--or hiring a qualified piercer to work as an employee.

If you have an interest in becoming a professional piercer, and you haven't already done so, I would absolutely recommend that you read my book as your next step. It isn't a "how to pierce" book per se, but every page will have useful and helpful information, and everything in there is something you will ultimately need to know. There's also a chapter entitled "A Career in Professional Piercing" and that has lots of crucial information for you too. I can say I'd be surprised if you didn't think it was the best $20. you ever spent toward learning about body piercing.

To order: locate the book cover in the right-hand column then select your shipping method from the drop-down menu. Click the "Buy Now" button, or email: [email protected], or in the US call toll free: 888 888-1APP. Orders are being filled by the Association of Professional Piercers. I serve on the Board of Directors as President of the organization. A portion of the proceeds from the book goes to the organization, and you will receive a signed copy of my book.

I can think of a few resources that might be useful for you:

The blog:  http://piercingbible.com/blog/
and archives:  http://piercingbible.com/blog/archive
of my site contain hundreds of posts about piercings.
The APP website contains a FAQ and all kinds of good information: http://www.safepiercing.org/piercing/faq/

The APP procedure manual, too can be downloaded for free from the site: http://www.safepiercing.org/publications/procedure-manual/cd  Note that it is currently being updated.

Back issues of The Point, the quarterly journal of the APP, are all available for free download: http://www.safepiercing.org/publications/the-point/back-issues/

If you'd like to see me performing piercings, and demonstrating exactly where they should be placed, I've got videos available here: http://www.clips4sale.com/store/10557  (They're not "how-to" videos, per se, but they do show a lot of information, too!)

There are free archives available of all the columns I've written for Pain Magazine (answering piercing questions) here:
http://www.painmag.com/archives.php My article is always on page 16.

A good resource for anatomy is The Human Body Book:

I teach annually at the Association of Professional Piercers conferences. You don't need to be a member to attend. Information is here: http://www.safepiercing.org/conference/ It is a truly amazing event and it is wonderful to network with other piercers, and there is always more to learn.

I wish you the best of luck on your journey.



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