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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Personal Care & Body Art > Tattoo

Tattoo Cost


How Much Does a Tattoo Cost?

 
 average costMedium: $75-$150 per hour 
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  Typical costs:
  • Most tattoo artists charge an hourly rate that varies from about $75 to $150 an hour, according to Bill Johnson, executive office director of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists..
  • The length of time it takes to do a tattoo can vary from one to many hours, depending on the size and complexity of the design. Tattoo artists in large urban areas tend to charge on the higher end of that range, or even more, while those in small towns often charge the lower rates.
Related articles: Tattoo Removal, Mole Removal

What should be included:
  • The tattoo artist will create a stencil of the client's chosen design - usually using a special machine - and will then disinfect the tattoo site and transfer the stencil onto the skin. Then, the tattooist will pour ink into the tattoo machine, which has tiny needles that inject the ink into the skin. Using the machine, the tattoo artist will first trace the outline of the tattoo, then add color and shading. Tattoo.About.com[1] offers an overview of the process.
Additional costs:
  • Some tattooists charge 10 percent to 25 percent extra for work on a part of the body that is more difficult, such as the lower back. And some artists will charge extra for custom designs, but it is more common to ask for a deposit of about $50.
  • If you are unhappy with your tattoo, having it altered or tattooed over might cost hundreds of dollars and removal is even more expensive - up to $10,000 in some cases.
  • Your tattoo will fade over time, so you probably will have to get it touched up in the future.
Discounts:
  • Because tattoos can be difficult and expensive to remove, it is important to choose an artist based on quality, rather than on price. And for regular customers or someone who is getting a lot of work done, some artists will offer a lower hourly rate.
Shopping for a tattoo:
  • Tip: Keep an eye out for people who have tattoos that appeal to you, and ask where they got them done. Because tattooists are artists, your choice will be subjective and partly based on your taste and sense of aesthetics. The Alliance of Professional Tattooists[2] provides an online pamphlet with advice on choosing a tattooist. When you find a tattooist, ask about qualifications and experience, and take a look at a portfolio.
  • Tip: To minimize health risks, make sure your tattoo artist has been certified by the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, a nonprofit organization that uses a strict set of standards to make tattooing as safe as possible. Also, learn about the health risks, which are minimal, but still exist, in tattoo parlors that follow strict sanitation guidelines. The National Institutes for Health[3] provides an overview of the possible risks, which include infection, allergic reaction to dyes, and exposure to bloodborne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Also, check with your state and local health departments to see how tattoo parlors are regulated in your area.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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cross
Amount: $120.00 Total
Posted by: dustin marat in dublin, GA.Posted: April 28th, 2017 07:04AM
Tattoo Description: crossTime Total: 2
want it so bad
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Tattoo cover up
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: TiffanyRose in Marysville, WA.Posted: April 18th, 2017 08:04PM
Tattoo Description: Wanting to cover up writing with animalTime Total: ???
I was looking to cover up a tattoo that I had done, it's a memorial tattoo and I accidentally gave the tattoo artist the wrong date so I'm planning on getting it covered with a buffalo but not sure what I would be charged per hour if an artist can do this
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Black crown
Amount: $130.00 Total
Posted by: Sofiamonique in South Side Pittsburgh, PA.Posted: April 9th, 2017 03:04PM
Tattoo Description: 1.5 inch blk princess crownTime Total: 1 hr 20 min
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American traditional sun
Amount: $150.00 Total
Posted by: Davidw4141 in Greensboro, NC.Posted: March 23rd, 2017 09:03AM
Tattoo Description: Hand size tattoo on upper thighTime Total: Little over an hour.
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Single needle line and color
Amount: $160.00 Total
Posted by: Broomstick88 in Seabrook, NH.Posted: March 15th, 2017 04:03PM
Tattoo Description: Rose with three leavesTime Total: 3.25 hours
My rose tattoo is approximately 4.5" x 4.5". It took about three hours the roses color of the leaves are black and white. It is a mix between classic Americana and coloring book style. It took about three hours and a tattoo artist uses A lining middle for all black and color portions. My tattoo was a walk in appointment at a shop that requires you to bring your own line art and does not do custom designs.
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Tattoo
Amount: $275.00 Total
Posted by: Abigail in Warrenton, MO.Posted: February 14th, 2017 02:02PM
Tattoo Description: Moon phaseTime Total: 15 Minutes
It's the worst tattoo ever. And as well my first. I regret ever going there even he did have a great portfolio he didn't fu*king care. It's very blotchy, out of shape. And very dark.
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First tattoo
Amount: $20.00 Total
Posted by: Bethanie in Petersburg, VA.Posted: January 14th, 2017 04:01PM
Tattoo Description: Infinity sign with two paw prints and aTime Total: 10 minutes
Absolutely perfect. He took his time really well and it was my first tattoo and it was on my shoulder blade and it only burned.
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First Tattoo
Amount: $100.00 Total
Posted by: a user in Statesboro, GA.Posted: December 10th, 2016 08:12AM
Tattoo Description: 2 lines from a poemTime Total: 1 hour
I got the last two lines of the poem "Invictus" on my upper left thigh. It says "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul". It was $100, and I gave a $20 tip
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6 symbols, about 1.5 inch diameter
Amount: $180.00 Total
Posted by: Rebeccafp in West Palm Beach, FL.Posted: November 10th, 2016 12:11AM
Tattoo Description: 6 SymbolsTime Total: 1.5 hours
I had the concept that I wanted 6 symbols to reflect the blind men and the elephant parable. The artist did the design and color, aesthetic... nailed it.
He charged 120 per hour, I'm not sure how he calculated when it began, like design, when he stenciled, when he put ink to skin...
Actual inking was probably only and hour, maybe a little more. It is a little nerve racking to hear how much it costs after it's done... i think maybe it's common to round the time up or I just offer so little resistance. Was a great experience and tattoo, I'm just as unsure about everything as the people who are surely on this page.
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Chicago Flag (minus the stars) tattoo (two blue stripes)
Amount: $80.00 Total
Posted by: Rebeccafp in Chicago, FL.Posted: November 10th, 2016 12:11AM
Tattoo Description: two blue stripesTime Total: 30 minutes
I went to two different places that were known for being less expensive (but well reviewed) and was quoted 80$.
I read after I got it that tattoos are something that are meant to be tipped so I went back and tipped 15.
My first tattoo, I made a section not heal so good by putting a bra on too soon. The rest of it is kind of spotty and I'm not sure how it's my fault but I know it is. Hope to get a touch up when I'm back in town (hopefully for free?)
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First tattoo
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: MRH in San Marcos, TX.Posted: September 10th, 2016 11:09AM
Tattoo Description: Quote on my ribs.Time Total: ??
I want my first tattoo on my ribs and its a quote. Pretty small and simple. I don't know how much it'll cost though.
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First Tattoo
Amount: $200.00 Total
Posted by: Chrissy3 in Normal, IL.Posted: September 2nd, 2016 09:09AM
Tattoo Description: Multicolored turtleTime Total: 1 hour
Best decision ever. It's absolutely gorgeous and I love it.
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Janesville,wi
Amount: $100.00 Total
Posted by: Aislan in Janesville, WI.Posted: August 19th, 2016 11:08PM
Tattoo Description: Water color hummingbird.Time Total: 45 minuets
It's a side veiw of a humming bird. It didn't hurt at all,because it was on my dominant arm and almost on my sholder. It's about 4 inches wide and 4 inches long. Obscura in janesville is the place to go. I'm going to my artist in a few months for a forearm tattoo.
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Regular customer prices
Amount: $10,000.00 Total
Posted by: Daniel Craig in Monrovia, CA.Posted: August 19th, 2016 04:08PM
Tattoo Description: MultipleTime Total: 100+ hours
Have 90% of my work done by one artist. First tattoo was $125 an hour and have since gotten full body tattooed feet included expect arms from end of shirt sleeve down. At the end I was paying $60 an hour with the occasional on the house price for sending so many referrals
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How much ?!
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Lacey322 in Folsom, PA.Posted: September 21st, 2015 08:09PM
Tattoo Description: RosesTime Total: ?
Larger roses going from under my ribs on the side to my thigh
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First tattoo
Amount: $75.00 Total
Posted by: Jimmyzzz in Ft Myers beach, FL.Posted: September 10th, 2015 12:09PM
Tattoo Description: Ocean wave shaded blue and whiteTime Total: 30 min
Got it done on ft Myers beach which right on beach adds to cost got an ocean wave outlined in black shaded blue with white highlights and in cursive under the wave the words no fear ! Love it am going next week to get more . It's addicting and kinda of feels like an electrical type of burning sensation deff hurts like hell on the foot !!!!!!
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First tattoo
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Logan Miller in Paulding, OH.Posted: September 8th, 2015 08:09AM
Tattoo Description: Old Oriental Dragon sleeve for right armTime Total: ??
Im looking for a local tattooist and a price range for this type of tattoo
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how much will it be?
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Sydney gill in connersvillle, IN.Posted: September 5th, 2015 01:09PM
Tattoo Description: Colored paper airplaneTime Total: 30
I'm wanting to know the price of what I might get. It would be a fairly small tattoo on my side or shoulder blade. It would be a birthday tattoo and all it will be is a tiny colored paper airplane with speed lines with the words "fly away" or travel.
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Want my 4th one already
Amount: $1,150.00 Total
Posted by: Andrew9858 in Mansfield, TX.Posted: September 2nd, 2015 05:09AM
Tattoo Description: Finishing sleeve and bro quoteTime Total: 5 hours
Have a tribal half sleeve and and custom skull clock and wairror angel statue and a memorial cross
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Cost of tattoo\'s
Amount: $870.00 Total
Posted by: El Jefe in Gunnison, CO.Posted: September 1st, 2015 03:09PM
Tattoo Description: 5 tattoo\'s so farTime Total: Not sure
Molon Labe on inside of left arm - 230
American Flag on left shoulder - 230
Mountain backpacker on left chest - 260
3 birds on right upper chest - 75
heart beat + mountain lines on right calf - 75
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Celtic knot
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Mtv155 in Middletown, DE.Posted: August 13th, 2015 10:08PM
Tattoo Description: Celtic knot type designTime Total: ???
Originally it's a Celtic knot of interlocking Bs (also the symbol of breaking Benjamin) but I'm going to custom change the knot to be Rs I want it 1x1 inches on my wrist in black shading, does anyone know how much this would be?
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First tattoo
Amount: $42.00 Total
Posted by: Shamill92 in Worcester, MA.Posted: August 12th, 2015 03:08AM
Tattoo Description: 420 in Roman numerals on my rib cageTime Total: 45min
I got my first tattoo for my birthday and it honestly wasn't that bad! They say the rib cage is the worst but it's mostly just an annoying burning feeling after awhile
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First tattoo
Amount: $75.00 Total
Posted by: Kayla Anglemyer in Three rivers, MI.Posted: August 12th, 2015 03:08AM
Tattoo Description: My sons footprint w/first and last nameTime Total: Hour and 30 minutes
The artist even added extra shading for free because he knew it would look good...its black with grey shading around name and dates size: my hand fairly large on right side of chest.
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First tattoo
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Jacquelynn in Hayward, CA.Posted: August 4th, 2015 12:08AM
Tattoo Description: Dream catcher/ stag on shoulder bladeTime Total: Idk
I want to get a simple black tattoo (silhouette style) of either a dream catcher or a leaping stag on my right shoulder blade but I don't know a good place to get one near me or how much it would cost
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First tattoo! Please help
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Donovan in Mississauga, Other.Posted: July 25th, 2015 09:07PM
Tattoo Description: Roman numeralsTime Total: Any
Numerals of my mOms birthday, located under my right collar bone. Its a surprise for her to show her that she is and forever will be my best friend.
I'm 17 and am allowed to get a tattoo, I would like pricing range
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External Resources:
  1.  tattoo.about.com/od/tattoo101/ss/tattoo_process.htm
  2.  www.safe-tattoos.com/pamphlets/basic.html
  3.  www.niehs.nih.gov/external/faq/tattoo.htm
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