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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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First tat
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Dannyboy in Jefferson, GA.Posted: August 19th, 2014 06:08PM
Tattoo Description: Tribal WingsTime Total:
I am 17 now and I am looking to get a pair of tribal wings on my upper back. This will be my first tattoo and would really like to have some advice about them. I would also like to know how long it would take and what the costs would be for that.
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floral mandala
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Jessy in rialto, CA.Posted: August 15th, 2014 09:08PM
Tattoo Description: The mandala will be about 4 in all arounTime Total:
How much would this cost me? And how long will it take?
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Large eagle on stomach to cover abdominal surgery scars
Amount: $1,000.00 Total
Posted by: MrTicker in Santa Cruz, CA.Posted: July 28th, 2014 03:07PM
Tattoo Description: LARGE EAGLETime Total: 18 hours
Work being done by Tristan at Staircase tattoo in Santa Cruz, CA.
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How much (first tat)?
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Dani Gonsalves in Philadelphia, PA.Posted: July 12th, 2014 02:07PM
Tattoo Description: Simple black lines for roses on shoulderTime Total:
I'd like to know how much it would cost to get a simple roses tattoo on my left shoulder... If you look up "rose shoulder tattoo tumblr" on Google, it should be the third pic (person is wearing red pants on what looks like a blue pillow), it's that same design. It's just a simple black "outline" pretty much of two roses, no shading & no color. How much would it cost?
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1st tattoo
Amount: $250.85 Total
Posted by: Tito in South Beach, FL.Posted: July 11th, 2014 01:07AM
Tattoo Description: Tribal crossTime Total: 1hour and a half
Greatest tattoo ever, salvation tattoo, south beach Miami floridd
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1st Tattoo
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Cheyenne in BLACKSBURG, VA.Posted: June 18th, 2014 12:06PM
Tattoo Description: 5 birds with "Forever in My Heart"Time Total:
I want a tattoo of 5 small birds and then "Forever in my Heart" under my left collarbone. How much do you think that will cost?
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Large Tattoo Short Sleeve
Amount: $400.00 Total
Posted by: Ryan Watson in missoua, MT.Posted: June 14th, 2014 01:06PM
Tattoo Description: short sleeve traditional Japanese buddhaTime Total: 12 hrs
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20 word 86 characters
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: kelsey brown in Belmont, NH.Posted: May 20th, 2014 11:05PM
Tattoo Description: upper half of my back? ribs?Time Total: ?
18 year old girl and tattoo virgin. My father figure and I would love to get matching tats with this quote, but we would like to know if it might be to big. I want it on my ribs but I am 5'3" and 120 lbs, do you think I'm to small to do that? If I am could I do it over my shoulders and on my back?we would like the letters as small as they can be without being small enough to blur into blobs as the years go by. A easily readable cursive font thats not too fancy would look nice. Is this tat do-able? If so, could someone give me a cost, I know it varys so much, so just an estimated value. Trying to do my research, tomorrow I'm going to go visit a few artist who have a good rep to talk and look at their gallery. Thank so much!
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physical graffiti
Amount: $250.00 Total
Posted by: JoeYCRaaaaCK in Linden, NJ.Posted: November 22nd, 2013 07:11PM
Tattoo Description: Ripped open skin w/American flag showingTime Total: 3hr
I have about 15 pieces of ink & I ONLY go to physical graffiti now… the owner paul nolin does AMAZING work… he can be kinda an asshole if u come in there dumb but if u kno ur shit he's a very cool guy & 1 of the best in the biz
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first tattoo
Amount: $100.00 Total
Posted by: house in wilkes barre, PA.Posted: September 9th, 2013 12:09PM
Tattoo Description: 2 wordsTime Total: 30 mins
"Everybody Lies" from the show house, on my right shoulder blade
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Triforce tattoo on hand
Amount: $100.00 Total
Posted by: Ewest in Bryant, AR.Posted: August 7th, 2013 01:08PM
Tattoo Description: Black triforce on hand without birdTime Total: about an hour
I love this tattoo, it's my third one, second by this artist, it is straight and doesn't look messed up. Got it done by Josh at Anchor tattoo in Bryant Arkansas.
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HOW MUCH WOULD 15 WORD,56 Letter tattoo cost?
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: Geena in Boone, NC.Posted: May 22nd, 2013 10:05PM
Tattoo Description: upper BackTime Total: 0.0
I'm a girl and was wanting to get my first tattoo, but worried on the price. How much do you
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First tattoo
Amount: $35.00 Total
Posted by: Wanda in Chicago, IL.Posted: March 31st, 2013 03:03PM
Tattoo Description: Infinity sign with a feather & 2 wordsTime Total: 1 hours
My tattoo had the word "Iove" and "life" . It's meaning is to love life forever :)
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First Tattoo
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: RinaLove in Goodyear, AZ.Posted: March 14th, 2013 02:03PM
Tattoo Description: a willow treeTime Total:
I want to get.a small willow tree that says while I breathe I hope. I want.to.get it on my left shoulder blade. About four inches tall and three inches long. Can somebody help with what the price may be??
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1st tat
Amount: $130.00 Total
Posted by: a user in milford, CT.Posted: December 31st, 2012 09:12PM
Tattoo Description: salamanderTime Total: 1 1/2 hours
Green with yellow shaded salamander from hip bone to hip of rib. Didnt hurt at all. Great artist in milford, ct
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1st tat
Amount: $130.00 Total
Posted by: a user in milford, CT.Posted: December 31st, 2012 07:12AM
Tattoo Description: salamanderTime Total: 1 1/2 hours
Green with yellow shaded salamander from hip bone to hip of rib. Didnt hurt at all. Great artist in milford, ct
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1st tat
Amount: $130.00 Total
Posted by: a user in milford, CT.Posted: December 31st, 2012 07:12AM
Tattoo Description: salamanderTime Total: 1 1/2 hours
Green with yellow shaded salamander from hip bone to hip of rib. Didnt hurt at all. Great artist in milford, ct
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1st tat
Amount: $100.00 Total
Posted by: squekr069 in niles, MI.Posted: August 10th, 2012 08:08PM
Tattoo Description: 5 m & m\'sTime Total: 45 min
i was scared at first but afer he got started it was fine. only had it 4 years and the yellow & orange is faded. im ready to get another one tomorrow!
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1st tattoo
Amount: $100.00 Total
Posted by: Bo in woodstock, GA.Posted: July 28th, 2011 09:07AM
Tattoo Description: wicked butterflyTime Total: 1hr 30minutes
its wicked awsome!!
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2nd Tat
Amount: $55.00 Total
Posted by: ZooTown in Missoula, MT.Posted: July 22nd, 2011 09:07PM
Tattoo Description: BarcodeTime Total: 1/2 an hour
Not what I wanted. Didnt even put the numbers i wanted under the barcode and some of the lines are crooked. Got it done in Wiliston,ND. they do good on other kinds of work just not with mine.
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First Tattoo
Amount: $250.00 Total
Posted by: ZooTown in Missoula, MT.Posted: July 22nd, 2011 08:07PM
Tattoo Description: Tribal with rainbow fillTime Total: 2 hr
Got on left bicep. Didnt feel a thing when she was applying it. Looks great and love it.
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How much would it cost to get?
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: tiftay in Rossville, IL.Posted: March 14th, 2011 06:03AM
Tattoo Description: HeartTime Total:
I would like to find a tattoo artist near me to get a tattoo of a heart with a banner that has a date on it. Who can help me?
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STATEMENT WITH CLOCK
Amount: $150.00 Total
Posted by: COMPLEXVIZ in DETROIT, MI.Posted: February 10th, 2011 02:02AM
Tattoo Description: LIFE GOES ON.... WITH CLOCKTime Total: HR
seemed pretty xpensive- said 300 at first to trick in out- it was custom tho- got more work to do - clock time is 420- hands look as if they r moving
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me
Amount: $0.00 Total
Posted by: countryboy in pace, FL.Posted: January 30th, 2011 07:01PM
Tattoo Description: deer headTime Total: 45 mins
shoulder blade cover he screwed it up wondering how much the cost would be to fill it back in right this time
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My son
Amount: $140.00 Total
Posted by: sexi*momma in erie, PA.Posted: January 18th, 2011 08:01PM
Tattoo Description: FlowerTime Total: 2 Hours
On right shoulder its about 5 inches long 3 inches in height and its a rose with beautiful colors and my sons name as well
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rib tattoo
Amount: $275.00 Total
Posted by: Gina Lynn in Keyport, NJ.Posted: December 29th, 2010 10:12PM
Tattoo Description: Ed Hardy-like MermaidTime Total: 2 and a half hours
I love it. Hurt a lot & was my 1st tattoo go figure. It goes from the bottom of my right boooobiee to the end of my hip bone.Position was awkward & was unintentionally shaking.He did great though regardless.FatKat in Keyport NJ.
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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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