apprenticeship

"This Book Has Saved My Life"

I got this amazing comment on my Facebook page from a reader:
This book has saved my life as an amateur piercer. There was so much that I thought I knew, and I realized when I read the book that I've been almost completely in the dark during my whole piercing career. The Piercing Bible has been so enlightening, I am grateful for your wisdom and extensive knowledge, Elayne. Thanks so much!

Piercers: Earning a Living Wage?

I recently received this message from a reader who is an apprentice:

Hello! I bought your book at barnes and noble, also I have recently began a piercing apprenticeship and your book has helped very much! Thank you! Although I do have a question that I just can't seem to find an answer for...

...I plan to be a professional body piercer full time once my apprenticeship is complete, but do professional piercers (after completing the apprenticeship) generally make enough money to survive and live off of doing this alone?  How much does a newer piercer generally make in a year, on a commissioned basis (50/50 split)? Or Will I need a second job?

I figured you were the expert, and it couldn't hurt to ask.  Thanks so much!!!

My reply:

Hi J.,

Glad to hear that my book has been helpful for you.

I  know many, many piercers who make a living from the job. But...there can be big differences in how busy studios are (and thus earning potential) dependent upon geographic region, local economy and quantity and quality of competition, and countless other factors.

So, I can speak
only from experience within my studio, Rings of Desire, which was in New Orleans (it closed after Hurricane Katrina and I moved to Mexico).

My employees were well compensated and definitely earned a living by being piercers. I even provided them with medical insurance and other benefits like paid vacation time! However, I paid a salary, as I wanted my staff to be equally rewarded for sweeping, mopping, and tidying jewelry displays as they were for piercing.

Philly Rocked!

I just got back from my piercing visit at Infinite Body Piercing in Philadelphia. It was absolutely amazing! I had SO much fun. The studio is incredibly well-run, well-stocked, and highly professional. Every member of the staff there pitched in and worked hard to make sure that my guest piercing visit ran seamlessly and smoothly. They were fantastic.

I can't wait to go back there again. I know I will, so if you're interested in getting pierced the next time I come to Philly, please sign up for my free newsletter on the home page of my site in the box on the left lower corner. Then you'll automatically be notified when I travel.

I pierced non-stop for 4 full days and did 67 piercings on people from 12 different states including NY, MA, WI, NJ, CT, VA, OH, RI, DE, MD, IN, and of course, PA. I had so much fun!

I have already received some great feedback from my clients there. I guess I proved to be an inspiration to this gal:

Piercing: Training Is Needed

I got this message from someone who wants to be a piercer but seems to have a misguided idea on how to go about it:

I want to become a piercer... well, I wanted to ask if you knew a great web site that sells good kit or tools especially for microdermals... It's hard to find something safe on the net... and when I think it's safe I can't buy cause I'm not a professionnal... Well, before to practice and learn I want to buy all that I need to start the project... hope you will help me, it's gonna be very appreciated...

Have a nice day!!

Hi there,

I'm afraid I can't advocate that course of action and there's are good reasons why quality piercing gear is not sold to individuals who are not professionals. Here's some information from The Piercing Bible:

Piercing: Not a Do-It-yourself (DIY) Hobby
At the beginning of the modern piercing movement, few competent practitioners were available. Lacking pros to help, people who felt the urge lanced their own bodies with heated sewing needles or common earrings. Even today, amateur or unethical hack piercers can be found who will pierce anything on anyone, badly. Young teenagers who cannot obtain parental permission for a piercing and those who cannot easily afford professional services in a studio often take this route.

Many online shops sell piercing kits, which advertise that they come with “complete instructions” and are “easy to use.” Wrong! These are no safer than a home root-canal kit and must be avoided. A DIY piercing is often poorly placed and has a greatly increased risk of infection and other problems. Piercing studios are common now, so there is no longer any excuse for shoddy piercings.

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