piercer income

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.

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