Wings sweeping across shoulderblades or a tribal tattoo on an ankle -- tattoo artists change people's skin with various colors of ink and make a picture that will be viewed by many people. Tattooing can be a dangerous profession, and an artist needs to understand things like bloodborne pathogens and sanitation before he can pick up his needle and start work. The state of Ohio does not license tattoo artists to ensure safety and quality, but keeps a close watch on tattoo parlors themselves.
Tattoo artists create designs on skin that stay with a person for the rest of her life. Since needles are involved, tattoo artists are exposed to body fluids, skin and other biological hazards. Some local jurisdictions in Ohio regulate tattoo artists to ensure that they are working safely for themselves and their clients. Each aspect of licensing either increases a tattoo artist's knowledge of his field or of public health.
In Ohio, licensing is operated by local health departments, not by a state agency. If you want to find out the specific requirements for the town or county where you want to operate, walk into the health department and explain your ambition. The representatives working there will give you a specific list of training that must be completed. Once you have all the training done, fill out the application and show that you've completed the requirements. Pay the fee when you hand in your application, and the license will be mailed to you.
You must complete a training course in tattooing before you can become a licensed artist in Ohio. Training courses are available in many places all over the country. Tattoo artist training focuses on skin art, basic art techniques and the use of tattoo shop equipment like needles and ink. Some local health departments might require an internship at a licensed tattoo parlor before you qualify to do tattoos on your own.
You must complete a course in sterilization, first aid and blood diseases before you can earn a license to tattoo others. Sterilization helps you protect yourself and clients from the effects of dangerous diseases. It is usually part of tattoo artist training, so you don't have to register for additional programs. The local health department that administers the tattoo artist licenses will be able to direct you to a facility where you can receive the proper training in blood diseases and first aid.