How Much Does Tattoos Cost | Tattoo Prices Guide


In this article, we are going to discuss how much does tattoos cost on average and how expensive are tattoos. After reading this article, you will get a clear idea about the average price of the tattoo. We have also added a tattoo price chart that will help you understanding the cost and prices of tattoos.


Please note that everything we are going to say here will differ slightly from one studio to another. Rates will be different depending on the artist and country. How much should a tattoo cost depend on the tattoo artist and country you are living in. This is why your tattoo artist is not necessarily trying to rip you off by charging what they charge.



Some artists charge by the hour while some will charge by the piece. Although, I think hourly charges are more popular.  Tattoo artists usually set their prices according to their skills, quality of work and experience. This is why you shouldn’t shop around for the best price but for the best quality.



Most Tattoo Artists Charge by the Hour

Tattoo Artist$ Hourly RateFull Sleeve
Apprentice or Beginner (1-3 yrs)$80 – $120$800 – $1000
Solo Tattoo Artist (3-5 yrs)$120 – $150$1200 – $1500
Established Artist (5-10 yrs)$150 – $180$1500 – $1800
Teaching Artist (10+ yrs)$150 – $220$2000+
Popular Artist$180 +Whatever they want

It is definitely better and wise to wait until you can afford to pay for quality service from experience artists. It’s like with plastic surgeons. The best ones charge the most because when it comes to your body and health, you don’t want to go cheap because you are investing in yourself. But please don’t assume every tattoo artist that charges a lot is good.

Cheap Tattoos Aren’t Good; Good Tattoos Aren’t Cheap

You’ll see signs in a lot of shops that say something like “cheap tattoos aren’t good, good tattoos aren’t cheap”. But I could not agree more with that statement. If you go into a shop and they have extremely low prices, you need to do your homework and see why that is. You’re probably not going to get good work from that shop.

So yeah, it sucks to pay more money but honestly, it’s going to be worth it. You’re going to come out with a better tattoo, you probably going to have a better experience, you can probably have more confidence that all their equipment is sterilized properly and that they have all the training they need and I know that sounds totally screwed up, and I’m all for good deals but when it comes to a tattoo, it’s not about finding the best deal it’s about finding the most responsible artists and the most talented artist and somebody who can do something that you would like.

A tattoo is going to be on you for the rest of your life unless you choose a temporary tattoo. So, is it really worth saving 100 Bucks right now and then being screwed because you got a sucky tattoo and you got to have that forever? No, don’t do it as soon as you have a little cash because you’re going to end up with not so good results.

How Much Does Tattoos Cost?

How much does tattoos cost could be hard to answer. Just for a general price range at really good shops, you’re probably looking at around $150 an hour. They might not quote you the price by the hour. They might just say, over this piece is going to be $150, it’s going to be $200, but in their heads, they’re usually thinking about how much time it is going to take. So they kind of calculate and then they just tell you a price based on the estimated time.

I know that sounds like a ton of money like “Oh my god I’m paying this guy $150 an hour, but in general it is worth it. If you want something really itty bitty, you’re probably looking at a minimum of 50 or 60 Bucks depending on the shop you go to.

Tattoo Prices Chart

This tattoo prices chart will give a general idea of how much does tattoos cost. The prices in this chart are based on estimates, and it may vary from studio to studio and country to country.

Custom Pricing1002003004005001,0003,0005,000
1.5 x 1.545.0051.0057.0063.0069.0089.00127.50144.00
1.5 x 249.8056.4463.0869.7276.3798.50170.10192.50
1.5 x 2.559.6667.6175.5783.5291.48103.30210.00230.50
1.5 x 381.1091.9102.73113.54124.36160.40261.90289.00
2 x 264.8073.4482.0890.7296.50108.00260.60262.50
2.5 x 3 129.69146.98164.28181.57198.86265.50387.00424.50
3 x 3 162.15193.77205.39227.01248.63320.70444.40634.00
3 x 4178.90202.80226.66250.51274.37253.90440.40634.00
4 x 6289.18324.34362.49400.65438.81566.00794.701,182.50

Why are Tattoos so Expensive?

People wonder why tattoos are so expensive. Even a small cross on my wrist cost 60 dollars really. Today we will try to explain why tattoo studios have a minimum charge and why does it cost so much.

When you come into a tattoo studio, there will be someone at the desk that will have a chat with you, explain some stuff and listen to your ideas. He / She will also try to match your idea with the best artists in the studio. This person also did the booking for you, takes deposits and answers your phone calls and emails. That person needs to get paid for his /her job.

Then there is a consultation time you spend with the artists and time they spend later on designing your tattoo. Sometimes designing a tattoo can take a good couple of hours. In most of the tattoo studios, the artist usually gets only 40 to 60 percent of what the actual hourly rate is. The rest goes to the studio to pay for their overhead like manager, receptionist, Rent, cleaning, tax, insurance and bills.

So, why is there a minimum charge? The Answer is: Because of all the above and many more I’m going to show you in a second.

Let’s see what happens with a $60, a minimum charge for a tattoo. An artist needs to prepare the design even if it’s small and simple. It still needs to be fixed, changed a bit and redrawn, etc. It also needs to be printed. To be 100% prepared, it usually takes about 30 minutes before the artist can start tattooing.

There is a list of products that are needed to be prepared to perform a small minimum charge tattoo. Paper and art supply, a printer, Ink, two disposable ink cups, two disposable needles, two disposable tubes, back to cover ink bottles, back to cover tattoo machine, tattoo station cover, alcohol, Vaseline or tattoo lube, distilled water and plastic Cup, two pairs of gloves and a paper towel. Tattoo artist do interfere with human bodies, and their insurance is the same as the one for doctors, and it does cost quite a lot of money.

From the minimum price of $60 that you pay about $30 go to the artists. About $15 as the variable expenses and fixed expenses like rent, bills, etc. and you really don’t have much left. Of course, the bigger and more detailed tattoo, the more preparation and tattooing time, as well as product and equipment, is needed.

As you can see it is not as much as you thought that they make for the work that requires so many skills, responsibility, experience, knowledge, and precision.




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