Inside: Average Tattoo Cost.
How Much Does a Tattoo Cost?
The average cost for a small tattoo like a heart or cross is $50 to $250. For a medium-sized tattoo like a tribal or portrait, expect to spend between $150 and $450. Hiring a tattoo artist typically costs $120 to $150 per hour, and prices depend on how long it takes.
For a large tattoo, like a half or full sleeve, prices start at $500 and can go all the way up to $4,000 for a full back or custom tattoo. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to consider getting a tattoo unless you’re willing to pay at least $100 for it. Keep in mind most tattoo shops require a deposit unless it’s a walk-in session.
According to Tattoo Master Artist Mr. Peck, average tattoo prices for most customers are around $200 to $300 with a $100 minimum. To get up to 6 hours’ worth of tattoos in one day, expect a tattoo price range of $1,000 and more.
Your tattoo cost is an investment in permanent body art that you’ll wear every day. The last thing you want is a super-cheap tattoo that you might have to pay double the cost of to remove it if you don’t like it later. That’s why the best tattoo artists work thoughtfully to create designs with long-lasting appeal. This guide will provide general tattoo price ranges only.
Tattoo Cost on Size of Artwork
Tattoo artwork size falls into either small, medium, or large.
- Small – from a star the size of a dime on your wrist to a pirate ship covering your deltoid to a wedding ring tattoo.
- Medium – from a koi fish swimming in a waterfall on your side—from under your arm to your thigh.
- Large – from a set of angel wings starting at your shoulders to the base of your back, to a complex story that covers your entire upper torso. This category also includes full and half-sleeve tattoos.
Factors of Tattoo Cost
Many factors decide how much a tattoo is going to cost:
- Where you live
- The experience level of the artist
- The equipment and the amount of ink they use
- How long of a waiting list they have
- The total amount of time it takes them to make your design and tattoo you
- Your tattoo’s location
- The complexity of your tattoo artwork
More Great Tattoo Knowledge You Should Know
- What is a Tramp Stamp – A lower-back tattoo is a tattoo that became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s and gained a reputation for its erotic appeal. They are sometimes accentuated by low-rise jeans and crop tops.
- Best Tattoo Aftercare – Most tattoo artists have their own personal set of aftercare instructions. But one piece of advice they all have in common is to touch your tattoo with clean hands only. I recommend that you listen to the verbal directions from your tattooer first, then refer to the written directions after. Also, take into consideration that washing your hands shouldn’t be a quick three-second rinse.
- What is an Autoclave – An autoclave is a machine that uses steam under pressure to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores on items that are placed inside a pressure vessel. The items are heated to an appropriate sterilization temperature for a given amount of time.