Body piercer

Hairdressing and beauty

Career outlook for body piercer

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would safely pierce people’s faces or bodies so they can so they can wear jewellery and decoration.

You’d use a sterile surgical needle to make the piercings. You’d also need to make sure that the area to be pierced and the jewellery are very clean so the person doesn’t get an infection from the procedure.

Once you’d made the piercing - which will probably be painful for your client - you’d insert different types of jewellery and metal as a decoration, including rings, studs or ear plugs which stretch the earlobe to create a hole.

It’s most common for people to get their ears pierced but a client could also ask for you to pierce their eyebrows, nose, lips, tongue, navel (belly button) or other parts of their body.

You would:

  • Discuss the type of piercing the client wants and advise on whether it’s suitable for them
  • Explain the procedure and point out any risks
  • Advise on suitable types of metal and jewellery
  • Sterilise the needle, the jewellery and the area of the body which is being pierced
  • Dispose of the needle, following health and safety guidelines
  • Show the client how to care for the piercing as it heals, and tell them what to do if there is a problem

You might also train as a tattooist and offer both services together.

Very high standards of cleanliness and constant awareness of the need for hygiene would be important.

Working conditions


You will usually work five or six days a week, often including weekends. You may work in the evening if your studio offers late-night opening.


You will be based in a studio or salon, which could be part of a beauty salon. You could also work as an ear piercer in a jewellery shop.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Reliable
  • Taking responsibility
  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Verbal communication
  • Respecting
  • Observation
  • Creative

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You do not need formal qualifications to get into this job.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Science subjects, in particular biology/chemistry

Helpful to have

It is helpful to have qualifications that demonstrate experience of customer service skills such as Skills for Work Retailing (SCQF 5) or Beauty (SCQF 6).

You can also gain qualifications while in work, such as the Scottish Vocational Qualification in Beauty Therapy (SVQ  2) or City & Guilds Award in Beauty Therapy (QCF level 2) which include modules in earlobe piercing or you can do an individual Award/Certificate in Ear Piercing (QCF level 2), accredited by VTCT or ITEC training.