The lack of testing for tattoo licensing in vermont: accountability in question


Did you know Vermont doesn't require ANY testing for tattoo artists? While other professions undergo rigorous exams, your tattoo artist have not had to prove their skills.

In the world of tattooing, regulations and standards play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and skillfulness of practitioners. However, an interesting anomaly exists in Vermont's tattoo licensing process-there's no requirement for testing. Unlike many other professions that mandate rigorous exams to prove proficiency, tattoo artists in Vermont can obtain their licenses without any formal assessment of their skills or knowledge.

Consider this: while professions like hairdressing and barbering necessitate practical exams spanning over several days, assessing everything from basic skills to seemingly trivial techniques like curling iron usage, tattoo artists do not face such scrutiny. This begs the question: why the disparity in requirements when tattooing involves permanently altering the body, unlike the temporary changes made by a hairdresser and barbers?

Moreover, the 1000 hour apprenticeship mandated by Vermont for obtaining a tattoo license lacks accountability measures. Other apprenticeship professions, such as funeral directing, require a meticulous documentation to account for apprenticeship hours. Yet, in the tattooing realm, there's no standardized system to track or verify the completion of apprenticeship hours.

The absence of testing and accountability raises the concerns about the quality and safety of tattoo services in Vermont. Without standardized assessments, there's no assurance that tattoo artists possess the necessary skills to perform their craft safely and proficiently. Clients entrusting their bodies to these artists deserve reassurance that their chosen practitioner has undergone rigorous training and evaluation.

I served as the Tattoo Advisor for the State of Vermont for two years, during which time I tirelessly advocated for the State to adopt or update their testing standards for tattooing, unfortunately without success. I was never given a reason WHY it could not be done.

This lack of testing and accountability in Vermont's tattoo licensing process underscores the need for a closer examination of regulatory standards in the body art industry. As the demand for tattoos continue to rise, ensuring the competence and professionalism of practitioners should remain a top priority. It's time to address the gaps in the system and uphold the integrity of tattooing as both an art form and professional service.

As a client, it's crucial to thoroughly vet your tattoo artist by exploring their website, seeking recommendations and considering online reviews. MOST IMPORTANTLY, you can also check the Vermont State database for any complaints or disciplinary actions, to ensure you make an informed decision.

The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation does not believe additional measures are necessary to ensure the public receives safe and professional tattoos. Unfortunately, the responsibility falls on you to conduct thorough research.

I will include links you may find useful in your research: