If you intend to be a professional body piercer, you will need a few things to legally conduct business. Your first priority is to obtain a body technician permit from the health department of the county you will be doing business in. This permit can only be issued by the health department after you have fulfilled the requirements they mandate. In Los Angeles County, California, the requirements include completion of an approved blood-borne pathogen class (which must be renewed annually), completing a series of Hepatitis B vaccinations, and paying a fee to the county. If you are approved, you will receive a temporary permit and then be required to pay another fee before getting your official permit (which is good for 3 years).
If you are going to work in a shop or open a shop, you will also need to get a business license to do business in the city you are in. You must post your permit and business licenses publicly where you will be doing your body piercing for all to see. Once you are properly licensed, permitted and approved by the health department in your county, you are ready to body pierce if you are experienced, or you can begin an apprenticeship with an experienced body piercer. An apprenticeship usually lasts between 6 months to a year, and consists of you performing mundane duties most of the time (like shop clean-up and running errands interspersed with actual learning) with little or no pay. Remember, as an apprentice, you should never be charged a fee for working at a shop – they are already benefiting from you enough with having you there for free. If a shop tells you that you will have to pay to learn body piercing (like a school), you are better off going somewhere else.
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