How much does a tattoo cost?

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Price guide

$50 - $2,000







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Last updated on 20 September 2023

How much do tattoos cost?

Small tattoo prices, with sizes no more than a few square centimetres, start at around $50. In comparison, pieces covering large body areas can cost upwards of $1,500 to $2,000, with an average professional tattoo artist’s hourly rate at around $200. Custom designs and renowned artists may have higher price ranges. It's best to consult with tattoo studios or artists for accurate pricing based on your specific design and requirements.

Tattoo price list 

Tattoo Size
Price Range (AUD)
Additional Factors
Small (2x2 in) $100 - $300 Complexity of design, intricacy, and artist's reputation
Medium (4x4 in) $300 - $600 Colourwork, shading, level of detail
Large (8x8 in) $600 - $1500 Customization, placement, artist experience
Extra-Large $1500+ Full sleeve, backpiece, custom designs, renowned artists
Custom Varies Highly intricate, personalized designs, time-intensive

Many factors will influence how much a tattoo costs. But the main variable that dictates the overall price is the tattoo artist's skill level and size. If you're wondering how much a small tattoo costs, it will be relatively cheaper than a large tattoo.

Tattoos no larger than your palm or face are considered small, while a tattoo that is half the length of your leg or a quarter of your upper body is considered medium. Anything bigger than those two can be viewed as a large tattoo, such as full-back tattoos or tattoos that cover nearly the entire upper part of your body.  


a tattoo artist using hand poke technique to tattoo a client

Factors affecting the cost of getting a tattoo


The tattoo parlour's location will influence the price of a tattoo. Cities with a higher cost of living, like Sydney, will have higher average tattoo prices. If you live in a place that attracts many tourists, tattoo prices are likely to be higher.

Tattoo design 

The complexity of the design will determine the time it takes to tattoo it, which also affects the cost of getting a tattoo. So consider the level of detail involved and the precision required to carry it out. 

Tattoos with delicate shading will take more time and skill to complete than those with uniform colours and fine line tattoos. It will take more skill and time to tattoo cartoon characters or photo-realistic designs. Even small tattoo prices can increase with complicated designs and necessary colours.

Tattoo colours

Choosing a full-colour tattoo makes the design more challenging because the artist needs to think about where to place the colours and how to mix them for the desired look. When designing a full-colour tattoo, the artist has many more stylistic options than when making a grayscale tattoo design.

Body placement

Another key deciding factor is the body placement of the tattoo. For a tattoo on a challenging area of the body, some artists charge 10% to 25% more. These include the face, foot, elbow, and neck. 

a tattoo artist tattooing a woman's armTattoo artist's skill and experience

Getting a tattoo from an experienced and well-known artist is more expensive. They typically charge by the hour but will charge for the cost of the tattoo if it is small and can be completed in one sitting. Famous tattoo artists and tattoo shops can also charge higher rates. When appointments are limited, the cost is almost always increased.

Professional equipment

Going to a safe, sanitary parlour that follows proper protocol will cost more than a relatively new studio, but you should never compromise safety to save money. You should go with a tattoo parlour that has a good reputation and is properly licensed in your city. 

Tip: Before booking a tattoo artist, make sure they follow best practices, such as using a new needle from a sealed container for each client and sterilising reusable equipment. The same is true if you're getting a mobile tattoo artist.

How to save on tattoo costs

Getting tattoos is a big decision and can be costly, but there are a few ways how to save on tattoo costs:

  • Timing: Many people are unaware that there is a slow season for tattoo artists. In many tattoo shops, the winter months are the slowest. This can be an excellent time to work out a deal with a tattoo artist.

  • Pre-paying in instalments: Ask the tattoo artist if they offer the option of full and instalment prepayment for a tattoo. This can be helpful if you're getting a large tattoo that costs a lot. 

  • Flash designs: If you've been itching to get a tattoo but are unsure about the design, wait for your artist's flash designs. These usually come at fixed prices and are cheaper than customised ones.

Aside from getting inked, you can also check for a body piercing service from the same team as part of a package or get an ear piercing if you want subtler accessorising.

Post a task for a tattoo service

Now that you have a general idea of tattoo prices, the next step is to find a tattoo artist to get inked! To receive more accurate quotes while searching for a Tasker, you can write down information like your budget, location, tattoo size, complexity, and body placement. Look over their profiles, ratings, and reviews to choose the expert for your tattoo needs.

The skills needed for tattooing come from years of practice and intensive training. Hire a qualified tattoo artist to assure not only the aesthetics and quality of your tattoo but also your safety as a client!

Find tattoo artists, fast

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Tattoos are typically priced two ways: by the piece or by the hour. Some artists will give you a firm quote on the piece, especially if it is a piece they can predict the duration to complete it. If you bring in a sketch or work with the artist to create one, they will likely give you a set price for the entire work. 

A half-sleeve tattoo is considered a medium tattoo and can cost around $700 to $1,500.

A full-sleeve tattoo cost in Australia is around $1,500 or higher since it is considered a large tattoo.

In Australia, a 3-hour tattoo would cost around $400 to $600, depending on many factors such as size, complexity, and body placement.

The discomfort may feel prickly to some folks. Others claim it feels like being scraped or bee stings. You should expect to feel at least a slight pricking sensation because a thin needle is piercing your skin. It could feel like a painful vibration when the needle approaches the bone.

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