Apprenticeship with BlackStar

The BlackStar apprenticeship program has produced several fine body piercers who are currently working throughout Canada.

Apprenticeship Program Curriculum

This curriculum deals with the various piercings in order of increasing difficulty, increasing risk, and increasing professionalism. The order is not rigid, and may be varied depending on the opportunities available to demonstrate or to perform some of the more unusual piercings. However the general principle is to allow the body piercing apprentice to perform more difficult piercings as their technique improves, to perform riskier piercings as their knowledge and understanding improve, and to perform more sensitive piercings as their professionalism improves.

  1. Introduction (Stage 0)

    This stage establishes the body piercing apprentice's background knowledge, necessary to work in the piercing environment. Health and safety concerns are addressed, as are general matters relating to the aftercare and healing of body piercings. Some anecdotal information about the various piercings is imparted to help the apprentice to establish a comfortable rapport with clients, and to improve the client's acceptance of their expertise. The apprentice is also taught proper eye-hand coordination for body piercing, piercing and body jewelry insertion techniques using orange peel as a practice medium.

  2. Stage 1

    Stage 1 starts the apprentice working with actual clients. The transition begins with the apprentice's piercing test, in which they will pierce themselves, supervised by their instructor, then they will pierce a volunteer subject who is knowledgeable (senior apprentice or better). This allows the apprentice to experience their own technique, and allows the critical assessment of that technique by a peer. Once this has been completed, and the apprentice has been evaluated as ready to work with a client, supervised piercings will be done until the instructor is satisfied that the apprentice has experienced a wide enough variety of situations to be able to make competent decisions regarding the piercings they are permitted to do. The apprentice's client contacts are increased by having them perform follow-up assessments on prior clients, and supervised problem solving when clients return for advice.

  3. Stage 2

    Once the apprentice has attained sufficient competence to perform the simple soft-tissue piercings, they are advanced to the simple cartilage piercings and to the eyebrow.

    Knowledge of oral and facial anatomy is a prerequisite for Stage 3.

  4. Stage 3

    The apprentice is taught to use the needle driver and short needle to perform the more complex outer ear piercings. The rest of the facial piercings (except the septum) are taught, as are the surface piercings.

    Knowledge of male & female genital anatomy is a prerequisite for Stage 4.

  5. Stage 4

    The apprentice is taught to use the receiving tube, and to perform the rest of the standard piercings, including male and female genital piercings. In addition, the apprentice's knowledge is rounded out with general knowledge about jewelry and piercing strategies. Completion of Stage 4 ends the formal apprenticeship.

BlackStar will have one position available for piercing apprentices in the Kingston Shop at 732 Princess Street beginning August 2011. The successful applicant will be expected to be resident in Kingston during the program. (6 months) Tuition for the program is $2500.00 and is not refundable.


  1. The applicant must be over 19 years of age and in good health.
  2. The applicant must be eligible for entrance to a post secondary institution. Graduation from high school is mandatory, as is OAC Biology (Documentation required) or the equivalent.
  3. Vaccination against Hepatitis B is mandatory for all who work for BlackStar (Documentation required). The successful applicant must have begun the series of 3 vaccinations before training will begin, and must complete the series before doing any piercing.
  4. The apprentice will be required to sign a contract which will include a non-competition clause.

Because the training is one on one, only limited positions are available and we will only consider those who are qualified and seriously interested in completing the program. Those interested should contact Roger Monahan by email by filling out the appropriate form for more information.

Click here to apply for apprenticeship in Kingston.

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