Bloodborne Pathogen Training and Certification: What’s Good to Know

By Katarina V.| Last updated on November 3, 2022
Bloodborne Pathogen Training and Certification: What's Good to Know by
⏱️ 4 min read

Permanent makeup is generally considered non-invasive, but whenever you come in close contact with clients, and especially since permanent makeup involves breaking the clients’ skin and some inevitable blood, there is a risk of cross-contamination, both from client to technician, and vice versa.

Although it may seem obvious that if you are suffering from any type of illness you shouldn’t put others at risk, sometimes your clients won’t report on their condition, or may not even be aware of it. So in order to protect yourself and your clients, apart from the standard conduct of wearing protective gloves and a face mask and keeping the hygiene at the highest possible level, you should also go through bloodborne pathogen training and learn how to handle blood and possibly contaminated surfaces.

What is bloodborne pathogen training?

Bloodborne Pathogen Training is a comprehensive course that is meant to educate anyone working in an environment where they are exposed to human blood on bloodborne pathogens and diseases, methods used to control occupational exposure, hepatitis B vaccinations, and medical evaluation, including post-exposure follow-up procedures.

Permanent makeup artists, along with healthcare workers, are constantly exposed to their clients’ blood and are at a high risk of infection of this type. That is why it is of the utmost importance that they are properly and regularly trained to prevent infection, which is usually not covered during PMU training courses.

What are bloodborne diseases?

Bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms present in human blood and can cause disease in other people who come in contact with the blood of the infected person. The most common diseases of this type are HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, while Malaria, Brucellosis, Syphilis, and West Nile Virus are relatively rare. Once you are exposed to these diseases, you are at a risk of infection.

During a permanent makeup procedure, this exposure can happen during an exposure incident. According to OSHA’s website, an exposure incident means a specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that results from the performance of an employee’s duties. So there’s no way these diseases can be spread by air. However, these diseases can also be transmitted from surfaces that come in contact with infected blood, and since PMU artists work with blades and needles, they need to be extra careful.

Should an exposure incident happen, you should report it to your employer or a health institution so that proper post-exposure actions are taken.

How do I become bloodborne pathogen certified?

You can enrol either a bloodborne pathogen training course, listen to the lectures, take a short examination, and if you pass (a pass is a score of 80% or higher), you’re officially certified for a year. The certificate needs to be renewed annually. 


Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

Is bloodborne pathogens certification mandatory?

Most, but not all states require you to be certified in order to perform permanent makeup procedures. Many employers require potential employees to get Bloodborne Pathogen Certification in order for their business to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Standards, and they usually finance it.

If you’re considering starting your own PMU business, bloodborne pathogen training should be one of your first steps towards it.

How long does bloodborne pathogen certification last?

A day! The training implies going through up to 4 hours of material and taking a short examination which takes 15 minutes. If you fail on your first try, don’t worry, the exam can be taken multiple times at no extra cost.

Where can I get (free) bloodborne pathogen certification?

Numerous authorized health institutions offer Bloodborne Pathogen Certification. Some of them give you free acces to the lectures, but certification itself costs about $15 initially, and the price is discounted for the annual renewal.

Wherever you choose to take the training, your certificate should be acceptable throughout the country. What’s important is for the training to strictly follow OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). Of course, it’s always a good idea to get thoroughly informed about the specific training you’re considering before you enrol it.

What is the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard? OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) as amended pursuant to the 2000 Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, is a regulation that prescribes safeguards to protect workers against health hazards related to bloodborne pathogens.

Can I get bloodborne pathogen certification online?

Yes. In fact, this is the predominant way this certification is obtained. There are many authorized websites that offer this training. What makes the online training so popular is the fact you can go through it at your own pace; you can pause it at any time, and go back to it once you have the time. Also, you have access to the material as soon as you register. This is especially convenient if you’re already working.


Bloodborne pathogen training is something all permanent makeup artists should consider, even if neither state laws and regulations nor your employer requires you to take it. It only takes a few hours, but it provides you with all the information you need in order be protected from diseases transmitted through contact with infected blood.

Remember to always follow health and safety precautions and be responsible towards your clients and yourself!



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