Tattoo SchoolsThere are two schools of thought (excuse the pun), on this subject.
The first - tattooing should only be taught the old fashioned way of doing a long term apprenticeship, with no pay and filled with months of cleaning the shop, being somewhat of a slave to the working artists, and sometimes being treated in a worthless manner. You can get an idea of the process from Miami Ink. I have talked to a couple of local shop owners and not only is this their method of teaching but it usually requires a substantial fee from the apprentice. Eventually, the future artist is allowed to practice the art and progress from there....
The second - and more current approach is to actually attend a school or take a course in this popular art. These range from a quick 2 week course to months in duration. And yes, they are costly also, but the focus is on teaching the art of tattooing and using a hands-on approach. I am more familiar with this method and think it is a straight forward and valuable option to people searching a way to break in to this popular vocation. Unfortunately, some people are of the opinion this way is lame and not a reputable approach.
Tattoo SchoolsI believe both approaches are valid and the idea of "tattoo schools" does not deserve the criticism it currently gets. There are a lot of people that have to work for a living and taking a course packed with instruction is their only option