Thinking of becoming a dog groomer? You’ve chosen a dynamic, rewarding, and profitable career path! Whether you’re embarking on your first career or switching over from another, it can be very intimidating. But starting your dog grooming career isn’t as hard as some make it seem.

In fact, you can start a career in dog grooming by following just 6 easy steps. Intrigued? Keep reading!

1. Set goals

You can’t get anywhere without a clear goal to strive for. Take some time to sit down and define your goals. Ask yourself why you’re interested in the pet grooming industry. Do you want to work at a salon or do mobile grooming? Are you hoping to work for a store like PetCo or start your own dog grooming business? Are you interested in only doing grooming part-time?

pet grooming academy teaches you how to groom both dogs and cats

Consider each of these questions carefully. Your education and training will change depending on your answers. For example, if you’re interested in grooming more than just dogs, you may want to attend a pet grooming academy that also offers cat grooming training. And if you want to own your own business, you’ll want to find dog grooming classes that offer business training.

Set goals for yourself that take training, practice, and time management into account. You’ll need these once you’re searching for your first dog grooming job.

Speaking of training…

2. Find the right dog grooming course

This one is huge. Dog grooming is not a regulated industry. I repeat: it’s not a regulated industry! You don’t need a certification to work in the field. But it can be difficult to get loving pet owners to trust you with their precious pups just on your word. When you earn a dog grooming certification that you can proudly display above your grooming table, you’ll earn the confidence of owners. They’ll know that you’re a true professional who has dedicated their time in learning expert techniques.

dog grooming course puppy after groom

Long story short, being a certified dog groomer will make your life a lot easier when securing clients and building your brand.

Now for the tricky part – finding the right dog grooming course for your own career goals.

Seriously consider the time you can allocate to a course, and read up on the benefits of online dog grooming courses versus in-class courses. From there, you’ll need to find the right online school for you. Do your due diligence when it comes to this part. Compare multiple pet grooming schools‘ websites and curriculum. Not all courses are created equal!

Enrolling in pet grooming classes is an important stepping stone to your success—choose wisely!

3. Make the most of your course

Choosing a dog grooming course is one thing, but carving out time to study, finding dogs for your assignments, and actually completing your assignments is an entirely different beast. Create a weekly schedule where you’re allowed several hours a week to study. Ensure you give yourself enough time to closely read your course materials and complete your practical assignments! Setting aside the same time each week allows you to keep on track throughout the duration of your dog grooming course!

dog grooming school student practicing grooming at home

You want to ensure that you’re on top of your readings and assignments. Take the time to truly understand your tutor’s feedback, and use it to help you complete the next unit. Make the most of your grooming course, as it is a necessary step on the path to your career! In your course, you’ll learn the knowledge and techniques needed for the highly rewarding and challenging role of a groomer.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

In some professions, the best training comes from textbooks and course guides. You can expect to spend a great deal of time with your nose in a book, and absorb the information you need to be successful.

However, dog grooming is not really one of these professions.

In order to really learn how to groom a dog professionally (and safely!), you need to practice and log hours of hands-on training. Only by actually working on dogs can you fully understand the ins-and-outs of grooming, how to work with different dog breeds, and master technical skills. You’ll be spending your days as a groomer facing different situations and dealing with new dogs. So this is the time to really develop your skills and gain confidence.

Use every free moment you can to work on different breeds, and don’t be afraid to approach your friends and family with pets – you’d be surprised at how willing pet owners are to help you train and learn!

dog grooming course practicing

5. Get your certification

We mentioned earlier how important a dog groomer certification is, but we really can’t stress this enough! Getting certified as a professional dog groomer not only shows that you can capably groom dogs, but it also demonstrates that you possess professional training and that you graduated successfully from your grooming classes. Never underestimate how a dog grooming certificate will look to potential clients and employers – it’s a huge deal, and will allow everyone you meet to be confident in your abilities, including yourself!

Completing a course is no easy feat! Don’t lose sight of the goals you set for yourself at the very beginning. This will all pay off when you have your certification in hand and are ready to put your skills to use in the real world!

6. Start your dog grooming career

qc pet studies dog happy after dog grooming job

After you’ve earned your certification, it’s time to get out there and start your dog grooming career! And we have some great news – there are several exciting career paths available to you as a certified dog groomer. From working freelance to volunteering at dog shelters, there are many rewarding opportunities for you. And if you like to venture off the beaten path? Unique industry jobs such as movie-set groomer and dog cafe owner widen your scope even more!

To really get the ball rolling, meet people, market your services through a professional website and social media, and take on volunteer grooming jobs. Keep in mind that word-of-mouth is huge in this industry, and news of a professional, trained, and experienced dog groomer will travel fast!

Be patient, compassionate and gentle with every dog and owner you meet, and you’ll find that your career will grow quickly.

Not sure if you can earn a living as a professional groomer? Find out the average salary of a dog groomer!

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