Are you considering taking the plunge into the pawsome world of dog grooming but unsure whether you want (or need) to take a course? To help you make an informed decision, here’s an overview of the pros and cons of dog grooming education!
PRO: Builds Confidence
Novice groomers can view education as a highly valuable tool in their dog grooming tool belt. A grooming course is particularly important if you have little or no previous experience in the field. Professional training shows clients that you’re a well-rounded groomer. Most programs are comprehensive and cover a wide range of topics that you may not be exposed to otherwise.
There are tons of opportunities in this field (everyone seems to have a pet these days), but it can also be highly competitive. As a budding groomer, you’ll have competitors who have been in the field for many years, are well-known within the industry, and already have a strong client-base. How can you possibly compete with that? Well, one way to become a viable contender is by getting a comprehensive education backed by a certificate of completion so you can hit the ground running. You’ll enter the field feeling prepared and accomplished, ready to take your competition by storm!
CON: Unregulated Field
The dog grooming industry is largely unregulated world-wide. What this means is that there is no legal requirement for education or certification in order to work in the field. If you have prior grooming experience, are confident in your abilities and a well-developed client-base then you may not need a grooming course. It could benefit you more if you used the money you would have invested in a course to polish your business plan and ramp up your marketing efforts instead.
PRO: Membership with Professional Associations
Many associations will only accept members who have completed a grooming program and are working professionals in the field. Membership with a professional association lends credibility to your business as well as access to many exclusive industry benefits!
Each association will provide slightly different benefits. In general, you can expect a business listing on the association’s website, opportunities to network with your peers, access to member discounts on continuing education, newsletters, resource libraries, annual conferences and more!
Keep in mind that most memberships will come at a cost. Associations charge annual fees for the privilege of membership. However, most do offer discounted rates to students.
CON: Diverts Focus
Sure, having a formal education and being a member of a professional association will help boost your credibility with clients, but some groomers rely too heavily on these aspects. It is equally important to spend time developing a solid business plan, practicing your craft, networking within the industry and establishing a client-base.
Do not assume a certificate of completion is either a shortcut to success or a guarantee of employment. It does not replace the legwork required to get your business off the ground!
PRO: Preferred by Clients and Employers
Although the field is largely unregulated, a certificate from a professional grooming program is definitely preferred by clients and employers! A formal education indicates more than just a solid foundation in dog grooming. It also shows that you have the ability to follow through on commitments, manage deadlines and meet pre-determined goals! In many ways, your certificate of completion is a symbol of your passion for the industry and your drive for success.
Clients and employers need to be confident in the groomer they choose since in many cases the dog is a member of the family! Graduating from a dog grooming program helps gain their trust and gives you that edge of being an “industry expert.” Your certificate makes you more marketable for exactly this reason. You can use it as an additional selling feature to help set you apart from your competition!
Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons of pet grooming certification you can make an educated decision about whether becoming certified makes sense for you!
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Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!