If you’re wondering just how to establish yourself in your area after becoming a professional dog groomer, a great way to start is by looking into your local or national associations. Joining a local groomer’s association will not only afford you the opportunity to make key industry connections, but you’ll also be able to integrate into the grooming community and make friends who work in the same field!

Beyond just the local associations, you should look into national and international associations, too. While establishing close friendships is a bit harder on an international level, you’ll have access to a whole host of perks and benefits that may not be possible if you stay local.

Now do I have your attention? Good! Read on to find out which associations every certified dog groomer should be joining!

professional pet groomer grooming a dog

The Perks of Joining a Grooming Association

As a freshly minted dog groomer, you may not be aware of just how many groomers are out there! Well there are tons! Dog grooming is largely unregulated around the world, so anyone could theoretically wake up one morning and decide to become a groomer. So how can you ensure you stand out from all the inexperienced and sometimes unskilled groomers? By voluntarily joining an organization, you’ll gain credibility as a professional groomer.

The only downside is that many associations require you to pay an annual fee to maintain membership. It all works out to benefit you, though! Associations can provide opportunities for further education, networking, conferences, seminars, grooming shows, and more! Some associations are constantly examining new techniques, disseminating best practices, and implementing new standards that push groomers to stay at the top of their game. Many groomers find them helpful when trying to continue learning and staying current with industry trends.

Key Dog Grooming Certification Associations

Now that we’ve covered all the benefits of joining a professional association, let’s delve into which organizations you should be looking into!

International Professional Groomers, Inc.

  • Description: They require members to pay a membership fee and keep up with annual continued education in order to gain and maintain membership. If you wish to be certified through them, you’ll have to pay extra money to purchase their certification packages!
  • Location: Oregon, United States
  • Fees: $97

National Dog Groomers Association of America

  • Description: They have a wealth of insurance and health programs available to their members. They also include discount cards such as the Hertz Member Discount card and even their own branded Gold Mastercard in select membership tiers!
  • Location: Philadelphia, United States
  • Fees: $90

International Society of Canine Cosmetologists

  • Description: A for-profit organization focused on networking and education programs. They actually offer an Employment Assistance Program that helps secure groomers work in their field! Please note that the membership doesn’t pay for the seminars or other services.
  • Location: Texas, United States
  • Fees: $125-$480 depending on whether you’re applying as an individual or a salon.

Bathing dogs as a professional groomers

National Groomer Association of Canada

  • Description: A not-for-profit organization for Canadian groomers. Your membership includes accident/injury insurance 24/7 every day of the year for $50,000! You’ll also have access to discounts from specific distributors or retailers for your grooming needs.
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
  • Fees: Between $250-$350 depending on whether you’re joining as an individual or company.

Canadian Professional Pet Stylists

  • Description: A Federally registered certification association for dog groomers. They have three levels of certification which all have separate written and practical tests, and you must be a member with them first before you can take their certification test.
  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
  • Fees: Prices range from $35-$50 annually depending on if you’re a current student or an established groomer.

International Groomers Association

  • Description: Truly international, this association has members all over Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia. They also have a Judge Training Program for those who wish to judge grooming-related events in China, South East Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas!
  • Location: Singapore
  • Fees $30 SGD for 3 years—the cheapest of all membership fees we’ve mentioned.

Venturing out into the world of dog grooming can be a daunting task. But if you decide to join an association, you’ve got yourself a safety net and support system to get you through the hard uphill climb!

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