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 doesn’t have to be 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
As with any new venture, setting goals is extremely important. Take some time to reflect on the career you really want – do you dream of one day being your own boss and running a business? Or do you think you’re better suited for retail grooming? These are things that should be considered carefully at this stage of the game, as they’ll influence what you’ll do next.
You should also 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. In short, online courses will allow you a great deal of flexibility, and you can hang on to your full-time job while making your dog grooming dreams a reality!
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 schools‘ websites and curriculum. Not all courses are created equal!
Set some goals for yourself that take training, practice, and time management into account, and consider this an important stepping stone as you begin your career.
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 technically don’t need a certification to work in the field. However, don’t put too much stock in this fact. You can’t just wake up one day and be a professional groomer – and what dog owner would be comfortable leaving their beloved pets in the care of someone who has zero training? They wouldn’t have any confidence in your abilities, and this will not translate to a successful grooming career!
Long story short, being a certified 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. Do your research and look for resources such as product discounts, as well as tuition costs and certifications, and then making a short-list of schools that match your criteria. Don’t rush through this process! The course you choose will end up shaping who you are as a dog groomer…
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 it’s 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!
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. Making the most of your grooming course is in your best interest and a necessary step on the path to your career. Here, 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 dog grooming, 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 offer your grooming services to friends and family with pets – you’d be surprised at how willing pet owners are to help you train and learn!
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 shows that you can capably groom dogs. But it also demonstrates that you possess professional training and that you were able to succeed at a grooming course. 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! But do everything you can to stay on track of your assignments and get that hands-on experience! Don’t lose sight of those 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
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, including mobile dog grooming, dog styling, and freelance grooming (to name a few!).
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.
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