If you’re looking to become a dog groomer in the New Year, you’ve come to the right place! You need professional training if you want to be seen as trustworthy by both pet parents and employers. But when it comes to enrolling in dog grooming courses, how do you know which course is best?
Simple – you just to need to ask the right questions! First, ask yourself what kind of pet grooming career you’re most interested in. Are you more of a salon groomer or do you want the flexibility of being a freelance mobile groomer? From there, you can decide the type of content your course should focus on.
Next, you should contact your list of potential grooming schools and ask a couple of key questions. For example, who will be teaching you? How many years’ experience does your tutor have in the industry? And what’s the course time frame like? Are there deadlines or exams to be aware of? What kind of certification will you receive?
Read on for a quick guide on how to find the best dog grooming school for you!
Let’s dive right into it. Before you enroll in a grooming course, you should know exactly what you’ll be learning! Yes, cost is important – but it shouldn’t be the only factor in deciding which course to take.
For instance, a course might offer you an externship or include job placements as part of your training. But what you should be looking for is the catch – many grooming schools call your practical units an “externship” where you work in a real salon or in a retail grooming location, however, they don’t actually help you find a placement! We’re sure you can already see the issue here…
The practical portion of your dog grooming course is the most important part of your training. So what will you do if you can’t find that externship? How will you complete your course and start your career if you don’t have any practical experience? On top of wasting your hard-earned tuition money, it seems pretty sneaky.
One thing to note about courses that don’t force you to participate in an externship or placement? You can still find these on your own if you want to! The point is that you practice your practical skills and submit your work for grading, NOT that you show up to a grooming salon every day.
Next up, you should look into what you’ll actually be paying for. A trustworthy dog grooming school will be transparent about what your tuition includes. The main content you should be paying for are the course materials, like books, video content, access to an online platform, and a starter kit. The secondary content you should be paying for is your tutor’s feedback and grading, student support, and additional perks from your school – whatever they may have to offer!
Be diligent in how many materials you’ll receive, and be sure to ask questions in terms of the number of books, hours of video content, and what’s in your dog grooming kit. This will allow you to break down the tuition cost and see the education you’re paying for more clearly.
First Aid Training
On top of all this, your dog grooming course should have a unit on first aid. At the very least it should teach you the basics! You’ll be working with live animals, and you need to be fully qualified to handle any situation that comes your way. Small nicks are common during grooming appointments, and there’s a quick fix for them – it’s just about knowing what to do.
Be sure you get first aid training as a groomer, and you’ll be confident to handle any appointment.
Next up, let’s delve into a big factor in choosing a course – tuition. I know we mentioned that this shouldn’t be the main focus of your choice, but we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t the final determinant.
So, other than your course materials, how can you tell which course is best for you in terms of tuition? Basically, you need to know where your personal finances sit, and what you can afford to spend on your education. From there, you’ll want to learn about any available payment plans or discounts from each school.
If you find that your budget calls for smaller payments over time, find a school that’s willing to work out a plan with you. Or, if you’re able to pay off your full tuition right away, see if your school will offer you a discount. This is a great way to save a few dollars on your education, without sacrificing the quality of your training!
Just as well, if one course is offered at half or a third of the price of another – and they both share very similar content and materials – you should question why one is so much more expensive. More likely than not, there’s no real reason for it!
One area to look into in all dog grooming courses is whether or not there’s a final exam. Now, what you want to find out about your school is what the exam includes. Sometimes a final exam is just a test that you need to pass to complete the course – which seems a bit unfair if you’ve successfully completed all the other aspects of your training!
Since dog grooming is an unregulated field, taking a final exam won’t really make a difference in your qualifications. When it comes to grooming licenses, they’re mainly about opening a business in your locality and having the permissions to run a salon – not about your training! In a nutshell, an exam won’t be the defining factor in your education. It’s what you learn throughout the entirety of the course that matters to your career.
Need more information? Find out what else you should look for in a dog grooming course!
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Get inspired to set your own New Year’s resolutions as Casey Bechard, certified groomer, walks you through her dog grooming career and salon plans for 2019!