If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’ve decided to finally turn your dream of becoming a professional dog groomer into a reality. First of all, congratulations! You’ve just taken the most important step, so you should definitely be proud of yourself. But now you might be wondering: “Where should I get my certification training? How do I find the right dog grooming school near me?”
Here’s the good news: you’ve come to the right place! Today, that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss. So, find a comfy place to put your feet up. In less time than it’d take to watch one episode of your favorite show on Netflix, I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know in order to get your dream career started in the right direction!
The Importance of Dog Grooming School
In the world of professional dog grooming, you absolutely need to be a subject-matter expert. The only way to truly become a subject-matter expert is to get the necessary experience and credentials under their belt. Not only will dog grooming school give you this necessary skill-set; it’ll dramatically increase your chances of booking clients, since they’ll be better able to trust their precious dogs being left in your care.
Think of it this way: would you go get an operation performed on you by a guy whose medical “training” consisted solely of watching YouTube videos? Probably not.
(And if so, I definitely have some questions I need answered…)
The reality is, clients expect the same standard from the dog groomers they choose to pay and work with. After all, their dogs are more than just dogs – they’re beloved and valued members of the family. Thus, expectations will be high – and rightfully so. If a client ever has the choice between hiring a groomer with a professional certification, versus hiring a groomer without one, they will ALWAYS choose the person with training.
Trust me, your best bet for long-term success is to get a reputable certification.
“So, How Can I Find the Right Dog Grooming School Near Me?”
Now that you understand why dog grooming school is so important, the next step is to decide which school you should be training with. Luckily, there are countless options at your disposal, both in terms of online and brick-and-mortar programs. But with so many choices, it can be easily to feel a little overwhelmed. With so much information available, how can you truly know which dog grooming school near you is the right fit?
Ultimately, it all boils down to you! What’s your preferred learning style/preferences? What are the goals you have for your career as a groomer?
Here are a few questions I recommend answering, in order to help you narrow down your educational needs:
- Do you prefer to learn in a physical classroom? Or would you rather learn from the comfort of home?
- How flexible is your schedule? Can you commit to set classroom hours every week? Or do you need more flexibility and would prefer to set your own study schedule?
- What’s your budget for dog grooming school? Can you afford to pay the full tuition upfront, or would you benefit from a monthly payment plan?
- What type of dog groomer do you want to be? For instance, do you want to work within an existing salon? Start your own business? Provide mobile services?
- Is there a certain amount of time by which you’d prefer to graduate from dog grooming school and have your certification in hand?
- Consider your short AND long-term career goals as a groomer. What would the dog grooming school’s training need to look like in order to help you achieve these goals?
By going through each question and answering them honestly, you’ll be able to make the first important decision: whether you want to attend a physical or an online dog grooming school.
In-Person Dog Grooming School
For some, brick-and-mortar schools are the only way to go. If you’re considering this route, all the power to you! If you put “dog grooming school near me” into any search engine, such as Google, you’ll be able to see which institutions are in or around your local area.
However, it’s important that you consider every aspect of this decision. One perk is that you’ll be surrounded by your peers, in addition to your instructor. Working alongside others – especially after a year and a half of isolation – is undoubtedly tempting. Moreover, some people prefer to abide by a strict, set schedule. If you thrive on routine, it’s easy to understand why in-person training would be so appealing to you.
That being said, there are also some downsides to consider as well. For starters, tuition for a brick-and-mortar school is typically much pricier than that of an online dog grooming school. A fair chunk of your money won’t be going towards you or your actual training. Rather, it’ll go towards helping the institution with overhead costs (i.e. building maintenance and staff salaries).
Secondly, you’ll need to complete your training at the same pace as everyone else. So, if you’d prefer to graduate in less than one year, but the course is exactly one year long, you’re basically out of luck. You’ll need to wait it out and stick to the pace of your peers.
Moreover, in-person schools offer a LOT less flexibility. For example, if you have an emergency and can’t make class that day? That’s unfortunate – but also too bad. What if you have a practical test schedule on the same day that your boss is asking you to come into work? Well, it’ll be on you to figure things out, compromise, and shift your schedule around.
In a nutshell, it’ll be your responsibility (and yours alone) to adjust to the school’s schedule – not the other way around.
What About an Online Dog Grooming School?
Depending on where you live, it can be tricky to find a high-quality dog grooming school near you. This is one of the major benefits of online schooling – you have a lot more options available to you, and all of them can be done entirely from the comfort of home!
If the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all capable of adapting our lives to the digital world. Distanced learning has been around – and a popular option – for years. But over the course of 2020 alone, it became the single most prominent form of education. We all quickly discovered that online learning offers the exact same high-quality education, but with a LOT more personalized, flexible, and comfortable experience.
No, you won’t be sitting in the same classroom as your peers or your instructor. This is a downside for some people. That being said, the right online dog grooming school will still provide many ways for you to connect and network with fellow students, graduates, tutors, etc. This way, the absence of physical interactions is barely noticed!
For example, QC Pet Studies is incredible active on social media, and many of our students and alumni have connected through there. Additionally, we also provide an Online Student Center that you have unlimited access to, even after you graduate. The latter has become especially popular, as the QC community is easily able to come together, ask questions, swap experiences, and give insightful industry advice.
Tuition, Pace, and Flexibility
Let’s revisit the 3 downsides we just looked at for brick-and-mortar dog grooming schools. The beauty of an online grooming school is that NONE of these apply!
Firstly, the cost of your training will be substantially cheaper with an online school. This is because there’s no physical campus to take care of or maintain. Furthermore, many online dog grooming schools – such as QC Pet Studies – will ensure to give you the most for your money. Practically everything you need will be included and provided to you within your course’s tuition fee. As a result, you won’t need to pay any additional costs for your course materials, a physical copy of your materials, your starter kit, shipping fees for those materials, etc.
Next, there’s the pace of online learning. With QC Pet Studies, for instance, our courses are 100% self-paced! From the day you enroll, you get 2 full years to completed your training. That said, you can use as little or as much of that time as you need. There are no deadlines for assignments, quizzes, or units. In fact, many of our graduates have found that by simply devoting 1-2 hours per week on their training, they were able to graduate and earn their internationally-recognized certification in less than 1 year.
I don’t know about you – but to me, this definitely sounds manageable for ANY schedule or lifestyle!
Lastly, online dog grooming school offers a level of flexibility you simply won’t be able to find anywhere else. Since there’s no pressure to travel to or attend in-person classes, you can complete all of your training from literally anywhere you want. Moreover, you can work on your studies at any time of the day.
Want to get some readings done in the middle of the night while in your jammies? You can do that! Feel like watching an instructional video while sitting in your car in-between errands? You can do that, too!
And just because your training is online doesn’t mean you won’t still get all sorts of invaluable hands-on experience. QC’s Dog Grooming Course, for example, will have you performing real-life grooms on all sorts of dog breeds in every single unit!
So, What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you’re interested in exploring distance learning, it’s time to put on your detective hat and do some digging! My first recommendation would be to check out these 6 shady red flags to avoid when researching online dog grooming schools. Afterwards, feel free to check out this awesome review of QC Pet Studies by our very own graduate, April Costigan!
Got any questions or comments? Tell us in the comments below! And as always, thank you so much for reading.