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Weighing Career Options
Choosing a career path is one of those major life decisions that should be carefully weighed. If you find a career that plays to your particular strengths and passions and is in high demand, congratulations! You’re off to a spectacular start.
Anyone who is passionate about animals, is good with their hands, and has an artistic flair might want to look at a dog grooming career. It allows you to spend your days working with every kind of dog breed imaginable, employing your creative talents to make them look their best.
The Right Path to a Dog Grooming Career
Since dog groomers do not have to be licensed or have a diploma or degree, there are a variety of ways to get started. However, the best way to gain the knowledge needed, acquire skills quickly, and assure clients and prospective employers that you know what you’re doing is to enroll in a dog grooming school.
Dog grooming schools teach the career in a focused, comprehensive manner, as opposed to picking up the trade any way you can–often by a painful trial and error process.
You may think that you’d have to go to school in person to learn a hands-on career like dog grooming. Fortunately, there are online programs that have an apprenticeship component, allowing you to gain plenty of real-world grooming experience once the online learning portion has been completed.
If you are a self-motivated person and you want to be able to start your career as soon as possible, you can complete some online dog grooming programs in about 12 months. Another advantage of online programs is that they are flexible enough to allow you to continue to work full time or take care of other responsibilities while you learn.
Take Your Time Choosing the Right Dog Grooming School
Choosing the right dog grooming school makes a lot of difference in how well-prepared you are to start your career. Never get in a rush or allow an over-zealous program administrator to pressure you into enrolling before you understand what you’re getting into. Do your research.
Here are some questions you should get the answers to before committing to a dog grooming school:
- Is the school approved by any national organizations?
- Is there continuing support for alumni?
- Does the school help graduates find a job?
- Does the program include all the skills necessary to work as a groomer?
- Do students get good support from staff or program managers?
- What is the certification rate?
- What percentage of students are employed in the field after certification?
- Does the school have a good reputation?
- Does the school have a long history?
- Who authored the curriculum?
- Is the curriculum up to date?
- Is there opportunity for hands-on experience in a professional setting?
- Do former students give the school high praise?
Remember, you are choosing the school that will train you for your life’s work. If you want the best chance to have a good student experience and get the training that you need to succeed, do your homework before you enroll in any dog grooming school.
What Should a Dog Grooming Curriculum Include?
You should expect a comprehensive dog grooming certification program to include all of the knowledge and training necessary to start a career. You may not be ready to specialize, and there may be more aspects of dog grooming you want to explore, but upon getting certified you should definitely be confident in your ability to perform a full groom well.
A good dog grooming curriculum should teach:
- Basic anatomy
- Breed identification and body conformation
- How to use the tools of the trade safely and properly
- Safe restraint and handling
- Bathing and drying
- Nail trimming
- Ear cleaning
- Skin inspection
- Clipping technique
- Hand scissoring
- Hand stripping
- Pet First Aid and CPR
If all of these basics are not included in the school’s curriculum, as well as a means for getting real world experience, do not give it serious consideration; as you may not be adequately trained in such a program.
Consider Animal Behavior College
As the largest pet career school in North America, Animal Behavior College has been certifying dog trainers and groomers for a long time. Since 1998, more than 35,000 students have earned their certification in a variety of animal careers.
Anyone considering a dog grooming school would do well to check out ABC’s grooming instruction program. To learn more, or to speak with an admissions counselor, call 800-795-3294 today.