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PET GROOMER - Education And Training

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCool Careers Without CollegePET GROOMER - Description, Education And Training, Outlook, For More Information - A Cautionary Note

Education and Training

As with most jobs where you're around other people's pets day in and day out, you'd better love animals if you want to be a groomer. The dogs and cats you see will often be dirty, stinky, and shedding hair when they're placed on your table. You have to be able to see through the mess and imagine—and eventually create—perfection.

Start by spending as much time as you can around pets—your own, your neighbors', your friends'. Offer to clean your friends' pets for free, and see how hard it is to keep an animal calm while you do strange things to it like comb its hair and wash its tail.

In high school, take as many courses as you can in subjects like business, health, math, and science. An important part of being a career groomer is knowing how to run your own business. It's very helpful to have good bookkeeping and office-management skills. Also take art and design classes, as creativity is a major part of being a good groomer. You need a great imagination to turn dirty creatures into works of art of which their owners will be proud. Finally, read all the books you can find on grooming and pet care.

For now there are no certification requirements for groomers, but that may change in the future. Still, it's a good idea to take pet-grooming courses or to attend a pet-grooming school approved by the National Dog Groomers Association of America. Grooming schools train professional pet groomers. They're a great way to gain hands-on grooming experience. You'll learn bathing, brushing, and clipping techniques, as well as animal anatomy and physiology. You'll also learn proper styling techniques for different breeds—an important skill if you end up working with show dogs. Finally, you'll learn what it takes to run your own pet-grooming business. Upon graduation from such a school, you're qualified to take an exam. Pass the exam and you'll be NDGAA-certified—a great addition to your grooming résumé!

Most aspiring groomers also gain confidence in their skills by apprenticing with professionals. By working under an experienced groomer, or in any aspect of pet care, whether in a veterinary office, a pet shop, or a kennel, you'll learn everything you need to know and will be thoroughly prepared to begin a promising career.

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