Loving dogs is probably the number one priority if you want to become a dog groomer. But aside from enjoying being around our four-legged friends, there are other steps to take if you’re serious about making a career out of it.
Many people have been made redundant due to the pandemic and many more are looking for a fresh start. The benefits of becoming a qualified dog groomer means you can work for an established brand, such as a pet store chain, or you could start your own business. If you’re considering switching careers, then read on for more on how to become a dog groomer.
How to become a dog groomer with online learning
Dog grooming is about more than just washing the customer’s pooch. It’s the kind of job that comes with a lot of responsibility and the need for excellent client skills. People are very attached to their dogs and will often be nervous about leaving them with a total stranger. Particularly when you start out as a newly qualified dog groomer, you’ll find that much of the role is about establishing trust and working on your customer care.
As well as learning how to properly wash, brush and groom a dog, you’ll also need to be able to give their owner’s trustworthy advice on coat care, grooming, diet, claw clipping and ear cleaning. Shaw Academy instructors advise combining an online course with practical work experience in an established dog grooming salon if possible.
Course reviews of the Shaw Academy dog Grooming Course Online include high praise for the level of information delivered in the webinars. We know that dog grooming is a popular career option, and we want to make gaining accredited qualifications accessible to everyone. You can read more reviews of Shaw Academy grooming courses here.
How much can you make as a professional dog groomer?
The average salary for a dog groomer starts at around £13,000 per annum for someone starting out. Experienced groomers can expect to earn in excess of £20,000 and if you choose to start your own business, then you may well earn more after a few years’ experience. This is based on a full-time role as a dog groomer but there are often positions available at established grooming businesses for part-time staff too.
To become a dog groomer, you will need to gain a qualification, whether it’s through online learning at Shaw Academy or by going to college. Entry requirements for college tend to be at least two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 while online learning courses tend to need commitment and focus rather than specific exam results on entry.
A good way to get used to working with dogs in a professional capacity is by combining studies with volunteering. You could get some really useful experience by volunteering to work with dogs in kennels. Try major charities such as Guide Dogs or Blue Cross in your area to see whether there are any voluntary positions open. Alternatively, you could begin working as an assistant or trainee dog groomer with an experienced business owner and learn on the job.
What kind of skills and experience will you need to be a dog groomer?
People who are suited to a career as a dog groomer need the following skills and traits:
- Thoroughness and attention to detail.
- High level of customer service skills.
- Able to use initiative and make decisions.
- Flexibility and adaptability to what customers want.
- A high degree of patience.
- The ability to remain calm under stress.
- Able to work well with lots of types of people.
- Open to constructive criticism.
- Exemplary communication skills, both written and verbal.
- A degree of computer literacy.
The kinds of tasks you’ll undertake as a dog groomer include:
- Checking for minor parasites or obvious disorders – this is never a substitute for a vet check-up, but you should be able to see whether the dog is generally healthy and free from fleas and ticks, for example.
- Shampooing and drying the dog’s coat.
- Shaping the dog’s coat using a stripping tool or electric clippers.
- Trimming and styling the dog’s coat using scissors.
- Keeping the dog comfortable and relaxed while you’re grooming him or her.
- Maintaining accurate and communicative records.
Depending on your career plans, you could be working in someone else’s salon, your own salon, in a client’s home, at a dog day care/boarding facility or at a vet’s office. Remember that the work is sometimes messy and always physically demanding.
When you have built up enough training and experience, you could branch off into becoming self-employed. This could mean working as a mobile groomer visiting owners homes, heading to pet shops, kennels or anywhere else that needs a professional groomer. You could also eventually take it further and become a trainer yourself.
It’s a career with a definite path to climb and there are opportunities out there. And for dog lovers, grooming can be the real dream job. Have a look at the Shaw Academy dog grooming course here to find out what’s included. And for more about Shaw Academy online learning head over to our dedicated reviews website here.