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Penn-Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Penn-Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Penn Foster High School

High School Diploma
Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Animal Groomer Educational Requirements

Find out what skills a professional animal groomer needs and options for learning these skills through hands-on and classroom instruction, as well as online options. Brush up on voluntary professional certifications for animal groomers.

What You Need to Know

Animal groomers receive their education from grooming schools, apprenticeships, or certificate programs. The courses offered by these programs prepare prospective groomers for all aspects of the grooming business, from proper grooming practices to business ownership.

Training Apprenticeships, certificate programs, standalone courses
Schools In-person and online schools available
Salary (July 2018)* $29,984 (Median for dog groomers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, *Payscale.com, Penn Foster Career School, Canine Clippers, Inc.

How Do Educational Programs Work?

In an apprenticeship program, you will work alongside a master groomer for 6-10 weeks. You may start out with bathing and drying dogs and then move on to learn the entire grooming process. Apprenticeship opportunities may be available through established groomers in your community. Grooming schools typically require a high school diploma or equivalent for acceptance.

What Other Programs Can I Take?

Diploma and certificate programs are available through state-licensed or private grooming schools. Your training program can last an average of 2-18 weeks and consists of academic instruction and hands-on training. Depending on the program you choose, you may be required to purchase your own tools of the trade.

What Courses Will I Take?

Some programs offer you an expanded curriculum that includes business topics. You'll also be studying a variety of courses in handling animals properly. Your hands-on training may cover topics such as:

  • Bathing and fluff drying
  • Combing and brushing techniques
  • Cuts and grooming
  • Special finish techniques
  • Animal anatomy
  • Equipment selection
  • Caring for equipment
  • Sanitation and sterilization
  • Dental care
  • Business ownership
  • Breed recognition
  • Behavioral problems
  • Client relations
  • Shop operations

Do I Need to Be Licensed?

There are no licensing requirements for animal groomers; however, voluntary certifications are available. Experience and certification may lead to better employment opportunities or easier career advancement. The National Dog Groomers Association of America offers certification to groomers who demonstrate proficient skill and have passed two exams.

Can I Train Online?

Dog grooming training is also available in distance learning format. Coursework and tests are all conducted via the Internet. Communication with instructors is typically through e-mail and telephone. Some programs offer externship opportunities, which allow you to gain hands-on experience assisting professional groomers.