How Do I Learn and Get Experience Dog Grooming?

There are NO dog grooming schools nearby,which is crazy as I live in "the gateway to the west". The only school around has outrageous tuition fees and since it's a private college(and not a trade school) financial aid is not available. The basic bather class is around $ 1k(which in my opinion is useless in the field on it's own) with a full grooming training/classes around $ 8-9k PLUS materials you have to buy from them around $ 1-2k

So without a school around my next best option is on the job training right?I have applied in nearly every grooming salon including big chains such as Petsmart and Petco. They are either wanting groomers with experience or the base level job gets filled and I have applied time after time. OR they are always "accepting applications" but don't tell you if jobs are available or not. They are even wanting experienced dog bathers! HOW is anyone to get experience if no one is willing to hire someone without experience?! (welcome to the experience that so many fresh out of college kids are feeling as well)

I'm getting really frustrated as it's my dream to one day open my own grooming and cage-free boarding facility but at this rate I feel like I'm never going to get my dream even off the ground!

So what do I do? Do I save up money to go to the nearest pet grooming school?…but then will I have the schooling but once again NO experience and be in the same predictiment as before? Do I just keep applying and applying and hope one day I get hired at a entry level position and learn grooming?



I would say start saving. Because even if you get hired somewhere you will need your own equipment when you start learning and you are responsible for it's upkeep. That's a normal part of grooming. Keep applying and talking to the other salons. Right now is a slow time for most groomers so they are not looking to hire on anyone new typically. But by letting them know that you are interested they may keep you in mind. As long as your aren't making a pest of yourself and showing up every two weeks.

If you do the school, then yes you will be starting out trained but with no experience but that is still better than with nothing.

I assume you are in St. Louis,it's a bit of a drive but in Kansas City in May there is the Groom Classic trade show. It would give you a chance to see what is out there and possibly take some of the seminars.

Source: How Do I Learn and Get Experience Dog Grooming?

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