How to Become a Dog Groomer in California

To become a dog groomer in California, interested individuals must understand the grooming requirements for various dog breeds. This involves learning different techniques that go beyond traditional methods of doing things. To do so, candidates must attend a quality training program in the area.

They also have to go through a handful of processes to ensure that they are in line with state requirements and that they are as appealing to potential employers as possible.

We look at some of the most essential steps involved in doing so below.

Steps to Become a Dog Groomer in California

The following are the steps involved in becoming a dog groomer in California.

Step 1: Receive Appropriate Education

Enrolling in a training program is the first and most crucial step to becoming a dog groomer in California. Here, the primary objective would be to receive the skills and knowledge needed to complete the job at a very high level.

Dog grooming schools offer classes dealing with multiple areas of techniques and practices. Some of these are compulsory, while some are geared towards specialty areas.

Additionally, candidates who desire flexibility may also choose to attend online programs.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Candidates who enroll in a dog grooming school will undoubtedly have learned about various important topics. However, learning about it theoretically differs from practicing what is being taught.

Thankfully, most dog grooming schools also incorporate a lot of hands-on training mechanisms that allow students to gain experience before they graduate.

Those who attend training programs where such hands-on training is not implemented can still acquire real-world experience by working as groomers in training under the supervision of experienced dog groomers in the area.

Step 3: Become Certified

Lastly, aspiring dog groomers in California who have graduated from a training school and have received practical experience are usually advised to earn appropriate certification before they start working.

Even though it is not mandatory, certification offers various benefits, including helping professionals verify their skills and stand out among competitors. Most certifying bodies also allow members to improve their skills, keep up with recent developments, and network with fellow professionals.

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Licensure & Certification Requirements

While there are few alternatives regarding certification for dog groomers in California, the most popular route is to obtain certification from the National Dog Groomers Association of America. The association offers seminars teaching dog groomers everything they need to know to get the certificate and demonstrate their skills.

Another option to consider is the International Professional Groomers, Inc. The association also offers a widely recognized and respected certification that can help dog groomers in California stand out.

As for state licensure, candidates will be glad to know that California does not require individuals to obtain a dog grooming license before they can start working legally. No association or state body has yet to be created to control such issues.

Top Dog Grooming Schools in California

The following are some of California’s top dog grooming schools for interested individuals.

American Grooming Academy

American Grooming Academy has a location in Temecula, California, where aspiring dog groomers get the skills they need to carry out their duties at a very high level. The Academy also operates a grooming salon, giving students a first-hand opportunity to acquire real-world training in an actual grooming salon.

West Coast Grooming Academy

West Coast Grooming Academy has campuses in various places in California, including Santa Monica, La Verne, and Melrose. The school operates at a very high educational standard.

Students not only learn the fundamentals of dog grooming, but they also get to pick up interpersonal and business skills as well.

North California Grooming Academy

North California Grooming Academy is one of the top grooming schools in the area, with approval from the International Professional Groomers, Inc.

Participants of this program have a very straightforward path to becoming certified pet stylists. They also acquire rigorous real-world experience before graduating.

Salary & Career Outlook

Dog groomers in California make an annual average salary of $50,179. Those in the top 10% of earners make an average yearly salary of $79,014, while those in the bottom 10% still manage an average annual wage of $31,867.

Menlo Park is California’s highest-paying city for dog groomers, with an annual average salary of $92,889. This is followed by Walnut Creek and Gilroy, with average yearly salaries of $68,693 and $65,922. Irvine and San Rafael complete the top five with annual average wages of $55,725 and $52,710.

Dog groomers in San Diego and Los Angeles earn an annual average salary of $50,688 and $47,711, respectively.

Experience and specialization also influence how much a dog groomer will make in California.

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