How to Become a Dog Groomer in Iowa

Aspiring dog groomers in Iowa must learn how to style, bathe, groom, and brush different breeds of dogs at a professional level. They must also know about dog breeds, anatomy, behavior, and more.

All of these fall under the training requirements, which are simply part of the steps involved in starting a dog grooming career in the state the right way. While most steps are not mandated by law, they all offer significant professional benefits, so much so that practically everyone goes through them anyway.

In the sections below, we highlight these steps and requirements, along with some prominent training programs in Iowa and the salary ranges professionals in the state can fall into during their careers.

Steps to Become a Dog Groomer in Iowa

Below are some considerations needed to become a dog groomer in Iowa.

Step 1: Getting Ready for Training

To prepare for training and their subsequent careers, candidates in Iowa must prepare key documents such as their high school transcripts, diploma, or GED. These will most likely be needed to work in certain places and to secure admission into some training programs.

Step 2: Training Options

Generally, candidates may enroll in a training program or self-train because there are no mandatory educational requirements to become a dog groomer in Iowa.

Enrolling in a Training Program

Enrolling in a dog grooming training program is undoubtedly the only most common approach to starting a successful dog grooming career. These programs are usually designed to optimize the training experience, ensuring graduates have acquired all the expertise they need to perform their duties at the highest level.

Training programs also have the benefits of having strong connections that may help candidates secure employment or start their own dog grooming business. Those who want certification may also have to participate in specific training programs.


Some people have an innate love for dog grooming and some skills. Such individuals may learn in a self-taught manner, leveraging free resources on the internet to help hasten the learning process.

Step 3: Choosing a Work Environment

Candidates who have completed their training may start their careers as dog groomers. However, there are several work environments where these professionals can be found.

For instance, some dog groomers work in dog grooming parlors and salons, some work for pet stores, and some operate mobile dog grooming salons.

Explore other careers with similar paths:

Licensure and Certification Requirements

Another consideration that dog groomers in Iowa must make has to do with certification. Technically, dog groomers in the state don’t have to be licensed or certified, but most people do anyway because having professional credentials opens up career opportunities.

The Certified Professional Groomer (CPG) and Certified Master Groomer (CMG) designations offered by the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists (ISCC) are examples of highly-rated credentials for dog groomers.

Others are the credentials offered by the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) and the International Professional Groomers, Inc. (IPG).

Top Dog Grooming Schools in Iowa

The list below contains a few prominent dog grooming training programs for candidates in Iowa to consider.

Iowa School of Pet Grooming

Des Moines, IA Campus Only

Iowa School of Pet Grooming offers what is typically one of Iowa's most comprehensive dog grooming programs. Students in West Des Moines learn key topics such as kennel management, sanitation techniques, and fur trimming and shaping.

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$49 - $379 per Program
  • 6805 Mills Civic Pkwy Suite 140, West Des Moines, IA

  • (515) 223-8580

Animal Behavior College

Des Moines, IA Online + Campus

One of the most popular and convenient online training programs for aspiring dog groomers across the country is offered by Animal Behavior College. The school is notable for its comprehensive curriculum and world-class education.


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$3,499 - $6,195 per Program
  • (800) 795-3294

  • Email in Bio

Explore nearby states for education and training:

Salary & Career Outlook

A survey of dog groomers in Iowa revealed that the annual salary for those among the average earners is around $51,607. The same survey also showed that dog groomers in the state can earn as high as $88,775 if they find themselves among the top 10% or as low as $31,791 if they find themselves among the bottom 10%.

Naturally, a groomer’s experience level significantly pushes them from one end of the salary range to another. Location is another factor whose role cannot be overestimated.

Currently, dog groomers in Ankeny are the highest-paid in the state, with an annual average salary of $58,845. They are followed in the top three by dog groomers in West Des Moines, with an annual average salary of $55,720, and those in Cedar Rapids, with an annual average salary of $53,110.