How to Become a Dog Groomer in Tennessee

Dog groomers in Tennessee are in high demand. For individuals in the state who love dogs and are willing to learn, this career offers an impressive alternative to build a successful business and scale.

To have the best experience along the way, interested candidates must know what to expect on a journey to become a dog groomer in Tennessee before they even begin the process. Luckily, that is exactly what the guide below offers.

Along with the individual steps to consider, we have also examined the certification alternatives to gain an edge in the field, the top dog grooming academies in the state, and the possible salary projections depending on key factors.

Steps to Become a Dog Groomer in Tennessee

The following are the most important considerations on any journey to become a successful dog groomer in Tennessee.

Completing an Approved Training Program

All aspiring dog groomers in Tennessee must complete an approved training program to begin their careers. During their training, they will learn how to bathe, clean, and style dogs of different breeds and identify common skin diseases.

Candidates can enroll in an online training program providing real-world experience or a strictly offline program. Regardless of their choice, most training programs for dog groomers in Tennessee can be completed in just a few weeks.

Gaining Hands-On Experience

Dog grooming training academies in Tennessee try their best to teach students as much of the theoretical and practical aspects of the job as possible. Usually, the first weeks of dog grooming training focus on theoretical principles. In contrast, the final days focus on working with dogs of different breeds and practicing what students have been taught.

However, thanks to the fast nature of dog grooming training programs, candidates still have to acquire more practical experience before they can be confident in their craft.

It is common to see dog groomers in Tennessee working as assistants in actual salons for a few weeks before securing employment as independent dog groomers.


Certification is optional for a dog groomer in Tennessee, but starting a business and building a solid clientele is important. It also goes a long way in securing employment and taking advantage of opportunities for career growth.

The next section discusses certification requirements for dog groomers in Tennessee.

Securing Employment

Dog groomers may work in dog grooming parlors, pet stores, salons, or even mobile pet grooming stations. They may also start their own business by acquiring the necessary tools such as a grooming table, bathing tub, pair of scissors and hair clippers, shampoos, and storage shelves.

State Licensing and Certification Requirements

Tennessee dog groomers are not expected to receive a state license from any local agency. They are not expected to receive certification either, but as mentioned above, doing so has significantly more pros than cons.

To become certified, dog groomers in Tennessee may look to the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) or the International Professional Groomers, Inc. These two organizations are the premier destinations for a well-respected credential valid in all states.

To become certified, dog groomers must pass a written exam and demonstrate their dog grooming skills. Another option to consider is the National Association of Professional Creative Groomers.

Candidates may also join the Pet Stylist of Tennessee, a nonprofit organization based in Knoxville that offers valuable resources for dog groomers in the area.

Learn about dog grooming licensing and certification in neighboring states

Salary and Job Outlook

The annual average salary for a dog groomer in Tennessee is $51,131. For those who have scaled their earnings to be among the top 10% in the state, their annual salary figure is closer to $92,764 on average.

Those who fall into the bottom 10% earn an annual average salary of $28,211.

To improve their annual average salary, dog groomers in Tennessee may work on determining factors such as experience, business structure, certification, and location.

Regarding the best places to be a dog groomer in Tennessee, Brentwood tops that list with an annual average salary of $81,367. This is followed by Nashville, Clarksville, and Memphis, with annual average salaries of $60,594, $58,976, and $58,177, respectively.

Knoxville is Tennessee’s fifth highest-paying city for dog groomers, with an annual average salary of $57,732.

Top Dog Grooming Schools in Tennessee

Below are some of the best dog grooming schools for candidates in Tennessee to consider.

Concord School of Grooming

Knoxville, TN Campus Only

Concord School of Grooming in Knoxville is one of the state's top dog grooming training schools. The school produces a lot of successful graduates and is known for being very thorough in its training.

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$2,100 - $3,900
  • (865) 342-7732


Glamour Grooming Elite Academy

Memphis, TN Campus Only

Glamour Grooming Elite Academy is another prominent dog grooming academy in the state known for its rigorous approach to grooming training. As expected, the program includes working with actual dogs to practice various dog grooming techniques.


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Call for Details
  • (901) 258-9428

  • Email in Bio

Consider exploring dog grooming schools in neighboring states: