Dog groomers don’t just clean dogs; they also perform various duties that help ensure that these furry creatures remain healthy. For individuals in Virginia who have a passion for dogs and are willing to learn the duties and qualifications of a dog groomer, a career in the field is an incredible opportunity.
Below, we look at some of the steps involved in starting this career, along with the licensing and certification requirements to consider.
We also provide an overview of some of the best schools to enroll in in the state for top-quality training. Lastly, to give candidates a picture of what to expect, we have highlighted the possible salary projections for a dog groomer in Virginia depending on a handful of factors such as experience and location, among others.
Steps to Become a Dog Groomer in Virginia
The following are some key steps in becoming a dog groomer in Virginia.
Step One: Pursue Relevant Education
Virginia boasts several state-approved dog grooming schools and a handful of pet grooming academies that also offer dog grooming. From enrollment to graduation, candidates should have acquired all the skills they’ll need to become full-fledged dog groomers in the state.
Generally, most dog grooming training programs in the area can be completed in about 8 weeks. Additionally, candidates may consider online alternatives to accommodate their busy schedules.
Those who complete their training online will also have to acquire some form of real-world training, which leads us to the next step in the process.
Step Two: Practical Experience
Getting practical experience before securing employment is not reserved for dog groomers who completed their training online only. Even those who completed their training in an offline location may have to consolidate their theoretical skills with actual real-world experience.
An offline training program ideally includes a few weeks of working with actual dogs. Still, to receive the robust, practical skills needed to perform the job at a high level, many candidates choose to work as dog groomer assistants in a salon to consolidate their skills.
Step Three: Obtain Certification
Dog groomers must be certified by an appropriate professional organization to consolidate their skills. This is optional, but given its importance, it is difficult to see a successful dog groomer in Virginia who needs to be certified.
Among other things, certification makes it possible for dog groomers to network with other professionals who belong to the same organization, thereby opening up opportunities for career growth.
Additionally, certification bodies provide resources for skills acquisition and continuing education so that dog groomers can improve and keep up with advancements in the field.
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State Licensing and Certification Requirements
Like most states in the country, there are no regulatory boards or agencies in charge of managing the affairs of dog groomers in Virginia. For this reason, professionals in this field do not need to obtain a license before they can practice legally and professionally.
As for certification, candidates who wish to obtain certification and enjoy the benefits of doing so may consider either the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) or the International Professional Groomers, Inc.
Both organizations are highly reputable across the country and all over the world. To obtain these credentials, candidates must be willing to pass a written exam and demonstrate their skills through practical tests.
Salary and Job Outlook
In Virginia, a regular dog groomer earns an annual salary of $55,935 — slightly above the national average. Established dog groomers in the state can earn even higher at an annual average salary of $89,040 if they successfully scale up to being among the top 10% earners in the state.
For those who fall among the bottom 10%, the annual average salary figure is usually closer to around $35,136. Experience, along with the establishment of employment, can seriously influence how much a dog groomer earns in Virginia. Location is another crucial factor.
Chesapeake (with an annual salary of $64,703) and Alexandria (with an annual average salary of $62,801) are the highest-paying cities to be a dog groomer in Missouri.
The top five also include Arlington (with an annual average salary of $61,298), Ashburn (with an annual average salary of $60,317), and South Riding (with an annual average salary of $58,489).
Top Dog Grooming Schools in Virginia
The following are some of the top dog grooming schools in Virginia.
Virginia School of Pet Grooming
With more than 20 years in existence, Virginia School of Pet Grooming is the premier dog grooming academy in Virginia and one of the best in the country. The academy is located in Manassas.
Canine Clippers Inc
Canine Clippers School of Pet Grooming offers rigorous dog grooming training and an established dog grooming salon, allowing students to obtain real-world experience while learning.
Candidates looking for an online option may also consider Animal Behavior College.
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