How to Become a Dog Groomer in Washington

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During a day’s work, a dog groomer would meet with clients to discuss their requests regarding how they want their dogs to be groomed and report any skin issues they may have encountered before finally embarking on the actual grooming tasks.

Carrying out the duties of a dog groomer to a high level requires equally high-level training. Below, we provide a comprehensive guide regarding everything a dog groomer in Washington must know to start their careers on the best possible path.

Among these are the steps involved in the process, the licensure and certification requirements, the top academies in the state for comprehensive training, and the possible salary projections.

Steps to Become a Dog Groomer in Washington

Aspiring dog groomers in Washington may consider the following steps to start their careers correctly.

Enroll in a Training Academy

Training academies for aspiring dog groomers in Washington may be offered by pet grooming salons that also have a training arrangement or by pet grooming academies in the area.

Either way, candidates must ensure that they enroll in an approved training program for their education to be valid.

Most programs can be completed in a few weeks (usually around 4 - 9).

As expected, the courses deal with in-depth instructions regarding dog cleaning, styling, and identification of skin diseases, among other relevant topics.

Candidates may also consider online training programs.

Get Some Experience Under Your Belt

Individuals may become professional dog groomers immediately after completing a training program. However, it is also advisable for candidates to improve their confidence by gaining real-world experience.

Most people achieve this through externships at actual salons or by working as assistants to experienced dog groomers before taking on an independent position.

Obtain Professional Credentials (Optional)

First, obtaining professional credentials is optional for dog groomers in Washington. However, it is highly advisable to do so. Not only does professional certification help candidates stand out, but it also helps them improve and take advantage of career opportunities.

The next section explores the two most popular certification alternatives for dog groomers in Washington to consider.

Resume & Employment

After the above steps are checked off, candidates may go on to put together an attractive resume and start applying for open positions in the best pet grooming establishments in the state.

It is also possible for a dog groomer in Washington to start their own business after completing a training program and obtaining real-world experience. Individuals may start by operating a mobile salon station and offering home grooming services.

Consider trades with similar paths:

State Licensing and Certification Requirements

The International Professional Groomers, Inc. and the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) are the two most prominent associations offering career opportunities and professional credentials for dog groomers in Washington and nationwide.

Both are highly reputable, and their processes are quite similar. They offer workshops nationwide and hold credential examinations that all new members must pass to become certified.

Candidates who pass the NDGAA’s practical and written examinations will officially become Certified Dog Groomers and be able to reap the benefits that come with it.

As for licensure, dog groomers in Washington are not expected to obtain a license as no agency or state board is responsible for issuing one.

Salary and Job Outlook

Dog groomers in Washington who fall among the mid-range salary earners in the state take home an annual average salary of $51,493. Those who fall among the top 10% make around $94,255 in annual average salary, while those who fall among the lowest paid (in the bottom 10%) still manage an annual average salary of no less than $28,131.

As with any state, experience and the particular employment company will significantly determine how much a dog groomer will earn in Washington. Other factors include professional certification and location.

Those who would like to optimize their location within the state may consider Maple Valley, the highest-paying city to be a dog groomer in Washington, and Seattle, the second-highest. Dog groomers in these places earn annual average salaries of $64,910 and $63,542 respectively.

Bothell, Kent, and Vancouver are the top five highest-paying cities for dog groomers in Washington, with annual average salaries of $57,444, $56,843, and $56,684, respectively.

Top Dog Grooming Schools in Washington

Below are some of the most popular dog grooming schools in Washington.

Maser Pet Grooming School

Maser Pet Grooming School in Kenmore is a reputable academy offering a comprehensive training program for aspiring dog groomers. With experienced instructors and job placement assistance, graduates can start businesses or work in established salons.

Positive Approach Dog Training

Positive Approach Dog Training in Tacoma, Washington, extends beyond behavior training to offer courses in dog grooming. Their grooming program encompasses practical skills for various breeds, knowledge of canine anatomy, and incorporates positive reinforcement techniques to ensure stress-free grooming sessions. This training is valuable for those looking to become proficient dog groomers, preparing them for employment in pet salons or embarking on their grooming business ventures.

Consider exploring dog grooming schools in neighboring states: