In today’s blog post I will be discussing the most frequently asked question on my Facebook group, how do I become a dog groomer?
1. Research, research, research. Before paying out hefty amounts of time and money for training, it is important first to think about what a dog groomer actually does. Dog grooming is far from snuggling puppies all day, it can be a physically and mentally demanding job so make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. You could watch ‘a day in the life’ videos or ask a local groomer for a chat about their experience.
2. Next is the qualification. There are only four recognised qualifications in the dog grooming industry in the UK. These are City & Guilds, ICMG, IPET and OCN. The three most recognised are City & Guilds, IPET and OCN, these are all Ofqual regulated which means the qualifications “reliably indicate the knowledge, skills and understanding students have demonstrated”. The qualifications offer a Level 3 Diploma, meaning you are then fully qualified to be a dog groomer.
These courses range from around £4000-£6000 to complete and require around 400 hours of work to qualify. They evaluate a student’s knowledge of grooming procedures and appropriate styles, as well as health and safety, customer service, regulations, canine.
There are online ‘diplomas’ available for anywhere from £25-£1000, however these are not recognised qualifications and are meant to be CPD courses (for additional or foundation knowledge). Without the practical element, you will not gain the skills you need to be a dog groomer, and most of these courses do not cover how to style a dog, only the theory behind hair types etc. I would always recommend steering clear of these courses and going for a recognised practical based course, as if the industry becomes regulated in the future and businesses require qualification, you will not be covered.
3. The next thing to consider is the initial outlay for equipment. As a minimum, you will need somewhere to groom, whether this is a shed, garage, salon or van. You will need a place to bath with a warm water supply, and a height adjustable table to groom on. You will also need quality clippers, blades, clipper attachments, scissors, combs, brushes and sprays. Many places do starter packs, which can range from £250-500. These are a good place to start and you can build up from there.
In total, I would estimate before even opening my doors for business I have spent around £12k on training and equipment. This can be a huge cost and one many people can’t afford outright. Once I knew I wanted to be a dog groomer, I built up my equipment overtime while saving for my course. You can apply for business loans and grants too, so always check what you are eligible for if you are struggling to come up with the funds.
4. Finally, market research. Look at your area, are there lots of groomers already? Are you starting up a salon 0.1 miles from a competitor? There are an ever-growing amount of dogs in the UK and you will often hear groomers say “there’s plenty dogs to go around”. However, it is still important to consider how saturated the market is near you as this will impact how successful you can be.
There are many, many more things to consider when becoming a dog groomer such as tax, planning permission, health and safety, employment law etc. But much of this you should be taught on your training course, and there are many CPD courses out there to teach you the rest.
Good luck with your journey, and please feel free to join my Facebook group for help & support! www.facebook.com/groups/trainingdoggroomers/