How to Become a Dog Groomer in District of Columbia

challenging career

In a sea of uninspirational jobs, find one that’s different and more challenging than the others.

If you’re such a person, wanting a way to express your creativity, you should try dog grooming.

It’s a popular career choice that’s trending and in high demand lately.

It’s also an excellent occupation for passionate dog lovers and people who don’t want to spend years in training.

Are you ready to know how you can become a dog groomer in D.C.?

Read on to learn more.

Dog Grooming: What It Entails

Dog grooming means more than just good looks.

It’s a way of keeping a dog healthy.

Do you really think a dog with overgrown nails, coat, and infected ears is a healthy and happy dog?

Of course not!

That’s why a proper grooming session is needed to bring them closer to a good health condition.

You’re there to prevent any problems that may occur due to improper care.

A Dog Groomer’s Duties

Any dog groomer will agree when you say their everyday life is full of excitement.

After all, when you’re an animal lover, one of the most rewarding things you’ll receive is taking care of them.

As a groomer, your tasks consist of the following:

  • Physical examination of the coat, skin, ears, and eyes
  • Bathing
  • Trimming the coat
  • Clipping nails
  • Cleaning ears and eye-tear stains
  • Styling

In regards to the physical examination, you do this to inspect the dog for physical illnesses.

If you notice or suspect any problems, you tell the owner immediately.

This way, they can get their dog under proper treatment or call their veterinarian.

Once you make sure everything’s alright with the dog, you’re free to proceed with the grooming process.

In addition to the basics, you’re also tasked with administrative works, such as:

  • Creating appointments
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Workstation maintenance
  • Client support and personal relations

Note that when you receive a client, first impressions are very important.

Great charisma and social skills can lead you to land your first regular customer.

Most of all, being a dog groomer requires you to have the whole package.

Popular Programs

Find a Program

Earn your accredited, affordable associate degree or career diploma online with Penn Foster!

Veterinary AssistantVeterinary TechnicianDog ObediencePet GroomingSponsored Online Programs.

Education: Dog Grooming Programs in D.C.

dog grooming education

The duties and responsibilities mentioned above can be learned at a dog grooming school.

Enrolling there is a simple process, and finishing it is even easier.

Unlike the other U.S. states, there are no region-specific schools in D.C.

To attend one, you’ll need to go to another state like Virginia or Maryland.

There you’ll learn the following:

  • Familiarizing with grooming tools
  • Learning about dog breeds and special requirements
  • Bathing and clipping techniques
  • Managing dog temperaments and appropriate calming techniques
  • Career-building opportunities

Know that going to school isn’t your only option to become a dog groomer.

There are plenty of self-taught groomers out there who trained under experienced mentors.

So you can find a good groomer near you who’ll take you as an apprentice and teach you everything about the industry.

Once you’re educated and thoroughly trained, you’re encouraged to get a dog groomer’s certification.

This certification isn’t mandatory, but it’s very helpful to you career-wise.

Job Opportunities in D.C.

Finding a job as a groomer in D.C. won’t be a big problem for a new groomer like yourself.

This job is trending, and the demand for dog groomers is high.

So you can consider working at these places:

  • Animal shelters
  • Pet stores
  • Vet clinics
  • Grooming salons

Potential Salary in D.C.

Wherever you work, know that you’ll earn a nice income supporting your chosen lifestyle in D.C.

According to, the average annual salary is $39,701 as of January 2022.

Considering the complexity of the work, this remuneration is quite reasonable.

Here’s how much you’ll earn if you belong to a certain percentile.

Percentile Salary
10% $25,755
25% $32,401
50% $39,701
75% $49,501
90% $58,423

Meanwhile, the table below lets you take a peek at the salaries of each city in D.C.

Average Annual Salary by City

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Naval Anacost Annex, DC $37,410
Parcel Return Service, DC $37,410
Washington, DC $37,410
Washington Navy Yard, DC $37,410

Helpful Grooming Resources

The next logical step after completing a dog grooming program is finding a job.

One of the best places online to look for a position in the grooming industry is Yelp.

Chances are you’ll find a well-paid job in a place with good reviews.

That means more opportunities to improve your career and keep a long-term job.

There are also valuable resources for groomers to be found in the Humane Rescue Alliance.

Learning new things and keeping up with the latest trends are of great importance for dog groomers.

Final Thoughts

They say that if you do something you love, you won’t have to work a day in your life.

We completely agree with this adage.

Dog grooming is a serious career option that brings so much joy and fulfillment.

You’ll get what we’re talking about once you groom your first dog.

Hope you’re ready for the challenge called dog grooming!

USA How to Become a Dog/Pet Groomer by State