How to Become a Dog Groomer in Virginia

A dog groomer’s job is believed to be naïve and not demanding at all.

Nevertheless, this can be thought only by the person who did not have a chance of watching one working day of a dog groomer.

When the duties of a dog groomer are in question, they are various, challenging, and rewarding as all animal health care facilities and salons trust them and consider their services of crucial importance in flawless daily functioning.

Being that their skills are so diverse, they are able to complete a wide range of duties and can work in numerous facilities related to animals.

Job Description and Duties of Dog Groomers

Aspiring Dog Groomers would be glad to find out that this career in Virginia is constantly experiencing development.

The best thing is that these professionals can work in a wide range of facilities, but they typically work in pet salons, kennels, animal hospitals, or even pet retail stores which have to offer grooming services.

Concerning their daily duties, they include grooming and caring for dogs and other pets, bathing, brushing, clipping and maintaining fur, styling, and clipping nails and other aesthetic services.

Even though the state of Virginia does not require any legal or educational requirements for becoming a pet groomer, it is our advice that the more education and experience that you have, the more you can expect to earn and achieve great success.

Requirements to Become Dog Groomer in Virginia

Throughout Virginia, there are numerous schools that provide dog grooming certification courses.

During the curriculum, you will be taught about different breeds of dogs and their grooming standards, the history of grooming, technical and practical application, and related topics.

The education there usually takes 60-80 hours, but this can vary depending on the school.

People interested in these schools can refer to the Humane Society of Fairfax County, which has more information on grooming schools in Virginia, training and apprenticeship programs at local veterinary hospitals and salons, and other resources.

If you think that you cannot benefit from school education, there is another way fo learning everything a dog groomer needs to know.

Due to the fact that employers will base their hiring decisions on experience as much as education, we suggest that you start practical on-the-job training and internships related to providing care and providing customer service and clerical duties in the facility in which you work.

Licensing & Certification

Virginia, like the other states in the U.S., does not have any licensing or certification requirements but the National Dog Grooming Association of America does have certification programs that you can start attending.

So as to get the certification, you will need to pass the certification exams which are designed to cover proficiency in grooming, maintenance and handling, and animal safety.

The thing worth mentioning is that these exams are available to both members as well as non-members of the NDGAA.

Your path towards certification will consist of the following:

First, you will participate in a training workshop.

Then, you will need to attend a practical application demonstration and it is important to know that you need to provide your own dog and grooming supplies.

The last step is to pass an exam.

A secondary exam can be taken by those who want a slightly higher career and salary as a Master Dog Groomer.

Salary and Job Prospects in Virginia

Every person is eager to find a satisfying job once he/she finishes education and Virginia is a state which has to offer a lot of animal clinics, hospitals, salons, and other facilities where future dog groomers can work.

So as to be a successful groomer, you need to be able to provide various services and respond to the demands of sometimes tough pet owners.

When applying for a job, the chances are equal for all the candidates and who will be hired is based on the criteria set by the employers.

We assure you that the finding of the job will be easy, but whether it will provide a decent salary depends on many other factors.

How much money you will earn is affected by the development of the region where the facility is, the amount of work and the number of animals kept in that area.

It will also depend on your experience and skills, as you cannot expect to be paid the same amount of money as a well-established dog groomer who works for many years.

The annual salary of a dog groomer distinguishes among the cities around Virginia, as the availability of the facility can also affect the average salary.

In Virginia, the salary for dog groomers is on par with the rest of the United States, meaning that entry-level groomers earn between $8.00 and $10.00 per hour or about $11,000 to $15,000 per year.

Those who are already well trained and who work in grooming salons and pet hospitals can expect to earn between $15,000 and $50,000.

Those who work in Virginia pet stores can expect a salary range of approximately $23,000 to $48,000.

Master certified dog groomers can earn $20 per hour or more.

The table below shows the salary of a dog groomer in the state of Virginia annually:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach$33,125
Norfolk$32,626
Chesapeake$32,584
Richmond$34,726
Newport News$32,460
Hampton$32,460
Alexandria$38,347
Portsmouth$32,626
Roanoke$32,001
Lynchburg$31,915

Continuing Education and Professional Resources

As you have noticed, we have covered all the steps necessary to be taken so as to reach your career as a dog groomer.

However, our story does not end there, as we suggest that you check out these resources, as well.

Dog grooming career requires continuing education and professional associations.

That way you will be sure that you meet the latest standards and techniques related to this field.

NDGAA – a well-known organization that offers continuing education programs, training workshops, and other resources. You can also become a member of the Association to enjoy other professional benefits.

International Association of Professional Groomers is also a great resource for education, certification, and industry training for pet groomers around the world.

The Humane Society of the U.S./Virginia boasts resources to help visitors and professionals, including resources for both inexperienced and established groomers.

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