How Long Does It Take To Become A Dog Groomer?

Female Groomer Drying a Bichon

Interested in becoming a dog groomer? Because of the lack of regulation in the industry, it’s a decently accessible career to break into. That being said, how long it takes you to become a dog groomer depends entirely on the path you take to get your education and hands-on experience.


Use this information to approximate how long it will take you to become a dog groomer.


Dog Groomer Education: Two Months to Several Years

While no state currently requires a formal education for dog groomers, these options can help you gain the foundational knowledge and experience you need to do the job well. The timeline varies for each, and many are self-paced, meaning you can learn at a pace that is comfortable for you and works with your schedule. The more formal the education, the higher odds of increasing your income potential.


1. Hands-On School (2-5 Months)

There are several dog grooming schools across the country that offer a blend of classroom and hands-on education. Unfortunately, hands-on schools are usually more expensive and time consuming than online schools, but they offer a more robust curriculum, a more in-depth education, and the opportunity to groom dozens (if not hundreds) of dogs. Plus, unlike in an online school, your time at a hands-on dog grooming school also serves as great experience.


2. Online School (6-12 Months)

Many prospective dog groomers opt for online schooling. One of the biggest benefits of an online program is that you can learn at your own pace. Unfortunately, these programs offer little to no hands-on coaching, so you will need to gain that experience elsewhere, which could delay your journey to becoming a professional dog groomer.


3. Mentorship (Timeline Varies)

The next best option is to find a mentor within the industry and learn from them, usually as an unpaid intern. In this case, your education timeline will depend on your mentor’s availability and discretion. They will train you at the pace in which they think you’re ready to learn.


4. Self-Education (Timeline Varies)

If these other options aren’t available to you, you can always become a self-educated dog groomer. There are plenty of great resources out there for prospective groomers, like books, seminars, and videos. Self-education usually takes longer, but it’s a great option if you don’t have the time or money to invest in more formal education.


Dog Groomer Certification: Several Weeks to Several Months

While no states currently require certifications, plenty of hands-on and online schools offer certificates to their graduates. Even if you don’t attend a school for your dog grooming education, you might pursue a certification to improve your odds of getting hired. Depending on your education, however, it could take several weeks to several months to study for the exam.


On-The-Job Dog Grooming Skills: Timeline Varies

Once you complete your education and find a job as a dog groomer, you’ll likely need several years of on-the-job experience before you’re entirely confident in your abilities.


As you work with clients’ dogs, you’ll not only hone your skills, but you’ll also be exposed to different breeds, temperaments, and styles of grooms. Each new client is a learning opportunity, so don’t rush the process.

Want to become a dog groomer? Take the first step today!

Our hands-on program is designed to provide you with the classroom and practical education you need to jumpstart your dog grooming career. Complete the form below for more information, or to book a tour of our Missouri facility.

Request More Information

Joseph Schifano Author Headshot
Joseph Schifano

Joseph Schifano is the President of The Academy of Pet Careers and the Founder of DogNerdly.

With over 20 years of professional pet experience, Joseph began his journey as the owner/operator of a successful seven-figure pet care business. He later acquired The Academy of Pet Careers, aiming to elevate the quality of care provided by industry professionals. This position enabled him to connect with leading experts in the field and deepen his knowledge in all aspects of pet care.