Become a certified dog groomer in only 5
months with in-person training, personalized attention and career mentorship

Choose from two comprehensive dog grooming
certifications designed to set you up for success,
based on your own personal goals

Fast-track your way to a professional dog grooming career in the pet industry

Attend classes (limited to 15 students) at our St. Louis campus 3 or 5 times a week

Get job placement assistance, as well as access to resources for starting your own dog grooming business

apc google rating
apc facebook rating
100% Money-back guarantee
100% Money-back guarantee

Learn more about becoming
a dog groomer today

Complete the form below to receive a free guide about our programs.

Classes are filled on a first come,
first serve basis. Limited spots are available.

apc google rating
apc facebook rating
money-back

In-person dog grooming school in
Missouri

The dog grooming school at The Academy of Pet Careers is one of the top rated schools in the area. There are many ways to become a dog groomer but none of them as comprehensive as hands-on, practical dog grooming courses. Our dog grooming courses ranging from 4 weeks to 15 weeks, and you could be in your ‘fur-ever’ career in a matter of a few months.

All our dog grooming certifications are designed with your personal goals in mind. Students may only go as far as learning maintenance grooming, so they can go work for a kennel or shelter. Others may desire to be professional stylists who can do breed specific trims, making them an asset to any salon. Below are details on each of the skills taught in our dog grooming courses. Become a dog groomer and you can master the following.

img-doggrooming-bathing

Learn the core skills of bathing,
brushing, drying and trimming

img-doggrooming-learnbreed

Learn breed specific patterns
and trims to make you a more desirable to employers

APC grooming school students learning to blowdry dogs

Understand the science
behind a dog’s skin and coat and
how to keep them healthy

APC grooming student hugging bulldog

Master canine communication skills and learn how to make the grooming process more enriching

apc graduate success image

Why hundreds of students have
trusted The Academy of Pet Careers
to launch their dog grooming career

img-hundredsofstudents-handsonlearning

Hands-on learning

This program is hands-on and simulates a real working
environment
, ensuring you can jump right into the industry from
Day 1.

img-hundredsofstudents-smallclass

Small class sizes

You get one-on-one attention from instructors and career-specific
guidance that sets you up for success
.

img-hundredsofstudents-modern

Modern & optimized curriculum

We constantly update and revise our curriculum in accordance with
the trends and demands in the pet industry.

img-hundredsofstudents-financialaid

Financial aid

We are approved by many organizations to help with school
expenses. Our admissions team helps you through the application
process.

img-hundredsofstudents-dualcertifications

Dual certifications

We are the only dog grooming school that offers multiple pet studies and dual certifications giving you added job stability and increased income potential.

img-hundredsofstudents-setsuccess

You are set up for success

Our programs are designed to set the students up for success. We focus on teaching you the skills you need to excel in your desired field.

img-hundredsofstudents-jobassistance

Job assistance and resources to start
your own business

You get to benefit from a network of pet businesses and alumni to help you find your dream job. And if you want to start your own business, we provide all the needed supports and resources.

img-hundredsofstudents-jobready

Job ready in 3-5 months

This program is designed to move fast and give you valuable hands-on experience. Once complete, you’re ready to immediately use your new skills in the industry.

Small dog being trimmed by grooming student
img-moneyback

100% Money-back guarantee

Our money back guarantee is also known as our “drop window”. It is a 14 calendar-day period at the beginning of their program, that allows students to be sure that they have picked out the perfect program for them.

We are so sure that you will be happy with your schooling that we offer a “Money Back Guarantee” to ensure your satisfaction. If for any reason you wish to discontinue your attendance at The Academy of Pet Careers, a refund will be issued with no questions asked.

What our certified graduates say
about their training at The Academy of Pet Careers

testimonial1

Jessica Durst

icon-stars

Highly recommended!

I completed the Professional Grooming program, and I just have to say Jan and Jackie were great teachers! Attentive, willing to help, and always supporting their students. Not only will you learn from them, but the other groomers that work there too! I only went part-time, and Jenny was completely understanding and willing to accommodate my schedule. I also suggest Read Moreeveryone take the Pet Empowerment Program with Jody. You will be hard-pressed to meet another person with as much knowledge as she has on animal behavior. Thank you to everyone at APC for all of the support you have shown your students!

icon-testimonial-facebook
OliviaMeylor

Olivia Meylor

icon-stars

One of the best decisions of my life!

If you’re looking to jumpstart your career in the grooming industry, APC is the best way to start! The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, it’s extremely hands-on, and the environment is great! Throughout your time here, you will have plenty of opportunities to work with all different kinds of breeds of all temperaments allowing you to gain the experience needed to be successful Read Morein the real world! If you truly have a passion and love for animals you will excel in this program! Attending APC has been one of the best decisions of my life!

icon-testimonial-facebook
Kristi

Kristi Nosbisch

icon-stars

Two thumbs up!

I went to APC for PEP and Professional Grooming. This school exceeded my expectations!! The atmosphere is positive and welcoming! Everyone from admin to employees to instructors to maintenance is incredibly nice and helpful!! They couldn't have better instructors!! I'm 100% confident in opening my own grooming business after attending APC! Two thumbs up!!!

icon-testimonial-facebook

Pet companies that hire our students

Petco_Logo
Petropolis circle logo
2 PetSmart Logo
Lizzi-Roccos
Four_Muddy_Paws_Logo
shakers
Lola-Penelope
Silver_Maple_Pet_Center_Logo
treats-unleashed
img-dogs

1,100+

Active dog groomer job postings
in 2021 according to Glassdoor

$35,861

Average dog groomer salary

$8,860

Average annual income
in tips alone

16%

Projected job growth for
dog groomers until 2032

This certification gives you the skills and industry
experience to excel in a dog grooming career

Bather/Brusher Program

25days-badge

Safety & Handling

Canine Communication Skills

The Science of Skin and Coat

Drying Principles

Brushing and Combing

Canine Anatomy

Nail Care

Tooth Brushing

Scent Glands

Ear Cleaning

Common Emergencies

Pet First Aid & CPR

If you want to learn how to groom animals then this is the place to go. I have been here less than a month and I can’t believe how much I have learned!

The teachers here are patient and amazing at what they do. They make you feel comfortable and confident. If you love animals and want to make a living working with them, then this is the place to come and learn everything that you’ll need to know.

img-prestongillam

Preston Lee Gillam

icon-certificationdogtraining-facebook-review

I took the Professional Groomer course over the summer and fall of 2017, and cannot recommend it highly enough. The staff is friendly, professional and genuinely interested in preparing their students for careers in working with animals.

I had a job lined up before beginning the course, but if you don’t they will work to help find you a landing spot. They also make themselves available for graduates to ask for advice in their careers.

If you’re interested in a career working with companion animals, APC is the place to start.

img-jeffreytrotter

Jeffrey Trotter

apc google rating

Professional Groomer Program

100days-badge

Everything in Bather/Brusher

The Groomer’s Toolkit

Basic & Adv. Scissoring

Puppy, Kennel, and Outline Trims

Breed Standards

Breed Specific Trims

Head and Face Styles

Ear Shapes and Styles

Feet Types and Styles

Tail Types and Styles

Geometrics/Angles

Corrective Grooming

Ergonomics

Common Zoonotic Diseases

Salon Sanitation

Bather/Brusher Program

25days-badge

Safety & Handling

Canine Communication Skills

The Science of Skin and Coat

Drying Principles

Brushing and Combing

Canine Anatomy

Nail Care

Tooth Brushing

Scent Glands

Ear Cleaning 

Common Emergencies

Pet First Aid & CPR

If you want to learn how to groom animals then this is the place to go. I have been here less than a month and I can’t believe how much I have learned!

The teachers here are patient and amazing at what they do. They make you feel comfortable and confident. If you love animals and want to make a living working with them, then this is the place to come and learn everything that you’ll need to know.

img-prestongillam

Preston Lee Gillam

icon-certificationdogtraining-facebook-review

Professional Groomer Program

100days-badge

The Groomer’s Toolkit

Basic & Adv. Scissoring

Puppy, Kennel, and Outline Trims

Breed Standards

Breed Specific Trims

Head and Face Styles

Ear Shapes and Styles

Feet Types and Styles

Tail Types and Styles

Geometrics/Angles

Corrective Grooming

Ergonomics

Common Zoonotic Diseases

Salon Sanitation

I took the Professional Groomer course over the summer and fall of 2017, and cannot recommend it highly enough. The staff is friendly, professional and genuinely interested in preparing their students for careers in working with animals.

I had a job lined up before beginning the course, but if you don’t they will work to help find you a landing spot. They also make themselves available for graduates to ask for advice in their careers.

If you’re interested in a career working with companion animals, APC is the place to start.

img-jeffreytrotter

Jeffrey Trotter

apc google rating
Dog grooming student practicing nail clipping

The advantages you gain
with a hands-on dog grooming school

Hands-on courses are more personalized and comprehensive offering maximum value for your time.

Live courses can be customized to your learning style. Everybody learns at their own pace and we make sure no one is left behind. 

You learn from experienced professionals in the industry who know how to teach and help you succeed.

They are more fun! You learn in a positive and friendly environment that consists of dog lovers such as yourself.

What makes the Academy of Pet Careers such a unique place to learn dog grooming?

We are the only dog grooming school that offers multiple pet studies and dual certifications giving you added job stability and increased income potential.

Our programs are designed to set the students up for success - we focus on teaching you the skills you need to excel in your desired career.

You job placement assistance and real applicable knowledge about starting your own dog grooming business. Nothing left to guesswork.

We offer variety of grooming courses so you can get certified in only 4 weeks or 5 months. Students with previous experience can test out of lower programs.

You benefit from 25 years of experience in the pet field from our instructors who know what it takes to succeed in this career path.

Dog grooming school student posing with aussie
PGC Badge

Our grooming programs have met the standards set by the World Pet Association’s (WPA) Professional Grooming Credentialing (PGC). The PGC is the only standard currently set in the United States that regulates the quality of education and standards in the grooming industry. We are proud to be one of the first schools in the nation to be approved by the PGC.

Mission & Vision

Joseph Schifano Icon

Joseph Schifano

Owner/President

The pet care industry in in high demand for qualified pet professionals. It is ever changing, and pets are treated more than ever as a part of the family. Therefore, calmness, and a gentle touch are key if you want to succeed as a pet professional.

At The Academy of Pet Careers, our mission is to empower pets and the people that care for them. After 25 years in the industry, Read Morewe are proud that our students have been consistently getting hired by notable companies that work with pets, and many of them have started successful pet businesses themselves! So, we want nothing more than for you to thrive in a career you'll love. Our curriculum was designed to make you more desirable to employers and to set you up for success by only teaching you the most modern techniques and methodologies. The only limit to your success will be your ambition!

Frequently Asked Questions

At the state level, there are rules that each groomer must follow to practice their profession. These regulations are more concerned with pet safety and making sure animals are cared for in a safe and enriching environment. Currently there are no states that require Licensing, but many are working towards it.

This is very different than obtaining a dog grooming certificate. Certificates are handed out by licensed dog grooming schools and are a measure of a groomers skill level. Certification tells you if a groomer is knowledgeable and skilled at their trade. This does not mean groomers without certification are bad, but it does give you some insight on the education they have obtained to better serve their clients.

In what states do dog groomers need to be licensed? The laws are always changing. There are a few states trying to pass legislation to require groomers to be licensed. The best way to find out is to talk to a local groomer and find out if they, or their salon, are licensed to practice in your area. Once states pass licensing laws, their main focus will be the practice of safe pet handling. This will most likely requires a groomer to take a written test provided by the state.  There is much more involved in the education and certification of dog groomers and instead of wondering if dog groomers need to be licensed, you should be looking into what it takes to become a Certified Dog Groomer.

The APC has funding options available to our students that are eligible. Our students may be eligible for tuition assistance through certain government grant programs (does not include FASFA loans) as well as payment plans and scholarships through the APC. Call our admissions director for more information.

We offer two options for housing and both are located in St. Charles, Missouri. Housing is furnished with private rooms. Living areas are shared with other APC Students. The cost per week for housing is $175 for Off-Campus House and $225 for Apartments (other fees may apply). Students enrolled in a Training program are allowed to have dogs in housing with them. These options fill up quickly so apply your deposit to lock in your room.

We are located only 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Our facilities are conveniently located in St. Charles, MO right off Interstate 70, minutes from food, parks, and entertainment.

Yes, in addition to full-time options, part-time enrollment is offered in all training and grooming programs (vet assistant programs must be attended full-time). Part-time is offered as a fixed 3-day per week schedule and may be different for each program. Combining a 3-day schedule and short class days allows many students to work while enrolled in school.

We offer monthly, open enrollment for Grooming and Training! You may begin class on the first week of each month throughout the year as long as our class capacity allows.

Veterinary assistant classes are on a Semester schedule with start dates available 2 times each year, in the spring and fall.

We offer small class sizes to ensure a better student to teacher ratio. Start date will only be held once application, contract and deposit are submitted.

Equipment must be purchased through the APC. We have designed our equipment packages around each specific program. The equipment packages provide you with all the basic equipment needed to begin your career as a professional. Equipment packages are given out on the first day of school.

You can begin the enrollment process any time but we recommend beginning after a school visit. The first step is completing the Student Enrollment Application with all necessary attachments and paying your $50 application fee. If accepted, you will receive notice from our admissions department. The next step to enroll is to pay your $900 deposit and sign your Course Contract. This is what will lock in your start date and program.

YES! We have employers from all over the country that ask for our graduates. We will help you find the right fit in this industry and get you in contact with as many options as possible. We have resources to prepare your resume and interviewing skills too! New jobs are posted regularly.

Our money-back guarantee is also known as our “drop window”. It is a 14 calendar-day period at the beginning of their program, that allows students to be sure that they have picked out the most perfect program.

We are so sure that you will be happy with your schooling that we offer a “Money Back Guarantee” to ensure your satisfaction. If for any reason you wish to discontinue your attendance at the APC, a refund will be issued with no questions asked.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Dog Groomer?

March 29, 2022

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 Old Should You Start Grooming a Puppy?

December 17, 2020

Preparing for Your Puppy’s First Groom Once your puppy has become accustomed to its new home and family, you can begin to prepare it for it’s first grooming appointment.  The best way to do this is by handling the common areas of the body that will get touched during the grooming process. This should include…

What is Kennel Cough?

December 8, 2020

Are you boarding this holiday season? Are you having your pets groomed? Do you know where your neighbor’s dogs have been recently? All of these situations can cause concern for susceptibility to the disease commonly known as “kennel cough.” Here are a few tidbits you may wish to know prior to speaking to your veterinarian.…