I am seriously considering becoming a Pet Stylist and for the past few days I have been reading all about the industry and schooling options. Tuition to attend a grooming school will cost around $7k plus lodging expenses. I could apply for a Sallie Mae personal loan to cover these expenses (no guarantee on approval).
In my research, I discovered that a local Petco in my area also hires and trains Pet Stylists with no prior experience. There is no tuition and you get paid while learning.
So my question to you is - Do you think I should go with Petco or attend a grooming school? Oh, the Petco option does come with a 1 year commitment compared to grooming school - you are out and on your own in roughly 15 weeks (1 school I looked at is 1,000 hours).
Is there anyone on this board that went through the Petco training? Was there any contracts, learning schedules (timeframes) and most importantly - did they teach you a lot?
Of course if I selected Petco as my starting point, I am thinking that I would stay with them for either the 1 year or a 2 year personal commitment and then seek a grooming school for touch ups (general continuing education).
I am just afraid that I might get stuck as a bather for 4 months. I of course am looking to be trained in everything there is to know about the trade (everything from intake, pre-bath, bath, style, discharge, etc...)
Another concern of mine is - what happens after I am finished with Petco and decide to move to a private salon (working for someone else) - how will they recongnize my Petco training on my resume? Would I be welcomed with open arms or would I be told to seek professional training and come back when finished?
In summary, spend the money for education or take the free route as a starting point?
P.S. I am in no way shape or form down talking Petco or any grooming facility. I am only trying to ensure that I make the right decision the first time around and that I can join the rest of you as a great groomer.