• Questions to Ask Prospective Schools You May Attend

    PetGroomer.com has a List of Grooming Schools Worldwide and another version is also providerd here in the Resources Industry Directory that you are reading now. Please note that not every onsite grooming school is listed here, but the majority are. Some schools allow very limited enrollment each year. Because PetGroomer.com has huge web traffic we can sometimes swamp these very small schools with too many prospective student inquiries, so they ask us to occasionally remove their listings temporarily. If you don't see a school listed here, know this. Most US states "state license" vocational schools. Sometimes you can contact those state agencies and ask for a list of state licensed vocational grooming schools in their states.

    The choice of your grooming school couldn’t be more important. Your education is going to back a career of many years, even several decades. Grooming is how you intend to earn a living, and how you may expect to call yourself a professional.

    You've probably noticed that professionals advise the public where they received their education. Look for their diplomas and certificates hanging on the walls of their offices. Isn’t the same discerning attitude appropriate for you? Are you not going to be caring for living animals beloved by their owners? Are you not going to be operating advanced tools and machinery and to be expected to potentially groom everything tall and small in the canine world and perhaps the feline world as well? Won’t your clients expect expert styling, safety, humane treatment and proper handling? Of course, your educational choice is one of the most important decisions you will make in your career.

    “Caveat emptor” is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.” That adage certainly applies. Remember that in a profession without vocational licensing in any U.S. state any and every grooming school owner has the liberty to design a curriculum for grooming totally “their way.” Therefore, we assure you that curriculums vary greatly from school to school, no two are the same. However we don’t want to scare you. Most schools are reputable, but not every program serves the needs of every new career seeker. That’s where you need to learn just what are your educational needs.

    “Caveat emptor” is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.” That adage certainly applies. Remember that in a profession without vocational licensing in any U.S. state any and every grooming school owner has the liberty to design a curriculum for grooming totally “their way.” Therefore, we assure you that curriculums vary greatly from school to school, no two are the same. However we don’t want to scare you. Most schools are reputable, but not every program serves the needs of every new career seeker. That’s where you need to learn just what are your educational needs.

    If you were to ask us the most common mistake students make in selecting a school, we wouldn’t lose a beat and say, “Choosing to attend a school solely based on the reason that it is the closest one to where you live.” The odds that the curriculum right for you is in your neighborhood wouldn’t take you far in Las Vegas. Yes we have heard every excuse why someone cannot travel outside of their area to attend school for a few weeks. Fine, it is your choice and we are just giving you our best advice. We have all too often heard some remorse from students that they didn’t travel to this or that school, so there you have it. Let’s move on.

    Here’s our next best advice.

    Ensure that the institution you select is properly approved to provide pet grooming vocational education in accordance with the laws applicable within the jurisdiction where it exists. Except for a small handful of U.S. states, "vocational schools" must be “state approved” or “state licensed” by an agency of the state in which they reside. It is your responsibility to ensure your school is currently state licensed (where required by law) before you enroll in the institution. Several U.S. states require vocational schools to provide all prospective students with the name and contact information for the state agency which licenses them. You can contact that agency to ensure if the school is in good standing. Most schools outside the U.S. are not formally licensed like most U.S. vocational schools, but sometimes they are certified. The same rule applies, investigate your school’s approval where required.

    Your first step is to contact the schools of your interest and request their brochure (sometimes called a “catalog”). Thoroughly review the contents and follow-up with a site tour and interview with the institution's administration. Some U.S. states require a tour before you enroll; what does that tell you? Make it a point to tour the institution before you enroll.

    Here's another very important piece of advice.

    If several courses are offered, always take the longest course (whenever possible). As we have said before you will find that pet groomers keep learning more and more about grooming for the first several years. There are so many breeds and mixed breeds it can take some time before you had a chance to groom all the breed groups and the hundreds of different mixes. The longer your training period the more likely you will have a broad variety of experience. That experience will show down line and you will gain more confidence.

    List of questions:

    Is the institution "approved" or "licensed" as a vocational education institution? Schools outside U.S. may have an alternate form of approval or no approval may be required. Inquire with the school if they are subject to governmental approval. A few U.S. states do not license vocational education institutions.

    What is the field-related background of the institution's owner and instructors?[*]How many instructors are there per student? What is the enrollment limit per class?[*]Is the institution accredited (accreditation is not the same as state licensed)?

    Do they offer government related financial aid?

    Do they offer private financing or payment plans?

    Does the institution provide references from graduates?

    Do they provide textbooks, handouts, videos or other forms of course materials?

    Will you learn to groom multiple breed groups and various types of mixed breed pets?

    Will you learn to groom cats?

    How are the course hours divided between classroom and hands-on pet grooming?

    Is the size of the institution's pet owner clientele, and average number of daily grooming appoints, adequate to supply all enrolled students with pets to groom every school day?

    Do you have to share pets for grooming assignments with other students? If you do share pets how often can you be expected to share them?

    Does the institution offer a job placement program and statistics for their actual placement success?

    If you intend to be self-employed after graduation, will you learn pet grooming business management instruction as well as pet grooming skills?

    If you are attending from out of the area, do they offer housing assistance?

    Are you responsible to purchase a “toolkit?” What is the cost?

    What happens if you are ill and cannot attend a class?

    If you decide that grooming is not for you and you want to terminate your enrollment, are you eligible for a refund?

    If you want to add more training hours at the end of the program in which you are currently enrolled, can you add more?

    Do they provide field trips to trade shows or other extracurricular activities?

    You should have many more questions by the time you read the brochure or catalog of several schools. The differences will become self-evident. What if your training curriculum and experience is inadequate because you choose a less effective school?

    Take your decision very seriously, and we look forward to your entry into this exciting and growing industry.