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Grooming School, help me decide!!

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  • Grooming School, help me decide!!

    So my thread was closed and I apologize, I didn't completely read the term agreements. I have read a few other posts that were made with people talking about where they worked and those threads were not closed, oh well. I still want to hear everyone's opinions, so I'm posting this again, only edited a bit, help me out guys, your opinions are greatly appreciated. I’m re-typing this since it was deleted, so it may be a bit different. Hopefully it isn't closed again.


    Hi everyone, my name is Kristin, I currently live in Northern California. I am working as a bather at a local Petsomething and there has been talk of me going to grooming school in the following months, probably around June or so. I was just wondering what everyone thinks about it all. I keep going back and forth about it, there are pros and cons to it all.

    There’s a 2 year commitment and an initial $600 investment for tools and supplies. The schooling is a $4000 schooling, that’s why they want us committed for at least 2 years, to work it off I guess, that part I understand.

    The hard part is dealing with the corporate stuff like them getting on our backs about sales and stuff. One of the good things is that I will get hourly or commission, whichever one ends up being more, on a weekly basis.

    I’m currently working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Entreprenuership. I want to eventually own my own business, I’m just not sure what, I’ve always liked the idea of having a scrapbook store, but it’s a very costly business to be in, which not much reward in it. I could eventually open my own grooming salon like my current manager has done.

    The good thing about where I work is that we all get along really well and I have an awesome salon manager. She actually told me that if it weren't for the people she's in direct contact with every day, she wouldn't work there.

    One of our groomers, my best friend actually, just got back from grooming school, her instructor wasn't the best because it seems like she is burnt out and ready to stop instructing. I might not get the same instructor, it depends on what store they end up sending me to. I think I'm going to do it because it's such a great opportunity, even if it is a 2 year commitment. My friend who just went through it doesn't have a lot of patience and is a very cynical person, she's not so good with the customer service end. I on the other hand have been in the customer service field for 6 years now and like to think I am good at that part. That's why I think I would have an easier time with it all than she would.

    Anyway, let me know any of your input or opinions on it all, I would love to hear any comments you guys have.

  • #2
    My Post Can Help You!!

    Dear Kat2785,

    Here's why you should listen to my reply.

    I graduated from college and graduate school. Once I was finished, I entered the corporate world for about 10 years. I made a lot of money, but always wanted my own business.

    About a year ago, I decided to attend an expensive grooming school close to where I lived. It was 608 hours and it promoted its' classroom curriculum along with its' hands on training.

    Understand this...I went into this program thinking that I was going to learn 3 things:

    1. Hands On Grooming
    2. Classroom Lecture Work (breed types, tips, marketing etc)
    3. Business Skills

    Here's what I quickly learned...

    I was a slave for this owner. She had all of her students cleaning toilets, tubs, tables, taking out garbage etc. etc.

    I also saw a number of 'animal abuse' issues at her school too. I won't go into these, but I'll just say that if there were hidden cameras she would be out of business.

    To top it off, I was the only one that saw her (and this school) for what it was.

    Unfortunately, my fellow classmates never went to college and most had a 'rough' life. They were use to being treated 'poorly' and they weren't willing to do anything about it.

    I say this (not to complain) but to tell you that in my 6 years of college and 10 years of corporate America, I never had to 'sell my soul' to learn a skill.

    Sure I don't mind 'paying my dues'...but this school was not about that. This school was merely a stream of revenue for this owner.

    Today, I own a successful shop in a prominent town. My shop has a fun and professional atmosphere....towards the pets, my employees and clients.

    I'm always trying to encourage my employees to 'better themselves'.

    Just today I was suggesting that my bather challenge herself by learning grooming. This could give her more money and increased self esteem (she has a young son to support too). I hope that she takes my advice.

    My suggestion to you is NOT to go to a 2 year program. (By the way I know which program you're talking about - it's a big corporation).

    Instead, find a groomer (maybe even an owner that grooms) and ask him or her to apprentice you. You could start with prep work (pads, nails, pre-shaves) and work up to finishing.

    Be willing to ask a lot of questions and put in some overtime - just so that you can 'squeeze' a lot of information out of this person.

    Be very clear about what you want to learn AND put it in writing. I would also suggest asking for a salary (or hourly wage) since you need to support yourself.

    If you lived in So Cal you could do it at my shop. Since you don't, I recommend finding someone in No Cal that works for you.

    Good luck.


    • #3
      I don't remember reading about any specific employers mentioned, but oh well.

      I went to a petsomething school and I wasn't required to have a 1 or 2 year contract. I guess I was lucky and maybe they've changed since then. Is there an actual contract you have to sign for it?
      I enjoyed the schooling quite a bit. I had a great teacher in a district I wasn't supposed to be sent to (their bad, but my benefit ). It really does depend on the teacher, be it a corporate training, private school training or intern/apprenticeship training. Any way you go, you need to have a good rapport with your teacher. The benefit of the corporate training is that it all comes out of your paycheck gradually. You don't have to front all the money yourself at once.


      • #4
        Paying for it

        I don't have to pay for it, it doesn't come out of my paycheck, they pay for the schooling entirely, that's why it's such a good opportunity and it's also why they require the 2 years, and yes I would have to sign an actual contract.