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Professional Pet Grooming License and Certification Information

Professional pet groomers maintain the appearance of dogs and some cats. Licensing and certification requirements vary by state. Read this article to find out more about this profession.

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What Are the Licensing Requirements?

Licensing for a pet groomer is regulated by state agencies. Some states, such as Michigan, don't require licensing. Others, such as New York and Connecticut, require licensing of both a groomer and a grooming facility. States may require training facilities to be licensed.

Although a license is required in most states, there are no educational requirements for a pet groomer. The majority of licensing requirements apply to facilities, dealing with topics such as room requirements, grooming equipment, drying cages, exercise areas and interior accoutrements. Some states, such as Michigan, require pet groomers to have a domestic animal pest management license if they provide flea baths for clients.

Certification

Pet groomers can be certified through the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA). Certification is not a requirement for licensing. NDGAA offers seminars that lead to certification. Generally lasting two days, the seminars cover the basics of pet grooming and styling. On the first day, instructions and demonstrations are given for grooming standard breeds. The second day of the seminar gives an aspiring pet groomer the opportunity to display their skills to a board of NDGAA certifiers. A written exam and demonstration of acquired skills leads to certification.

Career Overview

Pet groomers work for themselves or for others in pet salons, kennels, veterinarian clinics or mobile grooming services. Pet groomers need to be able to work with animals, including large dogs. They must know the styling standards for different breeds. Pet groomers bathe and style pets' hair and often trim nails. They must be knowledgeable about signs of disease or health issues with dogs or cats. Groomers maintain and sterilize equipment and keep the work space up to standards required by law.

Education

Training is often accomplished through an informal apprenticeship with a licensed groomer. Training generally takes six to ten weeks to complete. In 2006, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reported that there are about 50 grooming schools that are state-licensed. These training programs may take two to 18 weeks to complete. Some states may recommend training schools on their official websites.

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