How to Become a Dog Groomer in Virginia

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If you love animals you know it’s important for them to look good and be happy.

A dog groomer in Virginia can help achieve this, while also promoting the pets’ health.

If you want to know more about this occupation, or even becoming one yourself, read this guide!

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Dog Groomer Job Description and Duties in Virginia

Not everyone knows what this job entails, no pun intended.

First, there are 2 types of tasks to be completed daily:

  • Those that are related to the animals
  • Those that relate to the workplace

These ones involve directly the animal:

  • Cutting, clipping, and styling a dog’s coat
  • Bathing dogs
  • Clipping a dog’s nails
  • Interacting with dog owners
  • Knowing the hygienic care for each dog breed
  • Teeth brushing
  • Knowing how to restrain animals
  • Calming the dogs
  • Identify problem areas

These are related to the job itself:

  • Cleaning and maintenance of the workplace
  • Cleaning and maintaining your tools
  • Knowing which tools to use for what task
  • Safely operating the tools
  • Staying updated with styling trends
  • Staying informed on the industry changes

No matter where you work, additional tasks are always to be expected.

Dog Groomer Job Requirements in Virginia

According to the laws in Virginia, you don’t have to meet any set of special requirements to become or get hired as a dog groomer.

When searching for a job, however, you’ll generally be asked for:

  • Being over 18 years of age
  • Having a high school diploma or GED
  • Having some experience in working with animals
  • Clean criminal record

For this position, the ideal candidates need:

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Empathy
  • Calm
  • Attention to details
  • Good communication skills
  • Physically strong
  • Self-control

These are traits can be of great help in a variety of situation, but especially when dealing with more difficult pet owners or animals who get easily scared.

Dog Groomers’ Education and Certification in Virginia

There’s no need to become certified in Virginia, however doing so, will improve your career prospects.

Dog Groomers’ Education

Graduating from some training course in dog grooming will definitely give you an advantage when seeking a position.

There are many classes available, both online and offline, but the one to choose needs a focus on the practice period.

Don’t miss out on a course with accreditation from the National Dog Groomers Association of America, as this one is one of the most prestigious.

Duration is not an issue, for most classes last for approximately two months.

Those who can make an effort to pay the tuition all at once may benefit from a discount.

This is the structure of a pet styling training gprogram:

  • Introduction to Pet Grooming
  • Introduction to Dogs and Cats
  • Pre-Grooming Procedures
  • Dog Grooming, Part 1
  • Dog Grooming, Part 2
  • Dog Grooming, Part 3
  • Dog Personalities and Behavior
  • Cat Grooming
  • Business Practices

Dog Groomers’ Certification

To become certified you’ll need to pass the certification exam.

Usually, this means you’ll first sign up for it by providing some document and paying a fee.

Most certificates must be renewed through a request and an additional fee.

Those who want to work on their own or open a salon will need a business license.

This credential normally requires passing the jurisprudence exam.

If you also sell products in your salon, an additional permit is needed.

Dog Groomers’ Employment and Salary in Virginia

Most dog groomers work in places such as the following:

  • Dog rescues
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Pet grooming salons
  • Pet shops
  • Dog daycare centers

There are many factors influencing how much you’ll earn, particularly the type of employment you have.

Salaries are higher in cities like Arlington and Alexandria.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Dog Groomers in Virginia

City NameSalary
Virginia Beach$34,301
Newport News$33,601
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Virginia

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA100$28,200$13.56$36,450$22,880
Charlottesville, VA290$31,130$14.97$42,650$23,830
Harrisonburg, VA110$28,220$13.57$36,350$22,880
Lynchburg, VA150$27,720$13.33$36,020$22,880
Richmond, VA1,150$29,540$14.2$37,960$23,170
Roanoke, VA280$27,240$13.09$35,390$22,880
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA100$27,410$13.18$36,290$22,880
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC1,640$28,380$13.65$36,540$22,880
Winchester, VA-WV130$29,290$14.08$36,400$23,240
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Animal Caretakers, OCC Code 39-2021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information for Dog Groomers in Virginia

Depending on your aspirations, you may want to continue your education and improve your skills for a more successful career.

Here is where you can find resources for this:

  • National Dog Groomers Association of America
  • The Humane Society of the U.S./Virginia
  • International Professional Groomers
  • The National Association of Professional Creative Groomers
  • American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • Humane Society of Fairfax County

You may even find a better job through one of these organizations.

Those earning the certificate from the NDGAA are also supposed to become members of the Association.

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