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List of Animal Grooming Schools in the U.S.

Professional pet groomers don't always need a license, so training programs for groomers vary widely; they may require anywhere between 200 and 700 clock hours for completion. There is one thing the programs tend to have in common, though: nearly all of them are offered via vocational schools.

Bathing, nail trimming, teeth cleaning, ear care and breed-specific grooming techniques are best learned by doing. For this reason, prospective animal groomers should enroll in programs that offer ample opportunity for hands-on experience. Some of the best grooming schools run their own pet salon where students can train under the supervision of an instructor. A school salon that services a large volume of both pure-bred animals and mixed breeds will generally offer students the best training for a career in animal grooming.

10 Animal Grooming Schools

Here are some schools with animal grooming programs, and basic information about each one to help you choose:

Schools Location Program Length* Tuition (total program cost)*
North Shore Community College Danvers, MA 2-year associate's degree program with grooming concentration $4,536 per year in-state, $10,104 per year out-of-state**
Cornerstone Dog Grooming Academy Clyde, OH 600 clock hours $6,198
Merryfield School of Pet Grooming, Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL 600 clock hours $11,944
Rio Gran Grooming School Hastings, MN 200 or 436 clock hours $3,000 for short course, $7,000 for full course
Paragon School of Pet Grooming Jenison, MI 240 or 600 clock hours $3,125 for short course, $5,750 for full course
Texas Allbreed Grooming School Arlington, TX 480 clock hours $6,302
Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy Miami, FL 300 clock hours $5,780
The Dapper Dawg School of Professional Pet Grooming Stoneham, MA 300 clock hours N/A
Michigan School of K-9 Cosmetology Lansing, MI 600 clock hours N/A
Clip Shoppe School of Dog Grooming Newfoundland, NJ 420 clock hours $6,631

Sources: *School/program websites, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Additional information to keep in mind when selecting a good grooming program include the following:

  • Comprehensive programs should entail coursework covering animal anatomy, psychology and behavior.
  • Students interested in running their own salon or mobile grooming service should look for programs offering small business courses.
  • Some schools offer evening and weekend courses for students needing a flexible schedule.
  • Students seeking greater education and job opportunities should earn an associate's degree in animal science with a grooming concentration; credits may transfer to a bachelor's degree.

Programs in Animal Grooming

Associate's degree programs or courses, typically involving several hundred hours of instruction, are common ways of learning how to be an animal groomer. Hands-on training is important as well, and good programs should offer plenty of opportunity for practical experience. There are animal grooming programs across the country, with options to suit a variety of career and lifestyle needs.

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