How Long Is Petsmart Grooming Training? (Solved & Explained!)

The PetSmart grooming academy is a 160-hour course that you will take over a period of 4 weeks to finalize your apprenticeship and upgrade your status to Professional PetSmart groomer.

While your ‘official’ training ends here and you will have over 800 hours of experience with dogs from your apprenticeship at this time, you won’t be able to leave PetSmart right away.

The free training that you receive is PetSmart making an investment in you and you will be expected to sign a contract that says you agree to work for PetSmart for a period of no less than 2 years.

As the training that you receive is valued at around $6000 and you also get hands-on experience in the bargain, most consider this a pretty good deal and a great way to get both the grooming and the everyday business experience that it takes to eventually go solo and run a mobile grooming business or a salon.

For the remainder of this article, we’ve collected questions about PetSmart grooming training in order to give you an inside look at what it’s all about. Read on to find out if this is a good way for you to get your foot in the door of the lucrative business of professional pet grooming!

How much does an apprentice PetSmart groomer trainee make at PetSmart?

As an apprentice PetSmart groomer, you can expect a wage averaging around $11 per hour, though it will vary based on location and previous experience—with the actual range being $10 up to $15 per hour while apprenticing.

Pay is handled weekly and if you show an affinity for grooming, PetSmart can enroll you in their grooming academy to finalize your grooming education.

This is a 4-week, 160 hour course, and by the time your apprenticeship and professional grooming training is done, you should have safety certification and over 800 hours of hands-on experience with the grooming need of close to 200 different breeds of dog.

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Does PetSmart grooming training include safety certification?

Yes, all PetSmart professional groomers need to be safety certified in order to work with the dogs on the level beyond apprentice.

This certification will need to be renewed, from time to time, in order to keep it current, but before you start work as a professional PetSmart groomer this is something that you will definitely have.

Does PetSmart grooming training require a long contract?

The grooming academy for PetSmart is paid for and valued at over $6000, but it’s not technically completely ‘free’. You will be required to sign a contract agreeing to work for PetSmart as a professional groomer for a period of 2 years.

This is a great way to build up experience and to start purchasing tools and grooming gear while you work – as pro groomers get a 35% discount, rather than the standard 15% for PetSmart employees, when it comes to grooming gear!

You can gather a lot of equipment in those 2 years, so it’s certainly something to consider if you are looking to go pro and to start with a lot of experience by the time that you do.

What happens if I break my PetSmart 2-year contract?

If you decide that you want to become a solo groomer sooner than the expiration of your contract with PetSmart, you should keep in mind that this could be a costly decision. Breaking your contract will require that you pay for the grooming training which you have received.

While 2 years seems like a long time, you should consider that it’s extra experience and the discount on grooming gear is substantial. You could break your contract, or simply bide your time and start off with a much better skillset than you have right now.

Is PetSmart apprentice groomer training a good way to start if I want my own business?

PetSmart and other commercial venues such as PetCo are indeed a good way to get started.

The most important aspect of training at one of these businesses if the actual experience. While you could take an online course or even study YouTube videos, it’s not really the same, and a busy environment such as PetSmart can teach you quite a bit at a much faster pace.

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You can also get an insight into how the business is run from the inside. If you take a business course in your free time, then this could be an excellent way to gather experience so that you know exactly what you are doing when you set out on your own.

What should I wear to an interview at PetSmart for an apprentice groomer job?

If you are looking to start at the ground floor, you’ll want to go to the interview casual, but not TOO casual. Jeans and a collar shirt are good, or you could go the extra mile with some slacks and a collared shirt for a proper ‘business casual’.

More than that is not required, as only managerial candidates typically need to ‘dress to the 9’s’. Just groom yourself well and go into the interview with business casual attire and a good cache of confidence.

What are PetSmart interviews like?

While interview criteria will vary a lot based on the interviewer, prepare yourself at least to answer the question ‘Why do you want to work at PetSmart?’.

At this point you can explain that you love animals and include any experience that you feel is relevant, such as grooming your own dog (you could bring pictured, even!) or a penchant for styling in general. Every little bit helps but if you only have the motivation and no experience yet, then be honest about it.

Everyone has to start somewhere and some employers even prefer someone that they can train towards their exact methods and requirements!

Are there any job perks for PetSmart groomers?

Yes! PetSmart groomers get paid weekly, and the job also includes insurance for dental, vision, and medical. Furthermore, you get a 35% discount on grooming supplies, with a 15% discount on all other pet supplies.

Depending on the location, sometimes you can also get discounts on travel, lodging, and even on selected phone plans. Finally, aside from your hourly and the free training, you also get up to a 50% commission on grooming jobs.

All in all, if you love dogs, working as a PetSmart groomer can be a pretty sweet gig!

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Do PetSmart groomers get a lot of useful experience?

Yes, by the time that they’ve ‘gone pro’ and gotten your safety certification, most PetSmart groomers will have more than 800 hours of experience with over 200 different dog breeds. This is very important as a groomer, since every breed has their own specific requirements when it comes to grooming.

This makes PetSmart a great option for getting your foot in the door in the grooming world.

Is PetSmart grooming academy the only way to get real experience?

Not at all! Check local physical grooming courses in your area and some online options come with real experience as well.

A good example is Animal Behavior college, which provides and online course that gives you access to their network of businesses across the 50 states to ‘finalize’ your education with hands-on experience working there!

There’s more than one way to go pro and if you don’t like working for a big business before going solo or simply want to ‘ramp up the pace’, then you’ve definitely got more options to accomplish this on your own.