Frequently Asked Questions | Just Four Paws Academy of Pet Styling - Erie, PA
Below are some of the questions that we are asked most frequently about the pet styling field:
Q: "How much does a pet stylist/groomer make?"
A: Well...this can depend on the individual stylist as well as where the stylist works. There are three ways that a groomer could be paid - commission, hourly or salary.
Most salons pay their stylists commission. What this means, is that the stylists makes a certain percentage of the cost of the grooming (plus any tips given) and the salon makes the remaining percentage of the cost of the grooming. The average cost to have a dog groomed in our region is $40-$50. Keep in mind that this is an average, meaning some dogs may be more expensive and other dogs may be less expensive. The average dog being groomed takes approximately 60-75 minutes and the average salon pays the experienced pet stylist 50% commission plus tips (new graduates may start at a lower rate).
Let's look at an example. Let's say that you are grooming a dog that is at the low end of the average ($40) and takes an hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) to complete. This is what that may look like:
50% of $40 = $20
$20 divided by 75 minutes = $0.27/minute
$0.27/minute times 60 minutes = $16.20/hour (plus any tip you most likely will receive)
Our instructor suggests a goal of $12-$15/hour. Keep in mind, though, that your ambition could make a difference - in either direction!
What other profession could you go to school for two – four months and make a salary like that?
Q. "Do Pet Stylists/Groomers work 9:00-5:00 Monday through Friday?"
A. It depends on where you work. You may or may not have to work weekends or evenings. Our guess is that you are furthering your education to make a good living. If this is the case, you will WANT to work weekends and evenings! Think about it - a lot of people work 9:00 - 5:00 Monday through Friday, making it difficult to get their fur-baby in for a grooming during work hours. Therefore, your customers may opt for evenings and weekends.
Q. "Will I be a certified groomer when I graduate from Just Four Paws Academy of Pet Styling?"
A. Just Four Paws Academy of Pet Styling is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to issue a diploma to all students who successfully complete our programs. Certification is something that you do not need to have in order to groom. In fact, in the grooming industry, certification is more of a continuing education than it is something that is necessary. With that being said, however, we suggest that every student does become certified, which we would be happy to assist our graduates in doing. Our instructor is a Nationally Certified Master Groomer through the National Dog Groomers Association of America.
No grooming school can certify their students. Certification can only be achieved through organizations like that National Dog Groomer's Association of America (NDGAA) or the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists (ISCC) to name a couple.
Q. “How long will it take for me to complete the program?”
A. It depends on which program you are interested in.
Our 300-hour, Professional Dog Styling Program takes the full-time student (attending class from 9:00am – 3:50pm, Monday through Friday) approximately two months to complete.
Our 600-hour, Advanced Pet Styling Program takes the full-time student (attending class from 9:00am – 3:50pm, Monday through Friday) approximately four months to complete.
While we do allow for some flexibility, students are required to complete their program of choice within 1.5x the length of the program. In other words, students enrolled in the 300-hour program are required to graduate within three months and students enrolled in the 600-hour program are required to graduate within six months.
Q. “How much will it cost me to attend Just Four Paws Academy of Pet Styling?”
A. It depends on which program you are interested in.
Our 300-hour, Professional Dog Styling Program has a tuition of $4890, a registration fee of $150 and a tool kit fee of $800. The total cost of the Professional Dog Styling Program is $5840.
Our 600-hour, Advanced Pet Styling Program has a tuition of $8800, a registration fee of $150 and a tool kit fee of $900. The total cost of the Advanced Pet Styling Program is $9850.
All students are required to complete a portfolio as part of their grade. The cost of the portfolio is the student’s responsibility. The portfolio can be as extravagant (expensive) as you wish or as simple (inexpensive) as you wish. As long as everything required is included in the portfolio, how much money you spent on creating the portfolio will not affect the grade you receive.
At some point while you are in school, we will have a blade-sharpening professional visit to sharpen the clipper and scissor blades of the students and professionals in the salon. It is at the individual student’s discretion to have his or her blades sharpened at that time or not. If you choose to have your blades sharpened, it may be approximately $30 or so (this is an estimate – please discuss the price with your instructor as she has a good idea as to what each blade sharpener will charge.)
Q. “What is the difference between the 300-hour, Professional Dog Styling Program and the 600-hour, Advanced Pet Styling Program?”
A. We are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer two diploma programs.
Our 300-hour, Professional Dog Styling Program is designed to teach dog styling only and consists of three courses: Prepping 101, Bathing & Drying 102 and Styling 103. Students who successfully complete this program are able to enter the field of pet styling as an entry-level pet stylist. Students who successfully complete the 300-hour Program are presented with a diploma upon graduation. Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate would receive a diploma.
Our 600-hour, Advanced Pet Styling Program is designed to teach dog styling as well as cat styling. Students will complete the same three courses in the 300-hour program, as well as two Outstanding Pet Care courses that introduce the student to additional situations he or she may encounter while in the field (such as nutrition and parasites to name a couple), an Animal Behavior course that offers advanced understanding of animal communication and a Red Cross CPR & First Aid course that allows the student to practice taking care of a pet that may need some special care. The majority of the additional 300-hours is spent perfecting the student’s styling skills and speed techniques while grooming dogs and cats. Students who successfully complete the 600-hour Program are presented with a diploma, two certificates of completion for the two Outstanding Pet Care courses and a third certificate of completion for the Red Cross CPR & First Aid Course using the Red Cross curriculum. Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate would recieve a diploma, a certificate of completion for the Red Cross course and one certificate of completion for each of the two Ouststanding Pet Care courses.
Q. “How will I be graded?”
A. Students receive their grades based on their performance on written tests, practicals, portfolio and professional development. These can be discussed further during your scheduled tour.
Q. “What is included in the tool kit?
A. The tool kit includes a nice carrying bag and the following: a simple smock, one pair of each, straight, curved and thinning shears, clippers, clipper blades, clipper blade box, clipper comb attachments, clipper comb attachments box, combs, brush, nail clippers, dremmel, forceps, ear powder, grooming loop, all your text books and more!
Q. “I already have some grooming tools. Could I have things deducted from my tool kit, making my tool kit less expensive?”
A. Our tool kits have been custom designed with the new pet styling student in mind. The administrator and instructor have spent a lot of time designing a tool kit that we think is best for the new pet stylist. All students are required to purchase the tool kit in its entirety. With that being said, if you have a few tools already, this puts you in a very good spot. While our tool kit only comes with one set of everything, we recommend that pet stylists have two sets of many of the tools in their arsenal at all times. There will, most likely, be a day when you drop your clippers or scissors on the floor while working on the first dog of a very busy day and you won’t be able to replace them before the next dog arrives. You will be glad to have that extra pair!
Q. “Is Just Four Paws Academy of Pet Styling a resource, even after graduation?”
A. Absolutely! We love to hear from our graduates! It is not uncommon for us to see a graduate or receive a phone call or email from our graduates. Most of the time it is just to say hello! We keep in touch with you as well – telling of job openings and other exciting things through our graduates’ facebook, via emails, etc.
Q. “What other resources do professional pet stylists have?”
A. There are all kinds of resources for pet stylists! There are magazines, professional organizations (like the NDGAA mentioned above), grooming conventions and events such as grooming cruises and expos. While in school you will receive a lot of information about all of these wonderful resources.