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Odds of Getting In

First, the good news. Expect a 20 percent increase in the number of dog groomers needed to meet market demand, at least through 2018. You might wonder what's behind this astonishing figure. First, the number of pets will continue to increase (especially dogs, which is quite fortunate for dog groomers). Mobile pet grooming services are also projected to take off. Now that we've cheered you up with the national job growth prospects, let's see how things look in your community.

We've got several different factors at work here. First, consider your region's economic environment. Do you live in a relatively prosperous urban or suburban economy, where residents have the discretionary income to get their dogs groomed regularly? Or has your community been hard hit by economic storms, which means residents are probably more concerned about paying their mortgages than grooming their dogs? That's the first question.

Now what are the odds of getting a grooming shop gig? This will require a little detective work. Research your area's grooming shops, and determine how many groomers work at each facility. Now stop in unannounced, perhaps to get some grooming information, and observe how busy the groomers seem to be. If they're tearing their hair out and still can't keep up, that's a shop that might need some help. If they're sitting around watching soaps or reality reruns, you might not want to throw your eggs in that basket.

The rest, as they say, is up to you. You'll have to put together a résumé that details all your animal care experience, including any non-profit animal group volunteer work. Include reference letters that emphasize your reliability and strong work ethic. Next, you'll have to convince the grooming shop's owner or manager that you're worth the risk. If you've been to grooming school, that puts an extra feather in your cap and might improve your odds of getting hired.

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