What courses do you provide?
Presently we are offering the Canine Assistant Groomer Program, a Canine Pet Stylist Program, a Canine All Inclusive Groomer Program, and a Feline Groomer Program; however, a Canine/Feline All Inclusive Program will be available Spring of 2018. We also provide some Quick-Start options to suit the needs of individuals who can’t travel to the Academy.
Why is it important to become a trained, certified groomer?
Currently there are no laws on who can groom and what education one must have to be a groomer. You can actually teach yourself how to groom as a career if you are extremely committed. This is how many of the instructors at AAPGAA did start. It was a long frustrating process for many of us. Through discussion, the instructors agree that if we could do it all over again – the benefits of becoming certified through a reputable school would have been of the highest benefit. An education in the field of professional grooming will not only speed up your career, it will assist you in producing work to the highest standards and thus a more profitable/ successful business.
Is Apex Academy of Professional Grooming & Animal Arts registered?
AAPGAA is registered with the Saskatchewan Advanced Education Universities and Private Vocational Schools Branch which means the Academy is regulated and required to follow strict criteria laid out by the ministry.
Do any of the instructors have experience in conformation showing?
At Apex, two instructors have extensive show background, and understanding of grooming-to-breed standards.
How much hands-on-time is available for students?
At Apex, the students have their own dogs and cats coming in daily. Not just that, Apex works in combination with a two busy salons, Zoom Zoom Groom and PreZoomably Cats. There are plenty of experiences that can take place! We also have the mobile grooming vans, which all students can experience.
How are the lectures and theory part of the program managed?
For the most part, Connie Buchanan (founder of Apex) will be conducting the lectures. Connie has a degree in education and taught middles years education for 18 years prior to starting her grooming career. The skills she learned through her teaching degree and experiences are transferred to the instruction at Apex. It was her love for teaching, and seeing a strong need for grooming education that created her passion to open the school. Many of the lectures are online and provided on a platform called Digital Chalk.
Is the facility clean, organized and set up to facilitate students?
For Canine Courses each student now has their personal hydraulic table, and clipper vac system. The Feline Course facilitates cat specific tubs, tables and dryers. We take great pride in our facility with plenty of tubs, kennels, and drying stations and it is clean, bright and safe. It is evident that the staff treats their clients( both two legged and four) with the upmost respect and dignity.
What type of student is Apex Academy looking for?
Even if we were the best school in the world, we can only be responsible for 50% of your learning- the rest is up to you! Grooming school is tough as there is so much to learn. The time you spend at Apex to become certified is just the beginning of your wonderful profession! Learning is continuous and there is not a day that goes by that through teaching I do not learn something new!
Apex is looking for focused students who are determined to immerse themselves in every aspect and opportunity to learn. Students need to have positive energy, and a passion for animals. Dogs & cats are very intuitive creatures and they can quickly decipher your intentions. Grooming is an extremely physical job. Groomers are constantly on their feet, and lifting occurs even though we try to provide equipment (ramped tubs, hydraulic tables etc.) to lessen the load. Creative skills and an eye for shapes, balance and symmetry is a must, however some of our best graduates have been students who felt they had none of these skills! Sometimes there is a hidden gift that just needs to be unwrapped!
What about accommodations?
The academy keeps a list of potential accommodations. Many of them are clients who have offered a bedroom or basement suite for our students. Please contact us if you have more questions about accommodations.
What does the industry look like right now?
We tell all our students that if they are a skilled groomer, they will attract clientele! According to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, about half of Canadian households own some kind of pet, and Canadians dropped $8.3 billion on them in 2018, a figure that’s been rising steadily annually. That has spelled opportunity for many small businesses- including the professional grooming niche! The exciting part of this industry is the new advances in tools and products that have simply raised the groomer and the industry to a whole new level! We feel the grooming as a profession is booming and what better time to raise the standards for producing outstanding workmanship and client services!
What can a groomer expect to be paid?
That question is difficult to answer! Cat groomers with full clientele compared to dog groomers with full clientele make a higher income due to the price point & time difference. You may make a minimum wage working in a salon depending on their pay scale, or you can make a very nice income in a salon that pays you by commission.
Making $20-$30+ per hour is doable working for a busy salon. That being said, there is also the opportunity to work on your own. Taking in consideration expenses, inventory and time etc. the results may be (but not always) a higher income than working for someone else. There are also the possibilities of diversifying and adding other income streams that work hand-in-hand with professional grooming, which can include:
- Day care
- Specialized Services – example creative grooming
- Training and more
Essentially, the sky is the limit, and the doors are open for pursuing your dreams, whether it is on a small scale or a larger, more ambitious one. When Connie Buchanan, founder of Apex, started with one mobile grooming vehicle, she had no idea it would grow to offer services in grooming education, consulting, mobile grooming, salon grooming, cat grooming & cat boarding!
Why do the tools seem more expensive than other schools?
We have seen tools from graduates of some schools that are adequate for their training but once the groomer steps into the world of full-time grooming they are required to upgrade their tools. We feel you should start from the beginning with the best tools available and tools that will last a long time. If you were a carpenter you would want the best tools possible to show your potential workmanship. Groomers are artists too and high quality tools are essential.
Is there any financial assistance available?
Yes, the Apex Academy’s programs are eligible for many provincial and federal student financial assistance programs. Have a look at the student loans offered by the government of Saskatchewan, or contact us for more information.
What if I'm not sure if this is a career for me?
We advise you to come for a shadowing day. You are welcome to join us and experience and see the workings of being a groomer first hand. Simply give us a call and we can arrange a shadow date for you!
When can I start and how can I enrol?
We are now staggering our enrolment. On the first Monday of every month, we will intake students. This means there may be students on the floor in their first weeks, and those in their last. It is great to see the more advanced students assist the newbies, thus reinforcing their learning and commitment to the profession. If you have questions, please phone Rhonda or Connie at 306-533-9155, or fill out our online registration form, and we will contact you as soon as possible!