How To Become A Dog Groomer: All You Need To Know

Are you a dog person? Dogs are our best friends. They are adorable, loyal, and some are fierce and so understanding. Do you love the fluffy canines around your neighborhood (including yours)? Are you into the idea of taking care of all the pups you meet? Do you like the concept of grooming, bathing dogs, taking good care of them for a living? If yes, then maybe you are destined to become a dog groomer.

What Is A Dog Grooming Job?

The mission of dog groomers is to send home happy clean, healthy dogs. As each dog is different, the grooming process requires groomers to treat them accordingly. The procedure includes choosing suitable products like dog shampoos or conditioners for their fur, a brush to match their coat condition, and tools to groom their fur even under their pads. If a dog’s eyes, teeth, nails or ears are dirty or knots forming in its coat, then a groomer is also responsible for fixing these issues.

Working as a dog groomer can be more challenging than a hairdresser. The dogs can be too playful at times and cause problems to the inexperienced groomers. A barber or hairstylist is not required to trim the customers’ nails or hair on their feet. Not to mention the customers in a hair salon would mostly sit still, while the furry counterparts are more easily distracted and can be troublesome at times. 

Of course, the need for dog groomers is present. As many want their pups cleaned and professionally taken care of, there are more and more dog salons or freelance groomers in the market, yet we still need more. Looking after each furry friend and making them happy, any dog groomers would find this a treat and an enjoyable job.

Why Should You Become A Professional Dog Groomer?

First Of All, You Love Dogs And Are Passionate About Dogs. 

Being surrounded by all these furry friends at work, you can compare your life to a dream or a nightmare. It depends on how much your love for canines shines through. With love for dogs in your heart, just imagine how much fun you can get. You get to play with them and take care of them in a way that you know is best for them. Brushing dogs’ fur, giving them a bath, and grooming their coat to make both the dogs and their owners happy sound more like a dream to all dog lovers. 

what is a dog grooming job?
The mission of dog groomers is to send home happy clean, healthy dogs – Source: pixabays

On top of that, giving professional pieces of advice to their human owners can also benefit a canine’s well-being throughout his life so much more. A dog groomer is somewhat a veterinarian specialized in dogs’ fur, which means their bits of advice can help the owners take better care of the dogs’ coat. The pups would be less likely to suffer from any skin condition if their owners follow a groomer’s tips. 

Second, You Can Make Quite Good Money. 

How much do dog groomers make? A typical dog groomer can earn from $25,000 to $45,000 (USD) per year, which is quite decent. The pay rate can vary depending on your own experience, ‘target clients,’ location, and your brand.

Based On Experience, How Much Do Dog Trainers Make? 

An entry-level grooming position starts with a rate of $25,838 per year, while the majority of the experienced workers earn up to $62,500 yearly.

A beginner can earn $20,000, plus tips, in their first five years, which can be higher with proper training and groomer certificates. This period can establish a solid foundation to climb your career ladder later on, as hands-on experience can go a long way in the field of grooming, even without a college degree.

The payment will rise to $30,000 annually after that 5-year milestone. A salon is likely to offer more commissions per session for a professional than a regular recruiter does. Also, wage negotiation is possible at this stage as you have more experience and can start working for yourself.

Having a lot of expertise (+8 years) allows you to open your own salon business. More than $36,000 after tax is what an experienced dog groomer can expect to earn with their own business. 

Throughout the States, how much do dog trainers make

How much do dog groomers make? According to various surveys from, an average dog groomer’s annual salary is $39,000 in the US, equivalent to $20 per hour. The paying rate also varies region by region. While the Wisconsin region offers a median highest wage for this profession, at $57,500 per year in 2021, while in Colorado, it is only $29,250. 

Additionally, according to the Vocational Training HQ website, the top five states with the highest annual pay-rate for dog groomers are the District of Columbia ($36,400), Hawaii ($33,200), Alaska ($32,840), California ($31,770) and Massachusetts ($31,740). These results suggest that finding a specific area to start your journey as a dog groomer can be financially beneficial. 

How To Get Started Working As A Dog Groomer?

Pass GED Tests / High School Diploma

You do not need much experience working with dogs but should first obtain a high school diploma or pass the General Education Development (GED) tests. Additionally, it requires knowledge and skills to start grooming canines, which you can get from an apprenticeship program or a certification process.

Training programs allow tyros to bathe dogs, trim and style their fur under an experienced groomer’s supervision. Dog groomers in the area can be your supervisors who can prepare you for the job and give you all the information you may need. You should consider visiting dogs’ salons for training sessions and get some experience there.

Professional Education

Starting with formal professional education is also a common route. Groomers can enroll in one among 50 state-approved schools for grooming training. Their programs last 2-18 weeks in total, teaching one the basis of taking care of furry friends and skills required to start working. In general, a dog groomer who graduated from schools can easily find a job with a decent salary after leaving school.

Groomers can enroll in one among 50-state-approved schools for grooming training
How to become a dog groomer? – Source: Pixabay

One way or another, a dog groomer can start working if they know about dogs’ breeds and how to keep them calm and happy throughout a session. All methods to maintain dogs’ fur and give dogs CPR or emergency medicines are also required to correctly perform the job.

Another skill that can come in handy is time management since a dog groomer needs to finish their job on any given day. This requirement can be challenging due to seasonality, especially on National Pet Day when dog parents want to give their canines something. Various customers and their special requests, along with some rowdy or uncooperative dogs running around, can exhaust you quickly. With top time management skills, a professional dog groomer can manage to make it through those hectic workdays.

Earning Certification

If you want to excel in the field, consider earning certification, like the National Certified Master Groomer designation from The National Dog Groomers Association of America. The International Model of Pet Grooming Distinction from the International Professional Groomers, Inc is also a prestigious certificate for any dog groomer. These courses can enable you to stay up to date on modern grooming techniques and have the knowledge required for the job. Consequently, certificates and what you learn there can help you find a job more efficiently or make you stand out, as an expert, among other colleagues.

Final Words

This job is a worth-considering career choice for dog lovers. It requires mostly passion and love for our beloved canine friends. It can be tough financially at first, but experience comes with high payment. Start your journey now! Let’s earn some certification, do some training, find “dog grooming jobs near me” and give it a go. All dogs deserve love, and of course, a good dog groomer.

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Emmanuel Davies

Most of Emmanuel Davies's professional life has been spent in education. Early in the year 2020, he teamed up with JobandEdu, getting a career counselor writer role and contributing such as career overview, employment counseling, and workplace culture. Davies has deep expertise in the academic and career advisor position gained via past roles at diverse establishments and foundations. Consequently, he plans to use writing to disseminate his knowledge and counsel to the masses.