Dog groomers work in a variety of settings including pet stores, kennels, and a pet owner's home. A high school diploma is required for this career, and dog groomers usually learn through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. Additionally, dog groomers can attend a grooming school, and voluntary certification is available.
Dog groomers maintain the physical appearance of all varieties of canines. They usually begin their careers by completing an apprenticeship program in which they bathe, trim and style dog fur under the supervision of an experienced groomer. Professional dog groomers may further demonstrate field-specific competence by earning certification.
|Required Education||High school diploma standard requirement|
|Other Requirements||Completion of dog grooming apprenticeship program or on-the-job training|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||16% for animal care and service workers|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$23,760 for all nonfarm animal caretakers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dog Groomer Salary Information
Dog groomers earn fairly low wages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2018 nonfarm animal caretakers, including dog groomers, earned a mean annual wage of $25,890. Pay varies slightly by location and industry. The highest-paying locations were the District of Columbia and Alaska in 2018. Animal caretakers in the District of Columbia earned an annual mean wage of $35,520, and those in Alaska earned a mean wage of $31,040 in 2018.
Duties of Dog Groomers
Dog groomers usually work in kennels, shelters, pet stores, veterinary facilities, and pet owners' homes. Their main duty is maintaining dogs' physical appearance. The dog grooming process involves brushing and cutting the fur, clipping nails, cleaning ears, bathing, drying and finally styling the fur. Groomers may also be responsible for sanitizing combs and shears, scheduling appointments and reporting issues or assessments to pet owners.
Dog Groomer Requirements
There are no strict formal education requirements for becoming a dog groomer; however, employers usually prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent. Most groomers acquire training through apprenticeship programs, which typically last 6-10 weeks. Apprentices learn grooming skills, such as bathing, drying, haircutting, nail clipping, and dog handling, through hands-on training under the supervision of experienced groomers. Groomers may also be trained by one of 50 state-approved grooming schools. These programs usually last 2-18 weeks.
Dog groomers can demonstrate proficiency by earning certification. The National Dog Groomers Association of America offers the National Certified Master Groomer designation. This certification entails attending an accredited workshop, proving practical skills through demonstration and passing a set of written exams. The International Professional Groomers, Inc. offers a more rigorous certification program, involving four written exams and five demonstrations. Candidates who pass with 70% or higher are rewarded with the International Model of Pet Grooming Distinction, and those who pass with 86% or higher are deemed International Certified Master Groomers.
Dog groomers are responsible for maintaining a dog's appearance, including washing, drying, brushing, cutting and styling fur. They also clip a dog's nails and clean their ears. Job opportunities for animal care and service workers, including dog groomers, are expected to grow 11% through the year 2024, which is faster than the average rate for all occupations.