Posted in Career Insights
How Much Do Dog Groomers Make

Have you ever wanted to work in a pet store or at an animal shelter?

Do you have dreams of starting your own pet grooming salon or freelancing on your own schedule?

Have you thought about starting a mobile dog grooming business? 

Ever wondered what is in a dog groomer’s job description and how much a dog groomer makes a year?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then a career in dog grooming may be the perfect fit for you.    

Below, we will dive into closer detail on everything involved in a career as a dog groomer.

Job Description

Professional dog groomers help maintain a pet’s appearance. They give baths, trim and style fur, clip nails, and clean ears. Some groomers provide more extensive services, such as flea baths or fur dematting. 

Dog groomers who own their own businesses may also schedule appointments, recommend or sell products, and maintain their grooming facilities. In some cases, and depending on demand, dog groomers can also provide grooming services for cats. 

Average Dog Groomer Salary

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for animal care and service workers in 2018 was $29,290. 

Still, people often wonder, how much do dog groomers make a year? Below, we’ll go into the average dog groomers salary and even how you can make more money as a dog groomer.

Dog Groomer Salary Examples

Here are some great examples of how much a dog groomer can make and the different dog groomer salaries you can earn with a career as a dog groomer.

Retail Pet Groomer

According to the industry website 2017 QC Pet Studies, retail dog groomers make an average of about $10 per hour in an entry-level position. With experience, a groomer can make as much as $14 per hour in a retail environment.

A retail pet groomer works at places like your local pet store, dog boarding facilities, and any big box pet store like PetSmart that offers grooming services. Working at these places will offer good job security and a constant stream of clients who regularly need their pets groomed. The more experience you have, the higher your dog groomer salary will be.

Freelance Pet Groomer

Industry averages indicate that freelance dog groomers are likely to make close to the national average, which is about $29,000 per year.

A freelance groomer can set their own prices as they will, which gives them an advantage in their local market when setting prices to local income levels.

For example, a groomer could provide their services solely in a large city, such as New York City, and fetch a decent price, but they will face more competition than they would if they were, say, a dog groomer in a farming community in Ohio working on hunting dogs.

It is clear that when there is a higher demand for groomers in a certain area, the average dog groomer salary will be higher.

Keep in mind that freelance dog groomers must have their own clients. If you want to begin as a freelance groomer, you will initially have to find clients for your new business. After you build up your reputation as a dog groomer, you will start earning referrals from previous clients for new work. Through those clients and your other contacts, you will be able to grow your pet grooming business to heights yet unseen.

Salon Groomer

A dog groomer working in a salon, according to the industry average, can make as much as approximately $22 per dog, with most groomers working on about 5 dogs per day. Though it will vary from salon to salon, dog groomers can make more commission per dog serviced as they gain experience in the business (and sometimes, depending on time spent at that particular location).

Becoming a salon dog groomer is one of the best ways to earn a higher dog groomer salary. These pet salons make the most money because they are high-end places where people bring their pets specifically to be groomed. To work at a pet salon, you will need to have previous experience working as a dog groomer or with animals. If you do work at a pet salon, you will be grooming dogs as if they are going to be shown in competitions. This level of knowledge and experience is hard to get, so it allows you to charge more for your services as a dog groomer.

Educational Requirements

As with most jobs involving the care and training of dogs, dog groomers need little to no formal education in order to become a groomer. At a minimum, a high school diploma or equivalent is required.

In general, training to be a dog groomer is done through an apprenticeship, which includes a significant amount of on-the-job training. Many professional dog groomers move on to earn a certification from a professional organization.  

Both the National Dog Groomers Association of America and the National Groomer Association of Canada, among others, offer professional certifications.  

Job Growth 

From 2016 to 2026, job opportunities in the animal care and service workers sector is projected to grow by 22%, which is well above the average expected growth for all occupations.

Check Out Stratford Career Institute’s Online Dog Grooming Course

Anyone who is passionate about working with dogs, or even just spending time with dogs, will be able to find a fulfilling career for themselves working as a dog groomer.

Whether you would like to learn more about grooming your dog to make sure they look their best or are simply interested in exploring a new career, Stratford Career Institute’s dog grooming course is a great start. If you’re interested, check the website, and see what the course can offer you!

Enroll in our online class today to prepare yourself for a career in dog grooming!


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5

Are you interested in becoming a dog groomer?

Are you interested in becoming a dog groomer?

Whether you would like to learn more about grooming your dog to make sure they look their best or are simply interested in exploring a new career, Stratford Career Institute’s dog grooming course is a great start. Enroll today!