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What Can I Expect to Make as a Professional Dog Groomer?

More than half of all American households are home to a family pet. And for at least 48 million Americans, that pet is man’s best friend. After all, humans and dogs have been co-existing in harmony for thousands of years.

But the concept of having them bathed, rinsed, brushed, and pampered regularly is a daunting task for most busy pet owners. Americans spend more than $5.4 Billion on pet grooming and boarding services annually, and that figure continues to grow. Pet ownership has never ceased to rise and with the growing ownership of pets, pet owners are increasingly spending more on pet grooming and service packages for their pets.

If you’ve found yourself wondering, “How much do dog groomers make?”, then keep reading! This brief guide will explore what dog groomers do, how much they earn, and what it takes to become one.

What Do Dog Groomers Do?

Dog groomers perform several tasks throughout their duties. They may schedule appointments with clients, help check-in arriving pets, and consult with pet owners on potential services and treatments.

Still, pet groomers generally spend their time brushing, bathing, and styling their client’s furry friends. Let’s explore these tasks in greater detail to help you better understand what dog groomers are expected to do.

Many dog groomers work in salons or grooming shops, and move up to owning their own grooming salon or mobile grooming van. Just like with their hairstylists, many dog owners want to find the right groomer for their pet and keep coming back to keep their pets looking great.


It’s a good idea to bathe your dog at a bare minimum once every three months, but it’s safe to frequently bathe them with gentle shampoo every other week. It all depends on how active and where you take your pets! A couple exciting trips to the dog park? Your pups coat might need some attention. Dogs are especially prone to developing unpleasant smells due to a build-up of oils in their coat.

Some types of dogs are also drawn to large, muddy puddles or find something that just doesn’t smell good. The result is happy, but a stinky pup. Bathing your dog can be a stressful experience, especially if you or your pet is unaccustomed to the process.

Dogs that aren’t used to taking regular baths can become stressed-out when expected to climb into a tub or sit still for soapy scrubbing. This leads owners to also feel frustrated and exhausted. 

Pet owners that can coax their pup into the bathtub for a quick spray-down might notice that their dog leaves a ton of hair, dirt, and body oil in their tub. This can result in an unpleasant clean-up that takes place after every dog bath.

For these reasons, many owners prefer to take their dog to a groomer for bathing needs. Groomers must have the patience to handle this task, as well as a toolbox of techniques to help them get the job done quickly, effectively, and without stress.


Most dogs have fur of some type. Some may be short-haired beauties that barely shed, while others are long-haired pups that seem to leave a trail of hair behind them. As such, brushing needs differ from dog to dog.

However, there is at least one consistent truth when it comes to brushing a dog. Without proper brushing, dogs can begin to stink. The smell, often referred to as ‘wet dog smell’, is a natural result of built-up body oils.

Groomers should always brush dogs before and after bathing to ensure maximum spread and dissolution of these smelly oils. Some dogs may also begin to take on a foul odor if their diet is poor or incorrect.

As a dog groomer, you’ll need to exercise excellent brushing techniques and also confer with human clients about the potential sources of bad doggie smells. 


If you’ve ever owned a dog while living in a wood-floored or tile-floor home, you understand only too well the sound of puppy nails as they skitter and scrape across the floor.

Happy dogs often scamp across the house to greet you or head outdoors. Unfortunately, their nails can cause damage to the floor while they bound along in joy. When left uncut and untreated, a dog’s nails can also do damage to the dog.

That’s why owners, groomers, and veterinarians must check the condition of any pet’s toes. Without proper nail-clipping and care, dogs can struggle to walk or run. They may experience intense pain upon standing, causing them to remain sedentary.

It’s often easier to keep a pup’s nails trimmed when they’re accustomed to the process. It can be a challenge to get an older dog to allow you to trim their nails if they’ve never had it done before, or if they feel trauma related to a past experience.

Groomers will need to carefully trim their canine client’s nails while also educating human clients on the importance of regular nail maintenance.


Dog groomers are also responsible for trimming hair. Many breeds of dogs naturally grow long fur that covers their eyes or obstructs their mouths. Keeping these hairs trimmed and short ensures that pets don’t blindly bump into walls and objects.

Hair trimming may also be crucial to help some breeds from matting. Even with consistent brushing, some long-haired and active breeds can develop severe hair matting across their bodies.

Pet owners may fear at-home trimming or simply wish to avoid the mess. Pet groomers can quickly step in and offer trimming services that keep both clients and their pups feeling great. 


It’s only too easy to forget how much dirt ears seem to attract. While the majority of human adults don’t have experience in an excess of ear dirt (unless they live in a dusty location or work with soil every day), both pets and children seem to attract it.

Cleaning your dog’s ears isn’t always the most fun task, which is why many owners delegate such duties to groomers and veterinary technicians. Fortunately, cleaning a dog’s ears isn’t nearly as intrusive or messy as you might think.

Still, this does require groomers to either use a dampened cloth to remove soil around the outer ear or use an otic solution to clean the inner ear. Groomers can expect to see clumps of earwax or dirt when cleaning a pup’s ears.

If you’re uncomfortable with getting this up close and personal with dogs, grooming may not be right for you. However, if you can handle an ear-massage, head shaking, and general wax clean-up, you might be well-suited for the job.


After bathing, brushing, and general cleaning tasks, you may be asked to style your client’s dogs. Most pet owners have a very specific idea of how they’d like their pets to be styled. While this can be helpful, it can also be a challenge.

Some types of hair-shaving services requested by the client could be potentially disastrous for the dog. Siberian huskies, for example, have a thick double coat of hair that should never be shaved down to the skin.

It’s crucial for pet groomers to be aware of these dangers and to share them with their human clients. Doing so not only ensures that the pets are kept safe and in optimal health, but that the clients can build trust with the groomers.

There are hundreds of acceptable pet-styling options for customers to choose among. Familiarizing yourself with these popular styles can help you feel more comfortable with the styling tasks you may encounter.

Of course, pet grooming classes can help you get caught up on all the recent styling trends and techniques. Many are affordable and suited to your exact skill level and needs, allowing you to actively learn and improve at all times.


Dog groomers may also be expected to sanitize and clean their tools and equipment between services. Some clinics and employers may hire special janitorial services to help with this process, but still expect groomers to clean up after themselves.

Individuals who prefer clean, well-organized environments are likely to enjoy grooming more than others. If you don’t enjoy scrubbing surfaces, sweeping floors, or applying pesticides, you may not enjoy the janitorial aspect of grooming.

Many dogs carry fleas and other pests that can quickly infect and take over a workspace. Groomers that are not diligent in cleaning up after each fuzzy client may soon find themselves overrun with unwanted parasitic insects.


Without basic customer service skills, it might be difficult for you to find work as a dog groomer. That’s because many groomers are also expected to work with human clients to schedule appointments and decide on grooming services.

If you have a background in retail or customer service, you may find it easier to be hired as a groomer. That’s because some employers also expect their groomers to promote specific products and services.

It also helps to have a friendly, helpful attitude. Some customers may feel frustrated or in a sore mood while visiting your grooming salon. It’s crucial to be able to handle these stressful situations with ease and a sense of professional courtesy.

How Do You Become a Dog Groomer?

Becoming a dog groomer is a relatively straightforward process. If you have a high school diploma or GED, you’re already halfway there!

Naturally, applicants may have a greater chance of gaining employment as a groomer if they have previous experience with animal grooming. This can be a tricky feat to accomplish when you’re just starting.

Fortunately, there are tons of classes, potential grooming certifications, and chances for growth and learning. If you have a friend, family member, or coworker with dogs, you could ask to try your newfound grooming skills on these pups.

You don’t have to spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a degree-focused education to become a dog groomer. It’s a career that is highly accessible, and it’s also expected to grow by almost 25% within the next ten years

Job Outlook

When it comes to job outlook, it’s a challenge to find a faster-growing career field than dog grooming. Between 2019 and 2029, this sector is expected to grow by a whopping 22%.

This statistic bodes well for any animal lovers interested in becoming groomers. It essentially means that there will likely be many job openings for dog groomers within the next decade.

Consequently, there’s never been a better time to become a certified pet grooming specialist. You can apply now in minutes and get started on your career path in caring for, beautifying, and grooming pets.

Tuition is competitive, and there are multiple programs to choose from. If you’re serious about taking advantage of this burgeoning career and becoming a professional dog groomer, there’s no better way than to seek certification.

How Much Do Dog Groomers Make?

According to the Salary.com, the median annual salary for a dog groomer is $34,801. This works out to about $2,900 per month. Of course, this is only the national median and does not account for overtime hours or raises.

In general, individuals without grooming experience or professional certification will earn between $60 and $80 per dog to perform basic grooming services in Miami. Full service packages that include nail trimming, ear cleaning, gland expression, bathing, and haircuts can range from $110-$160 per dog. Beginners might only see 3-5 dogs in a day while those with greater experience and in-depth certification could earn much more than this. Experienced groomers who fill their day with clients can manage 10 or more. Of course, it depends on the size and breeds of the dogs you are grooming.

Becoming a Professional Dog Groomer

Pet groomers can be found in veterinary clinics, pet retail outlets, animal shelters, and standalone grooming spaces. They’re responsible for keeping pets, especially dogs, clean and well-groomed.

This involves bathing, nail-clipping, hair-trimming, and sometimes even a little massage. To become a dog groomer, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED. You may also experience greater success by becoming a certified groomer.

How much do dog groomers make? The national median dog groomer salary is about $34,000 per year. That breaks down to about $2,900 per month. However, groomers with years of experience and plenty of certification could earn far more.

If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in learning more about us. We look forward to answering any questions you may have about becoming a professional, certified pet groomer!





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