Salaries for pet groomers vary widely. Groomers who have more experience and are willing to travel to pet owners' homes earn higher salaries, while those starting out in the business usually don't make much. The basic duties of a pet groomer include bathing, shampooing, brushing, trimming and nail clipping. Pet groomers work with all kinds of animals, although most are dogs and cats. A vast majority of groomers are self-employed, but some work in veterinary clinics, boarding kennels and pet shops.
On average, a pet groomer earns a starting salary of £8,287 annually. Standard annual salaries for pet groomers range between £10,868 and £15,795, according to my Footpath, a college advisory service. Established, self-employed pet groomers sometimes work on commission. In this case, earnings are based on reputation, the quality of work they provide, level of customer service and the number of pets they groom each day. If you own your own business, your earnings potential can be much higher, depending on the time and work you put into your business. Professional animal groomers who work with show animals can also earn more.
Although there are no formal education requirements for pet groomers, many train by working with experienced groomers as apprentices. In general, apprenticeships last for six to 10 weeks. Specialised education for most groomers involves on-the-job training and completion of certificate programs. Similar to other professions, pet groomers prove their expertise and skills in the field by earning certification. The National Dog Groomers Association of America requires applicants to attend an accredited workshop where they must demonstrate their practical skills and pass written exams.
Job opportunities for pet groomers are expected to grow, especially for groomers who provide mobile pet grooming services, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of the convenience they offer for pet owners, mobile services continue to grow in popularity. Groomers who work in retail businesses or kennels have the opportunity to advance into supervisory or management positions as they gain more experience. Positions that involve more responsibility usually pay more.
Economy Affects Demand
Job opportunities and earnings for pet groomers can change from year to year depending on the economic climate. Pet owners are less likely to spend money on professional grooming services during a troubled economy. When the economy is bad, more pet owners try to save money by grooming their pets themselves.