How to Become a Dog Groomer in California

dog grooming in california

Are you looking for an exciting way to earn good money?

Well, did you know that dog groomers in California have this perk?

That’s right, dog grooming in one of the coolest US states is a terrific career option.

You get to have fun at work and make some serious cash.

Sounds far-fetched, but graduating from a dog grooming program in California will help you climb your way to success.

If you want to know how to achieve that, this is the right place for you!

Grooming Duties: What Does a Dog Groomer Do?

A dog groomer is someone who can turn a man’s best friend from a neglected hound into a fabulous pooch.

In fact, some call them miracle workers.

All jokes aside, a good groomer can make a significant difference in your dog’s appearance.

Always remember that a well-groomed dog is a healthy dog.

Your duty as a groomer is to take good care of your furry customers.

You’ll achieve that by performing the following tasks:

  • Bathing and drying the dog
  • Detangling mats
  • Trimming coats and nails
  • Cleaning ears
  • Styling

Californian groomers know how to handle different dog breeds.

Long-haired and short-haired dogs need different approaches while bathing or trimming coats.

You’ll learn this and much more in the dog grooming program.

Sometimes, the owner will ask you to bathe their dog and use a shampoo or a flea treatment.

Yes, you’re in charge of making those nasty pests go away.

This grooming course will teach you some more detailed techniques like hand striping.

This is a process of removing rougher coats with extra care so the dogs don’t feel any pain or discomfort.

From nail clipping to stylish cuts, you’ll be prepared to face any demands a dog owner could have.

The grooming program in California is quite comprehensive.

Finishing it successfully allows you to work as a groomer without any obstacles.

How to Become a Dog Groomer in California?

Luckily, there are no special requirements prior to enrolling in a grooming school.

It’s not a must to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, but it’s better to have one on you.

That means there are no restrictions if you want to join a grooming program in your teenage years.

After all, it’s never too early to pick your calling in life.

At school, you’re expected to complete the coursework, including written assignments and skill assessments.

Another thing that’s expected and implied is your code of conduct and professionalism.

If you’re not going to devote yourself to this course, you’re better off following a different career path.

California wants serious dog grooming candidates.

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Licensing and Certification in California

Fortunately, you aren’t obliged to get a grooming license in California.

No agency has been legally recognized to control and issue it.

You’re free as a dog in a park chasing squirrels!

Seriously, you can start working as a groomer right after you graduate from grooming school.

Amazing news, isn’t it?

But if you want to have one, the National Dog Groomers Association of America issues one.

To qualify for the exam, you must first attend their training workshop.

Once you pass it, you’ll be recognized as a National Certified Dog Groomer.

Note that NDGAA holds workshops all over the country.

So make sure you apply on time!

Opportunities Beyond the Dog Grooming Program

career goal

Those who don’t care enough about their newly discovered grooming knowledge will end up losing it.

That’s why it’s important to further your skills.

A good groomer always follows trends and keeps those techniques sharp like the clippers they use.

After finishing a program in California, you might want to find societies where you can expand your knowledge and meet other groomers.

Here are some Californian and U.S. associations that will help you with that:

Salary: How Much Can a Groomer in California Earn?

California is a state that has some exclusive areas.

That’s why the average annual salary varies from place to place.

Dog groomers here usually earn almost $40,000 per year on average.

Sometimes, it can go as high as about $58,000 a year

According to, the data below shows how much you’ll receive if you belong to a certain percentile as of December 2021.

Percentile Salary
10% $25,855
25% $32,501
50% $39,801
75% $49,601
90% $58,523

The question now is: Are you earning enough for the services done?

Take a look at the salary table of 79 Californian cities and see for yourself.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Anaheim,CA $37,206
Antioch,CA $38,110
Apple Valley,CA $35,319
Bakersfield,CA $35,758
Berkeley,CA $39,453
Burbank,CA $37,655
Carlsbad,CA $35,597
Carson,CA $37,123
Chico,CA $33,980
Chula Vista,CA $35,797
Coachella,CA $35,348
Concord,CA $37,409
Corona,CA $35,572
Costa Mesa,CA $37,123
Daly City,CA $41,950
Downey,CA $37,297
El Cajon,CA $35,690
El Monte,CA $37,615
Elk Grove,CA $36,204
Escondido,CA $35,597
Fairfield,CA $37,382
Fontana,CA $35,625
Fremont,CA $40,539
Fresno,CA $33,360
Fullerton,CA $37,206
Garden Grove,CA $37,206
Glendale,CA $37,655
Hayward,CA $39,387
Huntington Beach,CA $37,123
Inglewood,CA $37,655
Irvine,CA $37,123
Lancaster,CA $37,455
Lompoc,CA $34,725
Long Beach,CA $37,123
Los Angeles,CA $37,655
Modesto,CA $35,358
Monterey,CA $36,968
Moreno Valley,CA $35,599
Murrieta,CA $36,313
Newhall,CA $37,183
Norwalk,CA $37,158
Oakland,CA $39,453
Oceanside,CA $35,876
Ontario,CA $35,572
Orange,CA $37,123
Oxnard,CA $35,698
Palmdale,CA $37,405
Pasadena,CA $37,655
Petaluma,CA $37,456
Pomona,CA $37,126
Rancho Cucamonga,CA $35,448
Rialto,CA $35,469
Richmond,CA $39,604
Riverside,CA $35,625
Roseville,CA $36,164
Sacramento,CA $36,257
Salinas,CA $36,888
San Bernardino,CA $35,469
San Diego,CA $35,797
San Francisco,CA $41,950
San Jose,CA $40,619
Santa Ana,CA $37,156
Santa Barbara,CA $35,982
Santa Clara,CA $40,619
Santa Clarita,CA $37,121
Santa Cruz,CA $37,056
Santa Maria,CA $35,334
Santa Rosa,CA $36,357
Simi Valley,CA $36,511
Stockton,CA $35,691
Sunnyvale,CA $40,619
Temecula,CA $35,815
Thousand Oaks,CA $36,236
Torrance,CA $37,123
Vallejo,CA $37,489
Ventura,CA $35,698
Victorville,CA $35,334
Visalia,CA $33,161
West Covina,CA $37,126

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA330$33,870$16.28$36,390$29,140
Chico, CA170$33,730$16.21$36,430$29,230
El Centro, CA50$33,320$16.02$35,380$29,120
Fresno, CA410$35,380$17.01$38,390$29,220
Hanford-Corcoran, CA60$36,070$17.34$44,140$30,390
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA8,390$37,480$18.02$45,690$31,070
Merced, CA70$34,710$16.69$42,490$29,120
Modesto, CA280$36,440$17.52$47,450$30,040
Napa, CA100$38,230$18.38$48,340$32,150
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA570$35,270$16.96$42,170$29,890
Redding, CA140$33,810$16.26$38,600$29,700
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA2,130$35,420$17.03$44,190$29,750
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA1,540$36,670$17.63$45,520$30,670
Salinas, CA240$38,360$18.44$49,320$30,740
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA3,100$39,780$19.12$61,100$30,380
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA3,400$42,910$20.63$55,900$35,120
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA940$43,960$21.13$53,190$35,880
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA350$35,330$16.99$40,610$30,270
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA210$36,550$17.57$43,630$31,040
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA370$36,730$17.66$46,960$30,390
Santa Rosa, CA590$38,810$18.66$47,670$33,020
Stockton-Lodi, CA260$36,020$17.32$45,350$29,870
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA210$37,480$18.02$44,710$31,030
Visalia-Porterville, CA160$37,430$18$47,490$29,560
Yuba City, CA50$37,750$18.15$51,660$30,380
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Animal Caretakers, OCC Code 39-2021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Words

Among the 50 U.S. states, California offers some of the best dog grooming opportunities.

Once you decide to be a dog groomer, all you have to do are:

  • Study hard
  • Upgrade your skills
  • Accumulate experience

That doesn’t sound difficult, does it?

Either way, you have to be prepared to dedicate yourself to this lifestyle.

Dog grooming is more than bathing dogs and styling their hair.

It’s about taking good care of their health.

After all, dogs aren’t just your customers with paws.

They’re the foundation of your life’s choice.

Show them respect, and they’ll show love in return.

With all this said, we’re asking you:

  • Are you ready to be a dog groomer?
  • Will you honor this life calling the best way you can?

We know only a true dog lover will give a positive answer.

Good luck, future groomers!

USA How to Become a Dog/Pet Groomer by State