Dog Groomer Job Description: What Is Dog Grooming?

The more people prioritize their dogs’ healthcare, the more important and popular dog grooming has become.

Today, it made dog groomers one of the sought-after careers for animal lovers.


Well, for one, it creates a high level of interaction with dogs.

And two, it offers a flexible work schedule.

So let’s break down what a dog groomer does every day and other relevant information.

Duties and Responsibilities

A dog groomer’s day-to-day duties don’t only deal with bathing services.

They also perform the following:

  • Clean the ears
  • Trim nails
  • Brush their teeth
  • Dry their coat
  • Clip dogs to fit the standard style to their breed
  • Detangle and remove any matted hair
  • Express anal sacs
  • Check skin conditions
  • Accommodate owner’s special request
  • Inform owner of any health issues discovered

Note, though, that you should always be careful in taking care of your animal clients.

You should always maintain safety measures to minimize the risk of animal scratches and bites.

Moreover, you need to check in with the American Kennel Club, which sets the official standards for breeds and their cuts.

Work Environment

bathing a dog at a pet salon

The places a dog groomer chooses to work in varies.

They can start as a solo practitioner by opening their own facilities or being part of a franchise.

But most of them start as staff at pet stores, vet clinics, or doggie daycares.

Or they can work or do business in a mobile grooming service where they travel to anywhere their clientele is.

Education, Training, and Certification

As of now, dog groomer education is gotten mostly through becoming grooming assistants or apprentices.

That way you’re able to learn the ins and outs of the job and get hands-on experience directly.

However, there are many who decide to enroll in certification programs.

Some of the most popular ones are:

Schools will provide you with various manuals and online courses, as well as at least 150 hours of practical experience.

It usually takes at least a few weeks to more than six months, some up to a year, to complete the program.

Upon graduation, you may opt to take a dog groomer’s certification.

One widely recognized certification exam is one conducted by the National Dog Groomers Association of America.

Passing it will earn you the title of National Certified Master Groomer.

Skills and Competencies

There are a lot of skills and competencies a dog groomer must possess to be successful in this career.

One of the biggest and important qualities you need to have is love and passion for dogs.

Others are:

  • Able to groom different dog breeds according to the standard
  • Good communications skills
  • Able to assess their condition and behavior
  • Physically fit and has a good stamina
  • Mastered the proper and appropriate techniques in handling dogs well
  • Can recognize skin disorders and other common illnesses

Expected Salary

Salary is an important deciding factor of any job.

A dog groomer’s salary is a combination of regular pay plus commission and tips.

In fact, how much you charge depends on the breed, type of cut, and time it takes to complete the grooming process.

Your salary may also vary based on how many dogs you can groom in a day.

Nonetheless, the table below shows the annual salary you can expect to receive per the May 2020 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Lowest Median Highest
$19,310 $26,080 $40,210

Often, some have moved or considered moving to other states that offer higher pay rates.

These are the top-paying states you may want to check out.

State Annual Mean Wage
District of Columbia $38,610
Hawaii $35,070
California $34,730
Washington $34,120
Alaska $33,980

Job Outlook

career success and growth

In recent years, the dog grooming industry has boomed beautifully.

In fact, the numbers look good in the May 2020 data from the BLS, with a 34% projected growth rate.

Employment 2020 272,400
Projected employment 2030 366,100
Percentage of change 34%

One of the main reasons is increased spending on pet care services.

The effect resulted in increased job prospects and will continue to become the trend.

In fact, grooming stores and services keep posting hiring notices in order to keep up with the rising demand.

And these are the states with the highest employment level for animal caretakers like dog groomers.

State Employment
California 19,560
Texas 15,180
Florida 12,730
New York 10,970
Illinois 9,790

Note: Estimates don’t include self-employed workers.

Final Thoughts

Being a dog groomer is quite challenging, yet equally rewarding.

You’re dumped with a lot of duties, but seeing the happy and satisfied faces of your dog clients and their owners will offset that.

And you can successfully achieve this through education, training, and experience.

The skills you acquired will get you to places and make you earn client trust in time.

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