If you have an unbridled passion for animals, a dog grooming career could be for you. The only problem is, you have no idea how much money you’d make with such a career. Will the annual dog groomer’s average salary be enough to support yourself or will you have to look into a different type of job instead? I’ve researched how much dog groomers make an hour and a year which should help you to decide if it’s good money or not.
How much do dog groomers make a year? Dog groomers make an average yearly salary of $38,109 or $11.42 an hour. This is a nationwide average according to recent data on job boards around the United States. A dog grooming salary in the UK can be £22,334, or as low as £8.23 an hour.
Dog groomer’s salary by country
So that’s the short answer above, but let’s get into a little more detail on what the job websites are saying about how much dog groomer’s make:
- United States: On average $11.42 an hour but can reach as high as 17.91 an hour. Total annual salary ranges between $38,109 and $44,570.
- United Kingdom: On average £8.23 an hour but can reach as high as £10.22 an hour. Total annual salary ranges between £14,722 and £22,334.
Do dog groomers get well paid? You will need to decide if you feel it’s good money for what you need.
Notice that my answers can be quite varied and broad. This is because annual income can vary by state as well as the grooming company you work for – and how much experience as a dog groomer you will have.
In the rest of the article, I will take a deeper dive into the salary of a dog groomer. I will also explain the education and experience you should have to get into this role and whether you can advance your career.
How much do dog groomer’s make?
As we mentioned in the intro, the nationwide average salary for dog groomers is $38,109. That breaks down to a little more than $14 an hour. Dog grooming is one of the higher paying dog-related jobs, says the Indeed jobs website.
For comparative purposes, as a dog walker, you may make up to $15.19 an hour, $12.47 an hour as a pet sitter, $11.02 an hour as a dog daycare attendant, $10.49 an hour as a kennel assistant, and $10.05 an hour as a kennel technician.
It’s possible to surpass that $38k annual salary, but it does depend on the dog grooming company you work for. For instance, Indeed mentions several companies may pay more. These include:
- Little Brown Dog Pet Groomer: $60,185 annually
- Urban Dogg Pet Groomer: $63,116 annually
- THE DOG HOUSE Pet Groomer: $65,483 annually
- GroomIt for Pets LLC Pet Groomer: $46,808 annually
- Wagging Tails LLC Pet Groomer: $57,017 annually
Why the price discrepancy? Part of it is where you live.
Pet groomers can make more money in Los Angeles, California, where the yearly average is $42,226. Sticking to California, you can make about $40,883 in San Diego.
If you’re in Phoenix, Arizona, your salary would look more like $40,280.
Those who live in the Windy City or Chicago, Illinois could make a lot of money in dog grooming, $41,814 annually.
What qualifications do you need?
If you’ve still decided you’re interested in a career as a dog groomer after reading the above salary information, your next question would be about education requirements.
They’re a lot less restrictive than other jobs. You don’t need a bachelor’s or even an associate degree to become a dog groomer.
Instead, it’s recommended you have a GED. While you wouldn’t be turned away if you pursued higher education, if you by chance didn’t, you can still enjoy a rewarding career as a dog groomer.
What experience do you need to earn a high dog grooming salary?
Okay, so you meet the education requirements, but what kind of experience should you have on your resume to impress a potential employer?
It’s best if you enroll in an apprenticeship program before you begin applying to jobs. You’ll have to have some patience, too, as these programs last six weeks on the shorter end and 10 weeks on the longer end.
During your time in the program, you’ll be taught how to handle dogs, trim their nails, cut their hair, dry them, and bathe them. Professional dog groomers will lead the program, and you’ll get to work with real dogs as you learn the ins and outs of this career path.
If you can’t find an apprenticeship near you, there are also grooming schools. You might enroll for an even longer period though, up to 18 weeks.
To better your chances of getting a job in dog grooming, you should consider earning a National Certified Master Groomer certificate. These are offered through the National Dog Groomers Association of America (see website).
You’d have to sign up for a workshop, take several exams, and work on a real dog, showing off your skills to earn your certificate.
You get an International Model of Pet Grooming certificate if you receive a 70 percent or greater on the test.
If you grade even higher, like 86 percent and up, then you get the International Certified Master Groomers certificate.
Can you earn more as a dog groomer?
When you first get a job as a dog groomer, it’ll likely be in an entry level capacity. There are exceptions, of course, such as having more skills or experience.
If you do begin in an entry-level position, then you may only dry or bathe dogs.
The more experience you pick up or the certifications you earn, the more you can do at the dog grooming facility. With time, you can tackle every available task.
How long does it take to become a dog groomer?
In some states you don’t need any formal qualifications. You could literally start trading from day one.
I don’t recommend that though, as there are so many intricacies you need to be aware of regarding a dog’s temperament and health.
If you want to take the best path, you can expect things to take this long:
- Dog grooming course: 1 year
- Apprenticeship: 1 year
- Practice and volunteering: 5 months to 1 year
- Starting your dog grooming business: 1 to 5 months
To conclude, to become a fully-fledged professional dog groomer with all the qualifications and experience you could be looking at 3 years. After that you should have gotten into your stride and earning a decent dog groomer’s salary.
Now that you know how much dog groomers make, does it sound like the job for you? What are your thoughts on the average dog grooming salary bands available where you live? Do you think that dog groomers make good money?
It’s all subjective of course.
Dog groomers can earn $38,109 as a nationwide average, with states like California and Illinois pushing that average to more than $40k.
To become a dog groomer, you need only a high school diploma, but you will have to train through an apprenticeship program or a dog grooming school.
It’s worth it to go after your certification as well so you can find a job doing what you love. Good luck!