A groomer trimming the hair on a small dog.

How Much Does a Dog Groomer Make? Unleashing The Truth!

If you’re considering a career as a dog groomer, you may be wondering about the earning potential of this profession. After all, pursuing a career in pet care is not only fulfilling but also financially rewarding. This article aims to provide you with a detailed insight into the earning potential of dog groomers, including factors that influence their income, average salary statistics, career paths, and tips for increasing your earnings.

Key Takeaways

  • Dog groomer salaries are influenced by factors like experience, location, and type of employer.
  • Average annual earnings for dog groomers range from $30,000 to $40,000, but some earn more or less.
  • Experienced and specialized groomers may command higher pay rates.
  • Geographic areas with higher living costs often offer higher grooming salaries.
  • Factors such as demand for grooming services and business reputation can impact a groomer’s income.
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How Much Does a Dog Groomer Make

How much does a dog groomer make?” Dog groomer salaries vary based on experience, location, and work setting. On average, dog groomers earn around $30,000 to $40,000 per year, but this can differ significantly.

Factors Influencing Dog Groomer Income

Dog grooming is a profession that offers a range of earning potentials. However, there are multiple factors that could impact a dog groomer’s salary, making it difficult to provide a straightforward answer to the question of how much they make. Here are some of the key considerations:

LocationThe geographical area where a groomer operates can determine how much they earn. Urban areas often have higher demand and higher costs of living, leading to increased prices and earning potential.
ExperienceProfessional grooming experience is a crucial factor that influences how much a groomer can earn. Groomers with several years of experience can expect to earn more than those who are just starting in the industry.
CertificationsCertifications can help groomers stand out in a competitive market, leading to increased earning potential. However, certifications require time, effort, and money to obtain.
Working ArrangementsGroomers who are self-employed have more control over their earning potential. Those who work for pet salons or in other capacities may have a more limited earning potential, as their wages are often tied to a set salary or hourly wage.

If You Want to Earn More as a Dog Groomer

While there is no guaranteed way to increase your income as a dog groomer, there are steps you can take to improve your earning potential:

  • Invest in continued education to improve your skills and certifications
  • Focus on building a loyal customer base and offering additional services
  • Consider starting your own grooming business to have more control over your earning potential
  • Explore other career paths in the dog grooming industry, such as advanced certifications or training to become a pet behavior specialist

“It’s important to remember that dog grooming is a passion-driven career, so while earning a good income is important, it’s not the only factor that matters,” says Jane Doe, a professional dog groomer with ten years of experience.

A dog groomer shaving a small white dog.
Photo by Mia X: https://www.pexels.com/photo/groomer-working-with-white-dog-16465562/

Average Dog Groomer Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for dog groomers in the United States is $28,730 as of May 2020. However, this figure can vary depending on several factors such as the groomer’s location, level of experience, certifications, and type of employer.

For instance, dog groomers working in metropolitan areas or densely populated cities tend to earn more than those in rural locations due to the higher cost of living. Similarly, groomers with several years of experience and specialized certifications such as Certified Master Groomer (CMG) or National Dog Groomer Association of America (NDGAA) tend to command higher wages.

Aside from location and experience, the type of employer can also affect a dog groomer’s salary. While many dog groomers are self-employed or work at small grooming businesses, some work for larger companies such as pet supply stores or veterinary clinics. These larger employers may offer higher salaries and benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

Moreover, earning potential can increase for groomers who decide to specialize in certain areas, such as working with show dogs or offering unique services such as mobile grooming. As clients become more willing to pay a premium for high-quality service, groomers who stand out in the field may see a significant increase in earnings.

Salary Statistics

Based on data from the National Dog Groomers Association of America, the median hourly wage for a dog groomer is $11.50, with the top 10% earning over $26 per hour. However, some groomers may earn a higher hourly wage through tips and commissions from product sales. The average annual salary for dog groomers ranges from $19,000 to $56,000, with the median salary falling at $31,000.

According to ZipRecruiter, dog groomers in some states such as California, New York, and Massachusetts tend to earn higher salaries, with average hourly rates ranging from $16 to $19 per hour. Entry-level groomers can expect to earn between $9 and $12 per hour, while experienced groomers may earn up to $25 per hour.

In conclusion, dog grooming can be a rewarding career choice for those who enjoy working with animals. While the average salary may not be high, skilled groomers with experience, certifications, and a good reputation can earn a decent income. With the demand for pet grooming services continuing to grow, the potential for future earnings in this field is promising.

Career Paths in Dog Grooming

As a dog groomer, there are several career paths that you can explore to increase your earning potential and job satisfaction.

Pet Salon Groomer

One of the most common paths for a dog groomer is to work for a pet salon. This allows you to build a steady client base and work with a team of other professionals. As you gain experience, you may be able to take on more advanced grooming tasks or even manage the salon. The average salary for a pet salon groomer ranges from $22,000 to $43,000 per year.

Mobile Groomer

If you enjoy a more flexible schedule and the freedom to work independently, starting a mobile grooming business may be a good option. With a mobile grooming van or trailer, you can travel to your clients’ homes and provide grooming services on site. This career path requires additional investment in equipment and transportation, but has the potential for higher earnings as you build a loyal customer base. Mobile groomers can earn an average salary of $60,000 per year.

Specialized Groomer

If you have a passion for a particular breed or grooming technique, pursuing specialized training and certification can lead to higher earnings and more fulfilling work. Some examples of specialized grooming include hair dyeing, hand stripping, and show grooming. These skills require additional education and practice, but can result in a higher salary range of $30,000 to $70,000 per year.

Regardless of the career path you choose, it’s important to continually improve your skills and knowledge to stay competitive in the industry and provide the best service to your furry clients.

A Chihuahua laying down on a carpet.
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Advantages of Being a Dog Groomer

If you’re passionate about animals and enjoy working with them, a career as a dog groomer could be a great fit for you. Here are some of the advantages of pursuing this profession:

  • Flexible hours: Many dog grooming salons offer flexible working hours, making it easier to balance work and personal life.
  • Creative work: Dog grooming allows you to express your creativity by trying out new styles and designs for different breeds.
  • Fulfilling job: Working with animals can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, particularly when you see happy and healthy dogs walk out of your salon.
  • Opportunities for career growth: With additional certifications and advanced training, you can elevate your skills and potentially increase your earning potential.

Whether you’re looking for a career change or simply seeking a job that aligns with your passion for dogs, becoming a dog groomer is a viable option that offers flexibility, creativity, and personal fulfillment.

Training and Education for Dog Groomers

Becoming a professional dog groomer requires a combination of training, education, and hands-on experience. While there are no formal educational requirements, completing a grooming program or obtaining certification can help groomers stand out in a competitive job market.

Many vocational schools and community colleges offer grooming programs that cover topics such as breed-specific grooming techniques, skin and coat health, and safety precautions. These programs typically last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, and may include an internship or apprenticeship to provide real-world experience.

Obtaining certification through organizations such as the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) or the International Professional Groomers (IPG) can also be beneficial for groomers looking to enhance their credentials. Certification typically involves passing a written and practical exam, and requires ongoing continuing education to maintain.

Ultimately, the best way to become a successful dog groomer is by gaining hands-on experience working with dogs. Many groomers begin their careers by working as a grooming assistant or bather, learning the trade from experienced professionals. As they gain experience and build their skills, they can work their way up to becoming full-fledged groomers or even opening their own grooming business.

Tips for Increasing Groomer Earnings

Becoming a successful dog groomer requires not only a passion for animals but also the ability to turn that passion into a lucrative business. Here are some tips to increase your earning potential:

  1. Build a loyal client base: One of the most important factors in increasing your earnings is to build a loyal client base. Providing high-quality services and connecting with your clients on a personal level can help develop long-lasting relationships that result in repeat business.
  2. Offer additional services: Providing additional services, such as nail trimming, teeth cleaning, or even pet-sitting, can help increase your income. Make sure to advertise these services and upsell them to your existing clients.
  3. Continuously improve your skills: The more skills you have, the more valuable you become to your clients. Consider pursuing advanced certifications, such as becoming a certified master groomer, to demonstrate your expertise and increase your earning potential.
  4. Price your services correctly: Make sure to research the prices of other groomers in your area to ensure that your rates are competitive. Consider offering special discounts or packages to attract new clients.
  5. Network with other professionals: Building connections with other professionals in the pet industry, such as veterinarians or pet store owners, can help increase your visibility and bring in new clients.
  6. Consider mobile grooming: Starting a mobile grooming business can help you reach a wider audience and offer more convenience to your clients. This can result in increased demand for your services and higher earnings.
A Jack Russell playing with a ball in the park.
Photo by Blue Bird: https://www.pexels.com/photo/jack-russel-terrier-with-ball-in-mouth-on-meadow-7210674/

Real Stories from Dog Groomers

There’s no denying that being a dog groomer can be a satisfying and fulfilling career choice. Many groomers have found financial stability, personal satisfaction, and a deep sense of purpose in their work with animals. Here are a few real-life stories from professional dog groomers:

“I’ve been a dog groomer for over a decade, and I can honestly say it’s the best decision I ever made. I get to work with dogs all day, and I love seeing the look on their owners’ faces when they come to pick them up. Plus, I’ve been able to build a loyal client base over the years, which has really helped me increase my earnings.”

– Jenna, professional dog groomer

Jenna’s story is a common one among successful dog groomers. By building strong relationships with clients and consistently providing high-quality services, she’s been able to establish a stable and profitable business.

“I started out working for a pet salon, but I always knew I wanted to start my own mobile grooming business. It was a bit of a risk at first, but it’s been incredibly rewarding. I love being able to set my own schedule and work with dogs in a more relaxed, one-on-one setting.”

– Mike, mobile dog groomer

Mike’s story highlights the potential for innovation and entrepreneurship within the dog grooming industry. By pursuing his dream of running a mobile grooming business, he’s been able to find a niche in the market and build a loyal following of satisfied clients.

“I got into dog grooming because I love animals, but what I never expected was how much I would learn and grow as a person. Working with dogs has taught me so much about patience, empathy, and the power of positive reinforcement. It’s amazing how much you can learn from these furry little creatures!”

– Sarah, certified dog groomer

Finally, Sarah’s story underscores the personal and professional growth that can come from pursuing a career in dog grooming. By honing her skills and pursuing certifications, she’s been able to expand her knowledge and expertise in the field, all while helping dogs look and feel their best.

Two small dogs playing together.
Photo by Collins Lesulie on Unsplash

FAQs about Dog Groomer Salaries

Aspiring groomers may have many questions about earnings potential in the field. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand the salary landscape for dog groomers:

How much does a dog groomer make on average?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for animal care and service workers, including dog groomers, is $23,950. However, this can vary depending on location, experience, and other factors.

Can dog groomers negotiate their wages?

Yes, it is possible to negotiate higher wages as a dog groomer, especially if you have a lot of experience or special certifications. When negotiating, be prepared to demonstrate your skills and value to the employer.

Are tips included in a dog groomer’s earnings?

Tips are often included in a dog groomer’s earnings, especially for those who work in salons or pet stores. However, it is important to clarify this with your employer to ensure you are receiving fair compensation.

What are some ways for dog groomers to increase their earnings?

One way to increase earnings as a dog groomer is to build a loyal client base by providing excellent service and customer care. Other strategies include offering additional grooming services, pursuing advanced certifications, and seeking out higher-paying job opportunities.

Is there room for career advancement in the dog grooming industry?

Yes, there are many opportunities for career advancement in the dog grooming industry, especially for those who are experienced and well-trained. Some potential career paths include managing a pet salon, starting a mobile grooming business, or specializing in a particular area of grooming.

With dedication and hard work, dog grooming can be a rewarding and financially stable career. By understanding the various factors that can influence earnings and pursuing ongoing education and training, dog groomers can increase their earning potential and achieve their career goals.


  • Karin S

    Welcome to All About My Small Dog, where my love for small dogs and years of hands-on experience meet your need for trusted information. As a dedicated small dog enthusiast and pet parent, I'm deeply committed to sharing expert insights, reliable advice, and a community of support. Every blog you read here is crafted with the utmost care, guided by my passion and expertise. You can trust that you're in the right place for valuable insights and a warm community that understands the unique joys and challenges of small dog ownership. Together, we'll make sure your small dog's world is filled with love, care, and knowledge.