How to Become a

Pet Groomer

The complete career guide to be a Pet Groomer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $23,630
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 10.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Pet groomers work to keep pets calm while performing tasks designed to keep pets smelling fresh and looking good. The wash and shampoo pets, trim hair, cut nails, and apply bows and other decorations to pets during grooming. They must also work to keep pets calm and happy during grooming sessions.

Recommended Schools

What is a Pet Groomer?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in pet groomer roles:

  • Clean and style pets like dogs and cats
  • Give pets baths, shampoo fur, and dry pets after washing
  • Trim or shave pet fur, remove matts, and comb fur
  • Trim pet nails while taking care not to trim claws too much
  • Keep pets calm and happy during grooming sessions to ensure a pleasant experience

A Day in the Life

Pet groomers work in pet stores, pet boutiques, humane shelters, and veterinarian offices and are tasked with washing and grooming pets. They may groom pets for a variety of reasons: to keep pets from developing odors, for general maintenance, to prepare for dog or cat shows, or to assist pets in recovering from issues like fleas or scabies. Pet groomers wash pets—shampooing fur and rinsing shampoo away—dry, comb, and shave fur when desired, and apply bows and other adornments.

When a client arrives, the pet groomer discusses the needs and desired for the pets grooming. Sometimes, the client may just want a simple shampoo, and other times, more significant grooming may be requested. The pet groomer may be responsible for styling the fur of the pet, giving the pet a haircut, and trimming—and even painting—pet’s claws. While grooming pets, groomers must do their best to keep pets calm, creating a safe and enjoyable experience for the pet and groomer alike.

Pet groomers also commonly have responsibilities outside of simply grooming pets. They commonly have to clean their work areas after grooming sessions, mopping up excess water on floors and sweeping up removed fur and nails. They also commonly need to charge clients for services, so they operate cash registers and handle money and credit cards, ringing up orders for services performed, collecting fees, and providing change when required. They may also schedule their appointments.

Typical Work Schedule

Pet groomers may work either full-time or part-time. They may also work irregular hours, including evening and weekend shifts, to accommodate client working schedules.

Pet Groomer Specializations

Pet groomers may work to groom any type of pet that’s brought into a grooming facility, or they may specialize in grooming a specific type of pet, such as dogs or cats. Cats are much more difficult to groom than dogs, so cat groomers commonly have specialized training for handling cats.

Typical Employers

Pet groomers are commonly employed by pet stores, pet salons, kennels, veterinarians, and animal shelters. Some pet groomers are also self-employed and operate their own pet grooming businesses.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Pet Groomer

No formal postsecondary education is required to find work as a pet groomer. In fact, the best way to find work as a pet groomer is simply to earn professional experience grooming pets. There are several ways you can go about gaining experience as a pet groomer. You can volunteer to groom pets for a local animal shelter, or you can seek entry-level work in a pet store or kennel. Usually, both of these opportunities provide on-the-job training for new groomers, and can lead to higher paying positions.

If you’re struggling to find entry-level work to gain experience as a pet groomer, you may consider earning a pet grooming certification from a trade, vocational, or community college. These certificate programs usually take a few months to a year to complete, and provide students with classroom and practical training on pet grooming. With a formal certificate in pet grooming, you may be more likely to find work as a pet groomer because you’ll need less upfront training than inexperienced candidates.

For pet groomers who aspire to operate their own pet grooming businesses, college coursework in topics like business administration, marketing, communications, and public relations can be beneficial. Operating a pet grooming business is hard work and requires skills in both grooming and business management. For this reason, taking college classes in business and marketing can teach aspiring pet salon owners the skills they’ll need to market and run a profitable pet grooming business.

Pet Groomer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Pet Groomer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Pet Groomer's can make an average annual salary of $23,630, or $11 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,580 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #785 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Pet Groomers

  • 0.9%   Doctorate
  • 2.4%   Masters
  • 16.3%   Bachelors
  • 8.3%   Associates
  • 27.2%   College
  • 34.7%   High School
  • 10.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Pet Groomer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 21,600 jobs for a total of 226,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 10.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #172 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Pet Groomers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other personal services 67,900 11,800 12%
Self-employed workers 39,200 3,400 3%
Other miscellaneous store retailers 28,400 700 1%

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