Pet Groomer Job Description

Pet groomers bathe and style the fur on dogs and cats, and they may also clip the pet’s fur and nails. Groomers may provide their services to a family pet, or they may specialize in preparing show animals for events. Pet and dog groomer duties are essentially the same if you're self-employed, or whether you work at a kennel, pet shop, veterinary office or pet supply retailer.

Dog Groomer Duties

Pet and dog groomer duties require that individuals possess certain personal qualities. They like working with animals and are comfortable around them. They have compassion for and patience with their four-legged clients. However, they must also deal with pet owners, so they must show the same traits when dealing with humans. Pet groomers must have physical stamina. Not only might they need to lift heavy animals onto the worktable, some grooming sessions can last for two hours or more.

A dog groomer job description typically includes a requirement to be detail-oriented, especially when preparing animals for a show as each breed must be carefully groomed to meet established standards.

Pet Groomer Job Description

In addition to bathing and styling a pet’s fur, groomers inspect the animal for any external signs of parasites, disease or injury and report their findings to owners. Pet groomers are responsible for sanitizing all of the clippers, combs, brushes and other tools used on pets to prevent spreading diseases among their clients. They must also maintain a safe and sanitary work area to mitigate risks to both human and animal visitors.

As explained by the American Kennel Club, dog groomer duties are about more than good looks. Regular grooming helps maintain healthy skin and nails. The handling that's a part of grooming allows for early detection of potentially serious lumps and skin irritations.

Pet Groomer Education and Training

Although a formal education is not mandatory for pet groomers, some choose to attend an accredited grooming school to learn the trade. Most, however, learn on the job from experienced pet groomers. Regardless of the source of their training, pet groomers learn how to bathe pets, use clippers and scissors to create a style, which styles are standard for which breeds and other practical elements of grooming dogs and cats.

Those who choose to attend a formal training program receive instruction in basic animal anatomy and skin care, sanitation procedures, safety and nutrition related to coat and skin health. Depending on the program, they may also take classes covering the business side of pet grooming.

The length of training programs varies, depending on the number of topics covered, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most last no longer than 18 weeks. After acquiring the necessary skills, groomers may choose to take the tests offered by the National Dog Groomers Association of America to become certified. Certification can enhance a groomer’s credentials.

Pet Groomer Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks data on nearly all civilian occupations, cited a median 2020 wage of ​$26,370​ (​$12.68​ per hour) for animal care and service workers. Median salary means that half the people in the occupation earned more, while half earned less.

The BLS projects a 22 percent job growth rate through 2029, a rate considered much faster than average when compared to other jobs. The excellent job outlook for pet groomers is fueled by the increasing population of companion animals and the attitude many people have toward their pets as family members deserving of proper care. Salaries vary by employer, location and experience.