How do I become an animal groomer?
READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.
RESEARCH: Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.
PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for the career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools, while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 29 August 2020
What is an animal groomer?
An Animal Groomer provides grooming and styling services for a number of different animals, mostly pets. They generally bathe pets, cut and style their hair, trim nails, and brush their teeth, among other grooming services.
Other names for an Animal Groomer
Groomers may also be called:
- Pet Stylists
- Doggy Parlor Staff
- Dog Bather
- Pet Spa Assistant
- Horse Groomer
Different kinds of a animal groomers
Animal groomers may decide to work with different kinds of domesticated animals, or specialize in one specific kind:
- Pet groomer (different kinds)
- Dog groomer (only dogs)
- Cat groomer (only cats)
- Horse groomer
Read through this page to learn about the basics of becoming a groomer.
What does an Animal Groomer do?
This Career falls under the following Categories:
- Animal Care
- Farming & Livestock
What do Animal Groomers focus on?
A groomer will use a variety of tools and techniques to groom animals of all sizes and breeds. Groomers focus primarily on domesticated animals (pets and horses).
Daily tasks of an Animal Groomer
- Provide quick and courteous service to customers.
- Ensure appropriate standards are maintained in grooming and taking care of the animal.
- Perform basic grooming services on animals as requested by customers.
- Ensure the safety and well-being of each animal.
- Move animals and merchandise.
- Utilize grooming instruments including shears and dryers.
- Keep work area clean.
- Administration and marketing
Working Environment of an Animal Groomer
Environment and Places of Employment
The majority of job duties are conducted indoors. Pet groomers will spend most of their day in the grooming salon, but may also include driving around to fetch and drop off the animals. Groomers of larger animals, such as horses, will spend most of their time in stables. Mobile groomers use vehicles (mostly converted vans) to move around and work in.
Places of Employment –
Groomers generally work for established businesses, or may work alone and travel to the client for grooming. Places of employment include grooming salons, doggy parlors, pet supply stores, animal shelters, farms, ranches or horse riding facilities.
Average Salary of an Animal Groomer
The average salary, when working for an established grooming facility, is around US$7 per hour (part time), or US$22,000 per year full time.
Those who own their own grooming businesses might earn significantly more per year.
Possibilities of Promotion
There is always the possibility of entry level groomers being promoted, especially in large grooming salons, to managers. Groomers with several years of experience might also start their own training school, or start their own grooming business.
Difficulties an Animal Groomer may face
The animals may get difficult while being groomed, especially when they are not used to all the handling, water and dryers. Being patient and able to gain the animal’s trust will always help. You may be required to transport the animals, so a drivers license could be required.
Future Growth of the Animal Groomer industry
The growth outlook for this career is positive as the pet industry keeps on growing. On average the pet grooming industry could grow at around 13% per year, with a greater need for mobile groomers after the 2020 pandemic.
Which Skills must a good animal groomer have?
The skills required for a career as an animal groomer can be divided into two very important groups. First is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Animal handling and care techniques
- Basic business skills
- Customer service skills
- Good health and physical fitness
- Basic computer literacy
Which subjects must I have at School?
Although there are no specific subjects required for this career, Business Studies should be at the top of your list in school. Whether you want to work for an established groomer, or start your own parlour, sound knowledge of business is extremely important.
The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.
OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!
What will I need to Study to become an Animal Groomer?
Minimum entry requirements
To become a Groomer, either a high school diploma or its equivalent (Grade 12) is preferred. In some cases there are short courses that would add to experience. Much of a groomer’s training is on the job, serving as an apprentice. In general, there are no licensing requirements to be a professional groomer.
Good knowledge and skills of the grooming industry and handling animals.
Length of studies
The duration of short courses will differ, depending on the institution offering the courses. In general, most short courses could be between a few days or weeks.
Possible Career Preparation Paths
If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.
Why is planning important?
To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.
Possible COMBINED career paths
It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.
Stepping Stone career paths
Being an animal groomer can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).
You can begin as an intern animal groomer after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.
Some of the possible paths:
Training and Apprenticeship
Even though it is important to study to become an animal groomer, most of required skills will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.
Apprenticeship is also possible where you have the opportunity to learn skills from a more senior person or expert.
Average level of education of those entering the Animal Groomer career:
License, Certification, Registration and Professional Associations
Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and do it well. For example most animal groomers use their certification to prove to their customers that they can work on their animals, without disastrous consequences!
Licenses are issued by government and shows that a person is legally allowed to perform specific animal care duties, or open a place where animals are kept and worked on. Most countries do require some form of registration and license to operate an animal business.
Learn more about these specific legal requirements by joining one of the Animal Groomer Groups in the One Zoo Tree Community.
Where can I study further to become an Animal Groomer?
All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.
See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care
Join the OZT community and special Group
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an animal groomer.
Members of the Platform have special access to:
- Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
- Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
- Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
- Make friends around the world and share knowledge
- Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!
If you have decided on being an Animal Groomer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.
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