How Much Do Dog Groomers Make? (USA)

Are you thinking of taking up dog grooming as an income-generating idea? You need to know how much do dog groomers make first. Knowing the average dog groomer’s salary tells you whether you can live off the resultant income.

Are dog grooming jobs dependable? The answer is yes. It is an ideal full-time income-generating option. Before you take up that dog groomer course, let us discuss this noble career.

Two dog groomers

What is a Dog Groomer?

A dog groomer is a person who cleans dogs. They are also responsible for checking the hygienic condition of a dog. Their role contributes significantly to maintaining the health of a dog.

Dog groomers lower the risk of health problems in dogs. They check for swellings, temperature changes, cuts, and thrushes. The groomers also clip dogs’ nails, bath dogs, trim dogs’ fur, and color dogs’ fur and claws. So, a dog groomer couples as a pet beautician.

Some of the parts of a dog that a groomer focuses on are its ears, nails, and fur. First, however, the groomer has to inquire whether a client has specific grooming preferences. Then, after receiving the instructions, the groomer has to inspect the dog to decide on the techniques and tools to apply.

A dog groomer starts with cleaning the dog’s ears, brushing its fur, and clipping its nails. Afterward, they usher the dog into a bath for a wash. Sometimes, a dog can be skittish or nervous. So, the groomer should have the necessary skills to handle dogs with different temperaments.

After thorough bathing and rinsing off the dog, the groomer blow dries and brushes its hair in preparation for a cut. Cutting a dog’s fur requires precision and patience to avoid injuring the dog. A groomer requires extra care when shaving the ears and paws of a dog. Also, they have to give the dog a likable treatment to get used to a grooming exercise.

Often, grooming a dog is a messy task. So, the groomer has to clean their workplace after every grooming session. The move helps maintain clients and make them come back for more services. Also, cleaning the workplace gets rid of disease-causing pathogens.

Professional dog groomers can either operate from a large organization or start a small business. They require good communication skills to create a good relationship with dog owners and the dogs that they groom. So, they have to ensure that they satisfy the dog’s and client’s needs.

Whenever pet groomers operate exceptionally, their clients refer their family and friend to them. Such referral is crucial for business growth.

How Much Do Dog Groomers Make?

How much do dog groomers make a year? The average yearly salary of a dog groomer is around $29,848. So, they can make a lower or a higher figure. Beginner groomers make an estimated $20,000, and established ones earn about $50,000 yearly.

Remember, the said figures do not include bonuses and tips. Tips make a significant portion of a dog groomer’s salary. Sometimes, an experienced groomer can earn around $4.26 in tips per hour. If they work for 40 hours every week, they can make $8,860.08 from tips every year.

How to Look for Dog Grooming Jobs

Dogs are some of the most popular pets in the world. So, have a high expectation that your dog grooming career or business will be promising. However, you have to use the right strategies to get clients. Some of the marketing strategies include:

Creating a Professional Website

A professional website helps one to run their business online. It helps potential customers to look up the services that you offer. If they become interested, they connect with you. 

Your website should contain a portfolio of your services to help potential clients assess your expertise. In addition, the portfolio should include positive reviews that your existing customers have provided.

Using Google Map to List Your Business

Google maps help people to find pet grooming services near them. Listing your business on the platform gives your business local online visibility. The platform is free but an efficient marketing tool.

Making Your Booking System Effortless

An online booking system helps potential clients reserve an appointment with you online. The system also shows the clients time when you are available. So, they do not have to make impromptu visits and find you busy. But, if they visit and get you occupied, they can go to your competitor. So, get an effortless booking system to avoid losing clients.

Adopting Market Messaging

Text messaging works better than email marketing. You can send random messages to your existing and potential clients. The texts can provide information on the promotions and sales offers you have. The messages can also remind your current clients about their next appointment.

Leverage Social Media 

Have a strong presence on popular social media platforms to attract new clients to your dog grooming business. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some online platforms you can explore. Sharing videos that show how you groom dogs on these platforms can send a strong message to those looking for such services.

Client Referrals

Word of mouth is an efficient marketing tool. If you offer high-quality services to your existing clients, they will tell it to their friends and family members. You can also opt to introduce a referral program that rewards clients that advertise your business.

What do You Need to Become a Dog Groomer?

Becoming a dog groomer requires you to incur a cost. First, you must pay for a dog grooming course. Alternatively, you can become an apprentice to get guidance from an experienced groomer. However, as an apprentice, you require to attend part-time dog-care classes.

Getting a certificate in dog or pet grooming should be your ultimate goal. You can get one from the National Dog Groomers Association of America. Better still, you can go for a university degree. However, a degree is more expensive than other forms of training. If you opt for a degree, online learning is an ideal option.

Can your career as a dog groomer progress? The answer is yes. At first, you will start as a junior groomer. Afterward, you will rise in the ranks to become self-employed at last. You can also opt to offer other related services, including dog sitting and dog walking. So, the opportunities in the dog grooming industry are endless.

Owners with dog paying groomer

The Average Dog Groomer Salary by State

State Avg. Annual Salary

  • Wyoming                 $31,705
  • Wisconsin                $35,517
  • West Virginia           $34,921
  • Washington             $36,907
  • Virginia                    $37,410
  • Vermont                  $35,018
  • Utah                        $34,474
  • Texas                      $34,474
  • Tennessee              $31,817
  • South Dakota          $30,916
  • South Carolina        $33,105
  • Rhode Island           $36,099
  • Pennsylvania          $38,192
  • Oregon                    $35,153
  • Oklahoma           $33,139
  • Ohio                    $33,465
  • North Dakota         $31,420
  • North Carolina         $33,229
  • New York                $40,696
  • New Mexico            $31,783
  • New Jersey             $40,696
  • New Hampshire      $36,458
  • Nevada                   $34,978
  • Nebraska                $32,674
  • Montana                  $33,095
  • Missouri                   $33,059
  • Mississippi               $31,660
  • Minnesota               $35,819
  • Michigan                 $35,303
  • Massachusetts        $38,258
  • Maryland                 $37,410
  • Maine                      $34,440
  • Louisiana                 $33,389
  • Kentucky                 $31,716
  • Kansas                    $33,059
  • Iowa                        $32,321
  • Indiana                    $32,701
  • Illinois                      $35,827
  • Idaho                       $31,911
  • Hawaii                     $34,830
  • Georgia                   $33,125
  • Florida                     $32,783
  • Delaware                 $35,927
  • Connecticut             $36,996
  • Colorado                 $34,013
  • California                 $38,038
  • Arkansas                 $31,259
  • Arizona                    $33,327
  • Alaska                     $37,851
  • Alabama                  $31,642

Pet Groomer – Experience vs. Salary

Pet grooming salary depends on the experience of the groomer. Their salary increases in proportion to their number of working years in the industry. Let us discuss the experience vs. salary hierarchy:

1 to 5 Years

Beginner pet groomers can make around $20,000 every year. If such groomers undergo proper training and get a certification, their salary increases. At this stage, one has to become a retail dog groomer to get the required extensive experience.

6 to 8 Years

This experience allows a groomer to set their prices or negotiate to get reasonable prices. If they work in a pet salon, they have a better chance of earning high commissions. This set of groomers has a good reputation with clients. In return, their clients are always willing to pay more for their dog grooming services.  

Over 8 Years

Often, pet groomers with over eight years of grooming experience are self-employed. Also, there is a high probability that this set of groomers has already employed other groomers. Their salary is usually more than $36,000. Also, they belong to the 90 percentile level.

Dog groomer portraits


From our discussion, you now understand more about dog groomer pay. Pet grooming is a lucrative career that you can depend on as a sustainable income-generating idea. However, be ready to pay the cost of getting into the profession. Also, give yourself time to make progress in your career. Otherwise, you can make it in life as a dog groomer.