How to Become a Dog Groomer

Home > Career Advice > Career Change Advice > How to Become a Dog Groomer

Are you a dog lover? Do you have creative flair? If yes, then why not consider a new career as a Dog Groomer? It’s a convenient way to spend time around animals whilst running your own business. Start your journey to becoming a Dog Groomer today and start pampering those pooches!

What do they do?

Dog Collage

Dog Groomers make dogs look and smell fantastic by proving a full range of grooming services including:

  • Coat maintenance – washing, drying, brushing and/or trimming
  • Nail clipping
  • Ear cleaning
  • Teeth cleaning

Sometimes dog owners will have a very specific idea about how they want their dog’s fur to look and Dog Groomers will aim to give them exactly that.

A Dog Groomers daily tasks might include:

  • Meeting and greeting dog owners and having an initial chat about how they’d like their dog to be groomed.
  • Giving help and advice to dog owners about at-home grooming techniques.
  • Shampooing, conditioning and drying dogs’ fur.
  • Trimming dogs’ fur; complying with the grooming standards for each breed of dog.
  • Checking the animals for any skin or coat abnormalities, such as rashes or irritation.
  • Keeping the work area clean and sanitary.

Some Dog Groomers work as part of a team in a salon, whilst others prefer to have their own salon or become a mobile Dog Groomer, usually grooming dogs in their own home.

What skills do I need?

The right person will:

  • Love dogs and be comfortable working with them.
  • Enjoy getting creative.
  • Be comfortable learning new skills and techniques.
  • Enjoy chatting with the owners.
  • Be able to stay on their feet all day.
  • Be able to handle dogs gently but firmly, as not all dogs enjoy the grooming process!

What will I love about the job?

  • Working closely with dogs; this is the pawfect job for an animal lover!
  • Making a dog look, smell and feel great – and the satisfaction that comes from having a very grateful, happy owner collect their newly-groomed dog.
  • The creativity – you’re a bit like a hairdresser/beauty therapist for dogs!
  • Variety; you will need to learn which styles and techniques to use on each breed of dog.
  • The flexibility – there are both part-time and full-time roles available.

What are the challenges?

  • Some dogs display challenging behaviour, but you reserve the right to refuse to groom any dog that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • It’s quite a physical job as you will be on your feet, washing, drying and cutting dogs fur for long periods of time, but many Dog Groomers work alongside Assistants who help out with a lot of the more physical tasks like shampooing and drying dogs.

How much will I earn?

As a Dog Groomer, you will earn an estimated starting salary of £12,000, potentially rising to £18,000, plus. But if you become self-employed you will be able to set your own rates and many customers also give generous tips.

Are there opportunities to progress?

Once you build up your skills and experience as a Dog Groomer, you may have the opportunity to work as a Salon Manager. You may also want to start off working in a Dog Salon whilst you’re learning the ropes, but many Dog Groomers go self-employed once they have become more comfortable in the role.

How do I get started?

Apply now and learn on the job…

You don’t need any formal qualifications to become a Dog Groomer. There are plenty of Dog Grooming salons who will take you on as a trainee or an assistant (without relevant skills or experience), and train you on the job – you’ll be taught how to wash, fluff and trim everything from Poodles to Schnauzers. Looking to get started immediately? Why not apply now?

…or gain an industry-recognised qualification to expand your options

You may decide that you’d like to start your career as a self-employed Dog Groomer, in which case (if you have no prior skills and experience), it’s recommended that you do an industry-recognised qualification. This will teach you everything you need to know about creating the pawfect look for each poch, whilst reassuring clients that you have the skills and knowledge required to groom dogs to a high standard.

There may also be the possibility that you’d like to work as an employee in a salon, but you’d like to build confidence first by gaining the relevant skills and experience. A dog grooming qualification will allow you to do just that, and could also increase your chances of getting noticed by an employer.

Online Learning College offer a 100-hour Dog Groomer Level 3 course for anyone that’s interested in working in the industry. There are no specific entry requirements; as long as you love animals and you’re a keen learner, there’s no reason why you can’t sign up.

The course is split into six helpful units which will teach you everything you need to know to get your Dog Grooming career off the ground.

The six units are:

  • The Role of the Dog Groomer
  • Obedience (the dog, not you!)
  • Brushing and Bathing
  • Coat Types and Trimming
  • Grooming Considerations
  • Launching a Dog Grooming Business

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards which can be showed to prospective employers as proof of your industry-related knowledge and skills.

Did you find this page helpful? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]

See more career paths...

It’s never too late to start a new career. We’ve created some helpful guides to show you how to get started.

Get the latest jobs, advice and inspiration

No spam. Just useful and interesting stuff, straight to your inbox. Covering careers, finance, learning, volunteering, lifestyle and more.

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.