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The salary of a dog groomer

Dog Groomer Salary

As a successful dog groomer, every week (and usually every day!) I find myself answering questions either online or in real life about the dog grooming profession. Other than “How can I become a dog groomer?” the most common question is:

     “Hey, how much money can I make!?”

There are many different levels of income in this career, but if you know how to train properly, become a good groomer, and practice your skills you can make good money as a groomer.

How much can you really make as a groomer?

If you can make amazing money as a groomer, why do some websites say that dog groomers only make around $20,000 - $30,000 a year?

As I also discuss on the FAQ page, the income figures posted on these websites are based on averages.

But here’s the problem when it comes to the salary of pet groomers: Most of the averages posted on these websites are based on wages reported by groomers working at large corporate grooming salons.

These large corporations, like most large corporations, don’t always pay their employees what they’re worth.

And knowing what you’re worth is one of the keys to making good money in this career.

Once you have the proper training and understand what you’re worth, you will have opportunities to make good money.

The bottom line is, the information on most (if not all) of these salary websites are based on low wages paid by large corporations, and don’t show the whole picture.

Not only that, but many of these salary websites are flat-out wrong.

For example, if you search for “accountant salary” on Google, you’ll find all types of websites listing the average salary of $40,000 - $60,000.

My husband is an accountant and makes more than $80,000 every year, and he could make even more if he wanted to.

The point is, you can’t always rely on the information from salary websites.

The truth is, if you're a well-trained groomer you can probably make more than most of the averages listed on these websites.

Knowing what you’re worth

If you are a properly trained groomer and good at what you do, you should never take a job that doesn’t pay you what you’re worth, unless you have no other choice at the time.

If you take a grooming job that doesn’t give you fair pay for your skills, you don’t know what you’re worth and won’t be able to make the the most money.

Unfortunately, some groomers who own their own grooming salons also don’t know what they’re worth. These groomers usually don’t charge enough for their services. Because of this, they don’t make as much money as they could and, more importantly, should.

A grooming business is one of the easiest and least expensive businesses you can open, and when you own your own grooming business you can make sure you are paid what you’re worth.

But you don’t have to own your own business to make good money, you just have to find a place to work that will pay you what you’re worth.

As a groomer, there will be three main options available to you: a chain store grooming salon, an independent grooming salon, or your own grooming salon.

Here’s a more accurate overview of what you can expect to make as a groomer...

Chain Store Grooming Salon

Here’s the cold, hard truth: If you work in a chain store salon, you most likely won’t be able to earn what you’re worth (if you’re a good groomer).

As I’ve already discussed, the low pay usually offered by these salons is the reason so many websites report such low average salaries for dog groomers.

As an employee of one of these salons, you will only work the hours they tell you to work and groom the dogs they tell you to groom. If they only want you to work 20 hours a week, that’s how many hours you will work, or if they only want you to groom 4 dogs per day, that’s how many you will groom.

I can’t say this enough: These salons are usually run by greedy corporations, and the employees are not always top priority.

However, you can still make decent money in these salons, and I do know groomers who make upwards of $50,000 a year. But remember, most of the time the pay is lower.

Although these salons have their place, they should never be your first choice in most cases.

Independent Grooming Salon

Independent grooming salons are almost always much better choices than chain store salons, but ONLY if the salon is properly managed.

A properly managed grooming salon should be able to easily make $100,000 + a year, and that’s on the low side.

Some independent salons will pay you an hourly wage, and some will pay you a commission for each groom you perform. Either way, if you are a good groomer and know your worth, you should be able to make more money than you would in a chain store salon.

Every independent salon I know of pays their groomers a 50% commission for each groom.

In my own salon, it isn’t uncommon for me to hand out $1,200 checks each week, and sometimes the checks are even bigger than that!

Your Own Grooming Salon

Without a doubt, starting up a dog grooming business will give you the best opportunity to make the most money as a dog groomer IF you properly manage your salon.

As I said, a grooming business can be one of the easiest and least expensive businesses you can open once you know how. Many successful salons generate at least $100,000 a year, and some generate nearly $200,000 a year.

The first year I opened my grooming business, I made over $40,000. Last year I made close to $180,000, and my business is still growing.

But remember: You don’t have to open a salon to make good money as a groomer, as long as you always remember to know what you're worth.

If you want to become a well-paid groomer, there are three main steps involved:

Know where to get the best training

Practice your skills

Know what you’re worth

People spend billions of dollars each and every year on their pets, and a good chunk of that goes towards having pets groomed.

"Shelly! I just started working at a small salon in Tennessee making 50% each groom. It’s a small salon but it is BUSY!!!

- Elizabeth Colston

Be sure to check out my guide The Top Five Careers in Pet Grooming...

Top Five Careers in Pet Grooming

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