According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, dog grooming jobs are going to increase by over 16% over the next 10 years.
That means you can expect the grooming job market to grow much faster than almost any other job. Great news! So how much money can you expect to make as a groomer? What can you expect in the grooming industry in 2020? Let’s find out!
Note: Please note that all amounts listed in this article are in US dollars.
Dog Grooming Professionals
Wages for dog grooming jobs are slowly increasing over time. According to payscale.com, a dog groomer’s salary in the US is anywhere between $21,000 (on the low end) and $54,000 (on the high end). That puts the average right around $32,000. Groomers also make an annual average commission of almost $6,000.
Keep in mind that these numbers refer to dog groomers that are employed mostly at salons and pet stores. Self-employed dog groomers can earn substantially more for their work.
Dog Grooming Salon Managers
A dog grooming salon manager might be an employee of a larger company, or she could be the owner of the grooming salon. A grooming salon manager can make anywhere from $30,000 to $72,000 per year, with the average being approximately $45,000. The average salon manager also receives an annual bonus of around $2,300, and the same commission amount of almost $6,000.
Factors that affect salary
The numbers above are averages that represent dog groomers of every kind across the United States. Your salary will depend on many factors, including:
- Your location. Dog groomers in New York earn a higher average salary than dog groomers in Cheyenne. On the other hand, the cost of living in New York are staggering compared to the cost of living in Wyoming. Salary isn’t everything; consider your costs, too!
- Your education. A certification in dog grooming can help you earn higher wages, especially if you freelance. Clients will pay more for the reassurance that you’ve been trained to not hurt their dog.
Your experience. Your years of experience as a dog groomer will have a direct impact on how much you can earn. Groomers at the top of the scales that we discuss above typically have over 10 years of professional dog grooming experience under their belt.
As mentioned before, the number of grooming jobs is expected to increase very quickly over the next few years. That means you can expect:
Entry Level Opportunities
When an industry expects an increase in job numbers, most of these jobs are entry-level. Therefore, anyone who is looking to become a dog groomer will have no shortage of available grooming salon jobs they can apply to. With a solid education and good interviewing skills, you should be able to land your first professional dog grooming job and start gaining experience!
High demand for dog grooming services means that you can likely make a very good salary offering part-time grooming services out of your own home. Not everyone is comfortable bringing their dog to a grooming salon, and many owners will pay handsomely for the premium and individualized service you can offer as a freelancer. It’s a great opportunity to earn extra income until you’re ready to make grooming your full-time job!
A period of industry growth like this one is the perfect time to think about expanding your existing grooming business. Depending on your experience, this might mean:
- Expanding your salon
- Hiring more employees
- Launching a mobile grooming service
- Offering specialized services
- And more!
Changes in Customer Behavior
The millennial generation has a bad reputation, but it hardly coincides with reality. Despite popular beliefs, millennials are not selfish and entitled. This is a generation who grew up working in the service industries, and who by-and-large respect the hard work that you do as a dog groomer.
Also, with many of these millennials opting for a child-free lifestyle, they’re adopting pets like crazy. They absolutely adore their fur-babies! These customers are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on pampering their pooches.
This means that by offering a unique grooming experience that targets younger clients, you can charge way higher than the average dog grooming prices for your services. You can be really creative with your approach! Some ideas to get your hamster-wheel turning:
- Luxury dog grooming. This might include everything from ergonomic dog beds in the kennels, to having a doggy massage therapist on staff.
- Green dog grooming. Global warming affects everyone, and businesses who are environmentally conscious tend to stand out in a good way. This can mean anything from powering your salon with solar panels, to using biodegradable, cruelty-free products.
- While-you-wait dog grooming. Not every owner is comfortable leaving their dog in a salon and coming back to pick him up later. Consider having a separate “waiting area” for your clients while their dogs are groomed. Bonus points if this space doubles as a doggy play-date!
- Partnered services. More and more doggy daycares offer grooming services. Why not flip the tables and offer dog walking services as part of the grooming experience!
- Personalized services. Send your pupper clients a card during the holidays, and a little gift for their birthday. It’s a cheap way to stay on your clients’ minds, and hard-core dog parents will swoon!
- Altruistic approach. Donating part of your earnings is a great way to gain some publicity while doing good work. An example: “For every 20 dogs we groom, a deserving dog from the local humane society will receive a full spa day at our salon, absolutely free!” Think about the kind of Social Media attention that could generate, not to mention how awesome that would make you feel!
All in all, 2020 will be a fantastic year to enter the dog grooming industry or to grow your business. With a few years of experience, you can expect a comfortable salary, and as you can see, there are so many other ways you can earn even more money!