If you absolutely love dogs and dream of working with them each and every day, you might have considered becoming a groomer at least once. But what’s the reality of a job like this? Is dog grooming a good career?
More importantly, is it a good career for YOU?
It All Depends…
On what, you might ask? Well, on you, of course!
We won’t mince words: dog grooming is not an easy career. It’s demanding and challenging. If you go into it thinking that it’s going to be all fun and games, you’ll be in for a very rude awakening.
But none of this means that dog grooming isn’t a good career! On the contrary, it’s known to be remarkably rewarding. Plus, you’ll get to do exactly what you’ve always dreamed of: interact with dogs on a daily basis.
For any dog lover, it really doesn’t get much better than that!
The Importance of Being Prepared
As I mentioned above, how much you enjoy being a professional dog groomer will ultimately depend on your preferences, work ethic, and expectations. That’s why we’re here today! We figure, if you have a clear understanding of what you’ll be walking into, you’ll better be able to decide whether this path is the right one for you.
So, here are some things you should know about dog grooming as a career…
Dog Grooming is a Good Career For You If…
1. You enjoy being active.
This is the furthest thing from a desk job, so it’s best that you know that right away. Dog grooming requires you to be on your feet all day. You’ll be constantly moving around and lifting tools, equipment, and, well, dogs. In fact, the only time you’ll likely find yourself able to sit down and rest your feet is during your break.
If you like being physically active, or you’re looking for something to help you become more active, this career could be the perfect fit! However, if you know in your heart that it’d be too much of a strain, or you’d positively hate that level of exertion, you probably won’t enjoy your dog grooming career very much.
2. You’re committed to learning.
Dog grooming is the kind of career where you’ll get what you put into it. The more effort you’re willing to give, the better the rewards will be.
In most places, you still don’t technically need professional training, certification, or licensing to work as a groomer. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get any of these things. Real talk: you’ll be setting your career up for failure if you choose not to get trained.
Clients care about their dogs. They’re like family to them. So, it makes sense that they’ll only want to book with groomers they can trust. This means a groomer who’s taken the time to learn the trade and get some sort of reputable qualification to back them up.
If you’re not interested in schooling and think you can wing things on the fly, dog grooming won’t be a good career for you. But if you are interested in learning the right way first, the sky will become the limit for your success!
Plus, if you’re truly serious about a thriving dog grooming career, won’t you want to be the best you can possibly be?
3. You like to challenge yourself.
Once again, let me reiterate: dog grooming is not an easy career. No two dogs will ever be exactly the same. From one appointment to the next, you’ll need to complete different kinds of tasks. To complete these tasks, you’ll need to have a large knowledge base about all of the following things:
- Grooming techniques;
- Prep work;
- Breed standards and popular haircuts;
- Canine anatomy;
- Dog behavior;
- Working with aggressive and/or difficult dogs;
- Skin issues;
- First Aid and risk prevention;
- And so much more.
As you’ve probably guessed, this is the kind of information you’ll be taught during your dog grooming certification training. (See now why it’s so crucial to get it?)
If you’re the type of person who loves to push the bar on what you know, constantly strengthen your skill-set, and outdo yourself at every turn, you’ll find a career in dog grooming to be extremely gratifying.
However, if you’re someone who prefers routine, hates the unexpected, and likes sticking to one or two things that you’re really good at, being a groomer probably isn’t for you.
4. You want to be your own boss.
While grooming in a pre-existing salon is a popular option, another awesome thing about a dog grooming career is that you have other options at your disposal, too. For instance, do you want to start your own business? Would you like to groom dogs from home, travel to clients’ houses, or even open your own salon?
These are all possibilities, depending on your goals! While some careers offer little flexibility or room to grow, dog grooming is the type of job that can take on many different forms. With the right business training under your belt (which you’ll get in, you guessed it, your professional schooling), there’s no limit on the direction you can choose to take your career in!
5. You’re willing to work hard for your paycheck.
If you want a job with a set income, working in a dog grooming salon will be your best bet. Just keep in mind that working for someone else means that there might be limited room to increase that income as quickly as you’d like. But if your priority is getting a stable, regular paycheck and scheduled hours, then awesome! A lot of groomers prefer this option for those very reasons.
Now, if you want to operate your OWN dog grooming business, you’ll need to know this: it may take a little while for regular income to start coming in. As you gain experience and establish yourself, your bookings will increase, you’ll attract repeat customers, and your salary will get better and better.
The beauty of being your own boss is that you can play a direct role in your salary! If you put in the time and effort to implement smart business strategies, you can rake in some seriously big bucks! It all falls back to you and what you’re willing to put into your career.
6. You’re good with people.
Now, let’s be clear: dog grooming is a good career for extroverts and introverts alike. After all, the majority of your time will be spent working with dogs. That being said, you’ll still be expected to interact with dog owners before and after the appointments.
If your people skills are lackluster, the success of your career will be lackluster. This is because your clients are ultimately the ones booking with you. They’re the ones who will either rave about you and recommend you to others, or leave a bad review. Even if you like dogs better than people (and hey, who doesn’t?), you still need to have excellent customer service skills.
So long as you’re cool with this, you’ll have a long and happy career! But if you’d prefer a job with little to no physical interaction with other people, dog grooming won’t be a good fit.
7. You’re good with dogs.
This might sound like a no-brainer. But you’d be amazed at the number of groomers out there who are actually terrible when it comes to handling and working with dogs. Obviously, this makes absolutely no sense to us.
If dogs have a knack for making you instantly happy, dog grooming is a good career for you. If the idea of interacting with all sorts of different dogs every day (even the difficult ones) sounds like a dream come true, then dog grooming is a good career for you. But if dogs tend to not like you, you have a hard time handling them, or you straight up dislike them, guess what? Dog grooming won’t be a good career for you.
I know, crazy right? 😜
So, Is Dog Grooming a Good Career?
Only you can know for sure! But at least now, you have a better understanding of what will be expected of you and what your career could look like. If you read all of the above and are thinking to yourself, “This sounds like so much fun!”, then I think we both know what the next step for you is…