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Dog groomer

Dog groomers keep dogs’ coats in good condition, and give their owners advice on coat care, grooming and diet.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,000 to £20,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but you’ll need experience with dogs.

You could start by:

  • doing voluntary work with dogs, like in kennels
  • working under a qualified and experienced dog groomer
  • doing a basic course in animal care at a private training centre or college
You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Pet Industry Federation has more information about becoming a dog groomer.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to handle dogs firmly but gently
  • the ability to calm and control nervous dogs
  • patience and attention to detail
  • good communication and customer care skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll follow standards for how different breeds should look – for example, poodles are usually clipped to a particular shape. This is particularly important when dogs are being prepared for a show.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • shaping a dog's coat with electric clippers or a stripping knife
  • shampooing and drying the dog's coat
  • giving a final trim with scissors

4. Salary

Starter: £13,000 to £14,000

Experienced: £16,000 to £19,000

Highly Experienced: £20,000 or over

Self-employed dog groomers can charge £25 to £70 an hour, depending on the breed of dog.

These figures are a guide. 

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 35 hours a week, Monday to Saturday, with one day off during the week. If self-employed, you’ll arrange your own working hours.

The work can be quite physically demanding with larger breeds. It can also be dusty and hairy, and may not be suitable for people with allergies.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and qualifications, you could become self-employed and work from home or become a mobile groomer, visiting owners' homes.

You could also open your own salon or move into training.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016