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Pet Groomer

Pet groomers shampoo, clip and groom dogs, cats and other pets to improve and maintain their hygiene, comfort and appearance.

  • Avg. Salary $18,908.00
  • Avg. Wage $13.71
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
Also Known As

Cat Groomer, Dog Groomer, Groom

NOC & Interest Codes
The Pet Groomer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers
NOC code: 6483
METHODICAL

Interest in comparing information to monitor and document animal behaviour, and to prepare food and feed animals, fish and birds at scheduled intervals

OBJECTIVE

Interest in assisting scientists and researchers in conducting laboratory tests with animals; and in using equipment for grooming animals

DIRECTIVE

Interest in handling and nurturing animals when grooming and when assisting breeders; and in training dogs to obey commands and perform specific duties in response to signals

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, pet groomers:

  • answer inquiries from the public
  • schedule appointments and record owner information
  • record each pet's name, sex, age, breed and disposition, and any information about health problems
  • discuss grooming requirements and desired styles with pet owners
  • select appropriate shampoos and conditioners for different skin and coat types
  • bath, cut, comb, style and blow-dry pets' coats 
  • trim nails 
  • clean pets' ears
  • suppress anal glands if required
  • maintain grooming equipment.

Pet groomers sometimes use special shampoos to destroy insect pests. They also may order grooming supplies and advise customers regarding pet grooming.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

This is physically demanding work that may involve:

  • restraining animals
  • lifting and carrying animals and cages weighing up to 20 kilograms
  • repetitive movements that can lead to strain injuries
  • being bitten or scratched.

The work also involves:

  • getting dirty or wet
  • being exposed to unpleasant odours
  • being exposed to insect pests such as fleas, ticks, lice and mites. 

Pet groomers work indoors. Some evening or weekend work may be required to cater to the needs of pet owners who cannot bring their pets in for grooming on weekdays. Self-employed pet groomers often work long hours.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Pet groomers need the following characteristics:

  • physically fit and in good health
  • not allergic to or afraid of dogs or cats
  • quick reflexes 
  • an interest in animals, the ability to work with them and a willingness to clean up after them
  • artistic interest in grooming styles
  • the ability to maintain control but at the same time be gentle, quiet and patient with animals
  • the ability to deal with pet owners tactfully and gain their trust.

They should enjoy having clear rules and guidelines for their work and caring for animals.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

There are no minimum education requirements for pet groomers. However, pet groomers need:

  • grooming skills
  • an overall understanding of dog and cat behaviour
  • knowledge of different breeds, their characteristics and requirements
  • a basic understanding of pet first aid
  • the ability to recognize when animals may need veterinary care.

Previous animal care experience is a definite asset.

Some salons provide private lessons or group training for pet groomers; some train newly hired groomers on the job. Prospective pet groomers are strongly advised to discuss their education options with several practicing pet groomers before enrolling in a training program.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Alberta School of Dog Grooming

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Robertson College - Calgary NW

Robertson College - Edmonton

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Pet groomers work in grooming salons, veterinary clinics and kennels. Some are self-employed and work from their own homes. Those employed in salons may be required to supply their own equipment.

One way to get started in this field is to obtain part time or full time work as a bather and dryer during busy times such as the spring and summer or holiday periods when many employers require additional staff.

Advancement opportunities are limited. With experience and small business management skills, pet groomers may become salon managers or start their own businesses.

Pet groomers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6563: Pet groomers and animal care workers. In Alberta, 85% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 4,300 Albertans are employed in the Pet groomers and animal care workers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 77 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As pet groomers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for pet groomers. 

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Pet groomers' earnings vary considerably. Experienced groomers may work on commission so their incomes depend on their reputation for good work, their business and customer service skills, and the number of pets they can groom in a day.

Pet groomers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6563: Pet groomers and animal care workers. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Pet groomers and animal care workers occupational group earned on average from $12.31 to $16.36 an hour. The overall average wage was $13.71 an hour. For more information, see the Pet groomers and animal care workers wage profile.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services

Updated Jan 28, 2013. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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