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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 $29,278.00
  • Avg. Wage $18.09
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 3,700
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Cat Groomer, Dog Groomer, Groomer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers (6483) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers (G923) 
  • 2011 NOC: Pet groomers and animal care workers (6563) 
  • 2016 NOC: Pet groomers and animal care workers (6563) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Pet Groomer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers
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 Mar 31, 2017

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
  • bathe, cut, comb, style and blow dry pets’ coats
  • trim pets’ nails
  • clean pets’ ears
  • suppress anal glands if required
  • maintain grooming equipment.

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

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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 parasites 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. Self-employed pet groomers often work long hours.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Pet groomers need:

  • physical fitness and good health
  • quick reflexes
  • an interest in animals and an ability to work with them
  • a willingness to clean up after animals
  • 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.

Pet groomers should not be allergic to or afraid of dogs or cats. They should enjoy having clear rules and guidelines for their work and caring for animals.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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 an asset.

Some salons provide private lessons or group training for pet groomers and 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

Robertson College - Edmonton

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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. For example, during the spring and summer or holiday periods, 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 [pdf] 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)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the G923: Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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 and animal care workers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $20.43 $16.08 $15.00
Overall $15.00 $31.00 $18.09 $16.00
Top $15.00 $40.87 $21.81 $18.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

42%
42%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services

Updated Mar 31, 2017. 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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