Texas is one of the top 10 states with the most dog owners in the country. With the number of dogs and cats increasing each year, the pet grooming industry is quickly expanding not just in Texas, but around the country. The need for people who have the skills to properly groom pets is also growing, together with the interest to learn about the industry. Here are the top 10 reasons of why you should start a career as a dog and/or cat groomer:
The APPA (American Pet Product Association) had a survey in 2014 that indicated that the pet industry was responsible for $58.5 million in annual spending in the United States. The pet services portion of the industry, which includes pet grooming, was responsible for $4.73 billion of that grand total. It was also indicated that one of the fastes growing aspects of the industry is spending capital on pet services: this provides amazing opportunities for dog groomers and other pet service businesses.
As a pet groomer, you actually have a choice about what you want to do with your skills. You can easily get a job as a main groomer in an established pet grooming shop. You can also become your own boss by opening your own pet salon/mobile grooming with a fairly reasonable investment of capital for basic equipment and some advertising. You also have the option to work as an independent contractor in an already established salon, which means you rent the space/the table in that particular salon and you decide your schedule, you bring your own customers, promote your services, etc (basically, be your own boss without the responsibilities of owning an entire business).
Pet groomers literally make what they work! You will be paid for your used skills and time invested. Pet groomers that own their own business can set their own prices for the different types of haircuts they perform. Pet groomers that work for an established salon usually make 40%-50% commission on each groom. Experienced groomers with a solid client base can demand top dollar for their services. Show groomers working at the national level can earn extremely high pay for each cut completed. In the South Texas area, groomers make somewhere between $500 and $1,000 USD a week, depending on the amount of pets they groom a week and if they are full-time or part-time. Basically, though there’s a wide range of income, the lower end will still provide a good salary.
Unless you are the main groomer at an already established shop (in that case, you depend on the flexibility of the owner of that salon), groomers have the luxury of setting their own work schedule. You can choose to open or take grooms during traditional business hours, or you can choose to only do it part-time in your own shop or at someone else’s, or you can travel the show circuit (which means you go with the tour and only groom before each show).
This is a job in which you are constantly having direct contact with pets, which is great for animal lovers! Even though you are not petting and playing with them, the relationship that you establish with a pet while it’s being groomed is a wonderful experience (and there’s always time here and there to sneak a little play time!) Groomers also have the luxury to decide if they want to work with only dogs, only cats, with every breed, or exclusively with a particular breed of interest.
The groomer is the first line of fire between a pet and a disease. Pet groomers have to touch, feel, and handle almost every single part of the pet’s body, which gives them the opportunity to notice unusual changes or noticeable problems with the pet’s health. A professional pet groomer will inform the owner of any changes or abnormalities that need to be addressed by a Veterinarian. A groomer is also responsible to provide valuable health related services, such as flea/tick removal, nail trimming, proper bathing and drying, cleaning of the ears, and checking of the skin’s condition.
Groomers are always learning new techniques and skills, whether this is from practical experience, learning from other groomers, going to grooming conventions, or taking seminars/advanced courses from an official grooming school. New equipment is always being brought to the market, and professional groomers tend to take advantage of all the innovations that are designed to improve work quality and efficiency.
Pet groomers can choose to provide services only to dogs or cats, to a few specific breeds (or in some cases just one particular breed) or a specific type of pet. For example, maybe you only want to work with common dog breeds for pets (like Shih-Tzus, Schnauzers, and Poodles) without having to worry about learning how to do exotic breed patterns (like those for the Kerry Blue Terriers, Borzois, and Bedlington Terriers). Groomers can also choose to provide services to broader categories such as working group breeds or toy breeds only. Some groomers specialize even further, providing grooming services exclusively to those in the dog showing industry (a particularly lucrative option if the groomer has the required level of skill).
Grooming is a trade you can learn relatively quickly if you invest the necessary time and effort. In comparison to other trades, if you put your mind to it, you can actually start making money even if you’re still in the process of learning, it all depends on how fast you learn and how hard you work. At S.A.G.A., we designed a one year program (full-time) that will teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to be a (COMPLETE) professional pet groomer in that time frame.
Groomers tend to enjoy working with both pets and people, and they certainly have the opportunity to interact with both in this career path. Promoting good client relations can be a key aspect of a groomer’s success. Pet owners may become good friends with their pet’s groomer (much in the same way they tend to become friends with their own hairstylist). This can lead to valuable referrals and connections in the local business area.