Animal Grooming

Animal groomers maintain the physical appearance of pets by bathing them, trimming nails and cutting hair or fur. Groomers usually receive on-the-job training and can work in a variety of settings. Read on to learn more about jobs as an animal groomer.

Inside Animal Grooming

Animal groomers brush, bathe and style the hair or fur of domestic pets, usually dogs. They also cut animals' nails, clean their ears and maintain their general appearance. Animal groomers work in kennels, veterinary clinics, animal shelters and pet supply stores. Others may be self-employed and operate a salon or make house calls.

Education Information

Animal groomers generally learn their trade by completing apprenticeships under the supervision of experienced groomers or by attending a formal animal grooming school. Grooming programs teach students how to care for both small and large animals.

Certification Options

A formal training program is not required to become an animal groomer, but being certified can demonstrate knowledge and professional training. The articles below describe some certificate programs to consider.

Distance Learning Options

Some schools and colleges provide online training programs in animal grooming. These programs require hands-on practice on animals while taking the courses.

Career Information

In addition to hands-on grooming of animals, animal groomers may be responsible for tasks like answering phones, scheduling appointments, recording details about a pet's disposition and discussing pet needs with clients. For mobile groomers, regular travel and reliable transportation are required.

Work as an animal groomer can be physically demanding, unpleasant and dangerous, with a risk of being scratched or bitten by animals. Groomers may also be exposed to diseases that are contagious to other animals or to humans. Here are some articles that discuss details of working as a pet groomer.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that during the 2012-2022 decade, employment of animal care and service workers, including animal groomers, is expected to increase by 15% (www.bls.gov). The BLS notes that pet groomers who make house calls are gaining in popularity because they offer convenience for pet owners and flexible hours for groomers. In May 2012, animal care workers in general earned an average salary of $19,690.

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