How much do dog groomers make?

Dog grooming is a growing industry, and there are many opportunities for qualified individuals to earn a good income. 

If you are considering becoming a dog groomer, you can expect to make a good income either as a full-time income or part-time income. Keep reading to know how much you will earn per hour across their various US states. 

How much do dog groomers make? (Quick Answer)

The average dog groomer in the United States is $18.97 an hour, which equals $39,458 annually. However, experienced dog groomers can earn significantly more than this. The top 10% of earners in the dog grooming industry make an average of $49,000 per year. However, the amount you earn can be higher or lower depending on your location, experience, and any specific certifications. 

Where do dog groomers earn the highest?

CityStateEstimated average hourly pay
RaleighNorth Carolina $17.12
Las vegasNevada$17.84
Fort WorthTexas$17.72

Factors that determine how much you make as a dog groomer

The amount you can earn as a dog groomer depends on several factors. They include:

Your experience level

If you’re a dog groomer with more professional experience, you have higher earning potential than a newbie. 


The area where you work will influence how much you can make as a groomer. For example, if you reside in major metropolitan areas, you can earn a higher income than in smaller cities. Also, bigger cities may have increased demand for grooming services. 

The type of clients

The quality of your clients may determine the amount you can earn. Passionate dog owners who prefer giving their pups regular combing may give you a call more frequently. Also, pet parents with heavy shedders or hypoallergenic family members may want regular grooming, which could mean better earnings for you. 

Education and certification

You can charge higher rates if you own have a professional certification as a dog groomer, including advanced training.  

Additional skill-enhancing courses can help you understand different dog breeds and their grooming needs, proper handling techniques, and safety protocols. Taking courses or obtaining certification in dog grooming can also enhance your skills and credibility as a professional groomer.

Type of grooming services you offer

You can charge higher hourly rates or per-service fees if you offer specialized services such as breed-specific cuts or creative grooming.

Demand for services in your area

If there is a demand for grooming services, there are high chances of making more money as a dog groomer. The demand may also vary by season and local economic conditions, affecting your income.

What you need as a dog groomer

If you’re looking to become a professional dog groomer, you should also consider the cost of supplies and equipment. Some of the supplies and equipment you need are

  • Essential grooming tools such as bushes, combs, scissors, professional clippers, and nail trimmers. 
  • Shampoo and conditioner for dogs
  • Restrains such as a leash, grooming loop, or arm.
  • Towels and dryer
  • First aid kit
  • Protective gear such as an apron and gloves
  • Cleaning supplies such as disinfectant and waste bags.
  • Grooming caddy to hold your tools and supplies
  • A table or a raised platform for grooming

What does a dog groomer do?

As a dog groomer, your responsibility is to ensure your client’s pup has neat, healthy, and well-maintained fur and skin, and the dog looks stellar every time. Some of the responsibilities you will be required to perform include: 

Bathing and brushing

You are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the dog’s fur and skin, using breed-specific shampoos and conditioners.

Trimming and clipping

Some clients want their dog’s fur cut into a neat shape. You must cut and shape the dog’s coat, following breed-specific styles or customer instructions. You can use clippers, scissors, and shears.

Nail trimming

Some tools for nail trimming include clippers and grinders. You can use them to safely trim the dog’s nails to prevent overgrowth and cracking.

Ear cleaning

It is your responsibility to ensure the dog’s ears are clean. You need to remove any debris or excess wax in their ears using gentle cleaners and cotton balls.

Anal gland expression

You must manually express the dog’s anal glands to relieve pressure and prevent discomfort.

Dental care

You should brush the dog’s teeth and provide primary dental care to maintain oral health.

Health and Safety

You should monitor the dog’s health during grooming and follow safety protocols to minimize risk to both the dog and yourself.


You should keep accurate records of each dog’s grooming services, including notes on any health concerns or issues.

Equipment maintenance

Make sure your supplies and tools are always clean! Clean and maintain grooming equipment in good condition to ensure it is in good working condition.

Qualities of a good dog groomer

You should possess the following qualities:


Grooming can be a long and complex process. It, therefore, requires patience and calmness when keeping the dogs relaxed and comfortable. 

Physical dexterity

You must be able to handle different dog breeds and their sizes. You also need to perform tasks that require manual dexterity and coordination.

Customer service skills

As a dog groomer, you need good customer service to communicate effectively with your potential customers. You should always understand their grooming preferences.  

Customer service

You should communicate effectively with customers to understand their grooming preferences and ensure their satisfaction with the services.

Attention to detail

Dog grooming requires meticulous attention to detail to ensure a clean and well-groomed appearance.

Good understanding of dog anatomy and behavior

You must understand every dog’s anatomy and its behavior to safely and effectively perform grooming correctly.

Physical stamina

You need strong physical stamina because the grooming process demands much of your physical involvement. You will sometimes stand for long periods and perform repetitive motions. 

Ability to work with different breeds

It’s good to be familiar with the unique grooming needs of different breeds. You also must be ready to adjust to their techniques accordingly.

Passion for dogs

Finally, you need love and affection for dogs. You need a genuine desire to make them look and feel their best

Read also, How much do chiropractors make?


You can make a great living as a dog groomer, but only if you’re passionate about dogs and have the skills necessary to be successful in this field. 

It is possible to earn an excellent income as a professional dog groomer if you take the time to invest in proper training and supplies. You can work at pet stores or grooming salons and typically earn anywhere from $10-$20 per hour.

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