An Ultimate Guide To How Much Do Dog Groomers Make

Interested in becoming a professional dog groomer but unsure if there is a potential to win a sizeable income? We gotcha!

A professional dog groomer is a fulfilling career where you work with adorable and innocent pups every day, knowing that the fidos you groom are happier, healthier, and cleaner than before. The emotional satisfaction is indeed there, but exactly how much do dog groomers make?

Keep on reading to find out what your salary looks like as you enter the world of professional dog grooming.

How much do dog groomers make?

Well, the amount you are likely to earn varies depending on where you work and whether you are self-employed. However, as per the Bureau of labor statistics, dog groomers and animal caregivers earn an average of $26,080/ year. And according to, dog groomers earn an average of $35,601 per year.

Entry-level dog groomers are likely to earn about $20,000 to $23,000 yearly, excluding tips. While professional, experienced, and knowledgeable groomers receive higher commissions along with their already high salaries.

Average dog groomer salaries

Here we have listed different dog grooming jobs in the industry along with their salaries to give you an overview of what you can earn as a professional dog groomer.

Retail pet groomer

According to a 2017 QC pet study, an entry-level retail dog groomer can make an average of around 10 United States dollars per hour. With increased experience and exposure, a retail groomer can make as much as $14 an hour.

Retail groomers usually work at places such as local pet stores, pet boarding facilities, and well-reputed pet stores like PetSmart. Working at these places offers job security and a constant stream of clients who need to groom their pets regularly. The more exposure you will have, the higher your salary will be.

Freelance dog groomer

According to industry insights, freelance pet groomers are likely to make a living close to the national average of $29,000 per year. Freelance groomers can set their own prices, which gives them an advantage in the local market.

A freelance dog groomer’s salary mainly relies on his locality. For instance, if a groomer provides services in a large city, he can fetch a reasonable price. Whereas groomers are likely to face more competition if they work on hunting dogs in a farming community.

Take into consideration that freelance groomers need to have their own clients. That means if you wish to work as a freelance groomer, you will have to find clients for your grooming business. After you build up a good reputation, you will likely earn referrals from previous clients for new work. This way, you can grow your dog grooming business to new heights and earn more.

Salon groomers

As per the industry average, salon dog groomers can make as much as $22 per dog, whereas most groomers work on about five pups daily. Though the amount varies from salon to salon, groomers can win a higher commission per dog as they gain experience in the industry.

Becoming a salon pet groomer is the best way to earn a higher wage. Pet salons are known for making the most money because they are high-end places where pet parents bring their fluff balls to be professionally groomed.

Most of these salons deal with pups that compete in dog beauty shows, so the groomers need a higher knowledge and experience. This experience is hard to get, allowing you to charge more for your services.

Mobile dog groomers

The average annual salary of a mobile dog groomer lies between $11,500 and $77,500, whereas the majority makes around $35,500-$56,000. The average wage of a mobile dog groomer varies based on the groomer’s skill level, years of experience, and location.

Mobile dog groomers usually travel to their client’s location. This service is mainly used by immobile or elderly pet owners who prefer the convenience of getting their pets groomed from their location. Mobile groomers have to invest in a truck for transportation purposes.

So if you are uncomfortable making investments at the moment, this may not be your jam.

Key factors affecting wages of dog groomers

Several factors determine how much you can earn as a professional groomer. Plus, you can have varied pay throughout your career.

Here we have listed the common factors affecting your pay range

Work environment

Most professional groomers end up working for someone else or opening their own grooming business. If you own a grooming salon, you have the potential to make a higher profit. But of course, that comes with a greater level of responsibility and high risk.

Your education

The better your education level is, the more you are likely to make a handsome amount. Grooming salons prefer new groomers who have experience working with various dog breeds and are comfortable performing a wide range of grooms.

Your pay structure

Most dog groomers are hired on a commission basis and only take a percentage of each groom they perform, while the rest have to go to the salon they work in.

Groomers also receive tips from happy clients, which they sometimes have to share with their brusher.

Your experience in the industry

The more skilled and experienced you are, the higher your earning potential is. This statement is true whether you are self-employed or work for someone else. Canine stylists make way more than bathers, and specialized groomers earn more than the rest.

Your location

In densely populated areas such as large cities where the cost of living is higher, you can expect to earn more than you would in the countryside. However, it also depends on the breeds common in your area, the kind of grooming they require, and your skill set.

Dog grooming certification

The more qualified you are, the higher your grooming commission will be. A dog grooming certificate will also make you desirable to pet parents since they will know their beloved companion is in good hands. These certifications allow you to get a higher rate even at the beginning of your career.