Where Dog Groomers Can Get Work
Once you have finished your training, it is time to decide on where to work. The choice will be mostly dependent on what working conditions or benefits you desire and what you can live without.
- Privately Owned Shop. Most groomers work at a privately owned shop, or open their own. You will most likely be a contracted worker, not an employee. This means no benefits, no paid time off, and no guarantee of work. You will also need to carry your own insurance and pay self-employment taxes. The good things about being a contracted worker are that you can set your own hours, prices, and work conditions. You will get paid on commission basis; for a groomer without much experience you can expect to retain 50% of what you earn.
- Corporation. The large corporations are a good option for those who would like to be an actual employee. As an employee you will be offered benefits and they will pay for the grooming insurance. Also, if you ever find a time where you have no dogs to groom you will still be paid an hourly wage to complete other tasks. If consistency and job security are high on your list, you should consider working as a groomer for a corporation.
- Other. There are other places that need dog grooming services. Veterinarian offices, dog rescues, and dog boarding facilities all regularly hire groomers. The payments and conditions of employment will vary greatly from place to place.
The most important aspects of becoming a dog groomer are where you get your training and where you work once trained. Your training will ultimately decide how far your career can take you. Take the time to meet the more experienced groomers working in your area and ask them how they
acquired their training and what they would recommend.
If you are serious about learning how to become a dog groomer you could visit one of the more well established pet salon businesses in your area. Ask to speak to the owner. Tell her that you are interested in becoming a groomer. Ask for advice on what she would do if she was in your shoes. Also ask them if they would be willing to take you on part time as an intern. You might have to volunteer your time unpaid in order to get your foot in the door. Offer to help them clean up around the shop and do odds and ends just for the chance to learn a little bit about how to groom pets. Small business owners like ambitious people. When you approach them like this you are much more likely to get your foot in the door somewhere. Even if they don’t want to train you, at least you will have made a great contact in the industry and gained a little bit of insight into the local market for this business.
I would personally recommend that you work in the industry for at least a year before making the financial commitment to training. This will help you decide whether or not you would be happy doing pet grooming on a day to day basis. Even though the thought of being a professional groomer sounds like a great idea today, you wouldn’t want to spend thousands of dollars for specialized training in a field that you really don’t enjoy. After doing it for six months you might change your mind about doing it for a career. Hopefully you will love it, but you never know.
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