How Much Do Dog Groomers Make?

How much do dog groomers make

Interested in becoming a dog groomer? It’s a fulfilling career where you get to work one-on-one with pets every single day. And depending on how you structure your career, there’s potential to make a size-able income. Here’s how much you can make as a dog groomer.


It is important to note that results may vary depending on the state in which you reside. This guide will help you understand the factors in how salaries are determined so you can make the most educated career decision.

How A Dog Groomer’s Pay Is Determined


There are 5 core factors that go into how much you can make as a dog groomer, and your pay can vary throughout your career.


1. Your Work Environment

Most dog groomers end up working in someone else’s salon or opening their own. If you own your own business, you have the potential to make more money. Of course, that comes with more responsibility and greater risk.


2. Your Pay Structure

Most groomers are paid on commission. They take home a percentage of the price of each groom they perform. Most also receive tips from their clients, which they sometimes have to share with their bather/brusher.


3. Your Education

The better your dog grooming education, the more you’re likely to make starting out. Salons prefer to hire new groomers who have hands-on experience working with a variety of breeds and performing a variety of grooms.


4. Your Experience

The more experience you have, the more earning potential you have. This is true whether you work for someone else or you’re self-employed. Stylists make more than bather/brushers, and specialized groomers have the potential to make even more.


5. Your Location

In large cities with higher costs of living, you can usually expect to earn more than you would in a less populated area. Of course, it also depends on what breeds are common in your area and the kind of grooming those breeds require.


Calculating Your Pay As a Dog Groomer

Your pay structure depends on whether you’re working for someone else or self-employed.


If you’re working for someone else…

… you’ll typically be paid on commission. For example, You might make a 50% commission on all your grooms. If you groom an average of 6 dogs per day for $50 per groom, your pay might look like this:

          6 dogs per day X $50 per groom X 50% commission = $150 per day

Assuming you work 5 days per week with 2 weeks of vacation per year…

          $150 per day X 5 days per week X 50 working weeks per year = $37,500 per year

Of course, the cost of each groom varies, but this equation is helpful in finding a rough estimate of your salary as a dog groomer.


If you’re self-employed…

… you will receive 100% of the price of each groom. As a business owner, your revenue might look like this:

          6 dogs per day X $50 per groom = $300 per day

Assuming you work 5 days per week with 2 weeks of vacation per year…

          $300 per day X 5 days per week X 50 working weeks per year = $75,000 per year


As a business owner, you’ll also be responsible for paying all the expenses associated with running a business (like tools, shampoo and conditioner, insurance, and a brick-and-mortar salon or mobile grooming van).


Most mobile groomers charge an extra $25 for traveling to each client, so your van could pay for itself in the end. And even if you run a brick-and-mortar salon, your earning potential as a business owner is greater than it would be if you worked for someone else.

The Average Dog Groomer’s Pay

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for dog groomers in the US is around $45,000 per year before tips, but specialized groomers–for specific breeds or show dogs–can earn much more. Salon owners and independent groomers can also earn more depending on how many clients they serve.

Want to become a dog groomer? Take the first step today!

Our hands-on program is designed to provide you with the classroom and practical education you need to jumpstart your dog grooming career. Complete the form below for more information, or to book a tour of our Missouri facility.

Joseph Schifano Author HeadshotAuthor - Joseph Schifano

Joseph Schifano is the owner and President of The Academy of Pet Careers. With over 20 years of experience working in the pet field, managing large scale pet care businesses, he has experience in every facet of the industry. Joseph's focus is primarily on the business of pet care but his passion is in understanding animal behavior how a dog's brain works so we can improve the care we provide as pet professionals. He is a huge advocate for Pet Empowerment and Force Free training methods. Read more in Joseph's full bio.