• Writing a Pet Grooming Career Plan

    If you haven't surfed PetGroomer.com you may be surprised to learn that there are 2,000 or more job openings for pet groomers in the U.S. any day of the year. There are also job openings in many foreign countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia. Yes, you really can make a living as an employed pet groomer with skill and productivity. On a typical day we have 500 or more help wanted ads for new and advanced groomers in the Classified Ads. We suggest you review the ads to get a better understanding of what business owners are looking for in employees, and sometimes you may find training opportunities too.

    Pet Grooming is a Viable Professional Career

    Not everyone understands that pet grooming is a viable, professional career. It's not a vocationally licensed career such as hairstyling for people. Therefore there are many opinions and formats as to what makes a professional groomer and career, but indeed, it is a great career for those with patience and patience working with pets. Of course, you may get an astonished look when you share your dream to become a pet groomer. We hired many groomers for our business who at one time were planning to be paralegals, veterinarians or computer programmers. Wrong! They fell in love with pet grooming.

    Can you "make a living?" Our family has been in the field for 50 years and we were able to buy homes, cars and send kids to college just from our income as pet grooming business owners. Yes, pet grooming is a viable, professional career for those with the attributes. Once again we encourage you to review the results of PetGroomer.com Surveys where groomers shared their average annual incomes and more. Annual incomes before taxes can range from $20,000 to $75,000 and some even more.

    Read the CareerSeekerTALK Forum on the GroomerTALK Message Board. Some of the questions you have about a career in grooming have likely been discussed. You can sign-up with just an email and ask questions. We have many friendly members that will lend a helping paw, er, hand.

    Education is Key

    Education is key to your career as well as increasing your productivity by experience. You cannot expect to earn a good wage if it takes you 4 hours to groom a pet. Productive skilled groomers working alone can do 7 to 8 pets from start-to-finish in an 8 hour workday. It is important for you to gain that level of productivity. Some groomers can do that in one year and others longer.

    We have vast resources of pet grooming education information right here in the Resources Industry Directory. Sources of education include pet grooming schools, home study programs, and independent and corporate chain employers willing to train. You should also get a free copy of PetGroomerCD at www.petgroomercd.com.

    Even though you are a career seeker now, never overlook continuing education. Impressive groomers have always gotten additional training after their schooling and apprenticeships by seeking continuing education, and participating voluntary certification programs.

    Diversity of Employment Opportunities

    Diversity of employment is the first attribute you are likely to notice. You will find employment offers in pet retail environments, as well as in pet salons, shops, spas, kennels, hotels, daycares and veterinarian clinics. The working environment of each is often much different than the others.

    If benefits such as health insurance and 401K are important to you they are most prevalent in the pet superstore salons and veterinarian clinics, yet still available in some independently owned salons, shops and boarding facilities. Never take benefits for granted in the grooming industry, perhaps as many as 50% of grooming businesses offer little or no benefits. It's not out of greed. Pet grooming is labor intensive and actually the consumer pet owner in the U.S. gets a pretty good deal in the pricing of grooming services.

    The smaller the grooming operation the less likely its owner can provide benefits simply from a financial standpoint. Large grooming operations can spread the costs of benefits across more services provided and even use profit from other sources of revenue such a retail department to support the cost of benefits. As a result you may need to factor in the cost of health insurance out of your own pocket from your pay.

    Write a Career Plan

    Once you have completed the research suggestions above, write out a personal career plan in grooming. From this point forward your career plan should state 1) your educational plan and budget, 2) your desired or required income to cover your household budget and 3) long term goals as a professional groomer including possible self-employment, optional grooming certification, competition grooming and perhaps other pet care certifications such as massage therapist or trainer. Put your plans into writing! Don't rely on memory alone.

    Talk with Other Groomers

    Talk with others on the GroomerTALK Message Board. You will find our love for pets with style is a common bond, but our career paths in the pet care field are quite diverse. Learn from others. Ask questions. Don't be shy. There are no "stupid questions." That's what PetGroomer.com is about, opening up lines of communication between groomers that is still so sorely missing from our industry.