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  • Is this fair?

    Hi everyone!

    I need some advice. I just got out of school and have been offered a job at a vet's office as the only groomer. Basically, I would be doing both bathing and grooming. What they want is someone to grow the business for them. It is part time at start and once things take off, go full time. They will do all the advertising and supply everything. My question is the pay; it is $10.00 an hour with tips. Is that fair? You all know this is not an easy job. Not to mention I am growing the business for them, and they are getting anywhere from $35 to $65 for each dog. Some dogs my take an hour and a half, others like a Nufie three hours. Is this fair, or should I ask for more? Like maybe 35% of each dog. There really is no incentive; I'm busting my butt for $10 an hour.

    Stephen: Let me add to the conversation you didn't say how productive you are and most graduates are not, that's your next goal. I have seen graduates take 4 hours to do a pet, and that means you would be making perhaps 50%, 60% commission in reality, possibly more. Productivity is a major factor when working with graduates and hourly rates. Just another twist to discuss.

  • #2
    In a 6 hr day I can do at least 4 dogs!

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    • #3
      I think, hoinestly, that right out of school that is fair with them providing the equipment. I would stipulate that you would get more per hour as you get faster.
      <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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      • #4
        I see an issue...

        Now I haven't seen your grooms, nor do I know your schooling info... so don't take this the wrong way, as you could be quite amazing... but if you are a graduate of a typical grooming school, and you can already do a dog in an hour and half... I just can't see the quality being great. It takes a long time to really be able to anticipate the dog's behavior, and signals, and a newbie going that fast would make me scared of a potential injury, or slip of the scissors...

        not to mention grooming school, and grooming profesionally are a bit of a different experience... you have that safety net and comfort zone when at school, and then it's all on you... every mistake, every cranky customer, every bad dog...

        when I started I was offered 9 an hour. I was grooming 3-4 dogs a day for the first month and five by month 3 (as long as they were basic) but this was an 8-9 hour day, and while I was pretty good for a newbie... my grooms now are WAY nicer. I made 10.50 an hour at my new job, and I had 3 months of real world grooming experience behind me. I was bumped up to 12 a few months later, and held that for quite a while.

        I would suggest not worrying about speed, and make absolutely certain your grooms are perfect. I would also suggest that you work with another experienced "GOOD" groomer for a while. you'll be amazed at what you learn. I figured I was set after school.... and I sure got a kick in the rear the first time a huge matted OAY dog came into the shop. AND I SHAVED IT!!!! then when I worked at my second job and the same thing came in, and they expected me to brush it, and with their guidance, I did it. And then perfecting patters, and terriers, and scissoring etc etc... I also learned what I didn't want to do, by working with groomers who had a different approach and style.

        The vets obviously don't totally understand what's involved in grooming, otherwise they wouldn't be hiring a groomer straight out of school and expect then to build up a business. That's a lot of pressure to put on someone who still needs to refine their skills. (and again, i'm not saying you couldn't do it... I don't know,)

        If you decide to go for it... $10 is pretty fair. This gives you a chance to make a steady wage while refining your skiils, and working on client relations etc... If they started you on commision, I would worry that you would start worrying more about how much money you can make, and not about how good the grooming is. (It's just a natural response... we all think it... If we can just squeeze in that ONE more dog, we can make XX more money today... )

        If you groom 4 dogs in 8 hours, and the average dog is $45. most groomers get about 50%. so 50% would be 90, and your wage would be 80... why dont' you just ask for $11, focus on getting those 4 dogs groomed really well.

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        • #5
          If you havent already done at least a hundred dogs I would take the $10 and then after you have completed 100 you expect 50%. That is what the PetSomething did for us and my first paycheck was well over $800. For that paycheck in '05 I had to do 7-8 dogs a day and I was about a month out of school. For the 100 dogs I was paid 7.25 an hour, but that was several years ago. I think that sounds fair. And a good compromise.

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          • #6
            It depends, if you are slow $10/hr may be good at first. For me, I started 11 years ago, with no formal training, was trained by the vets groomer for 3 months than I was on my own. I got 50% commission + tips (but not many people tipped), took care of my own equipment, they got the shampoo dryers etc.

            The first 2 months of training I got $8/hr.

            So if you're slow you could do better with the hourly, but if you did well in school & are comfortable hourly can be a negative.

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            • #7
              I would have took that in a heartbeat fresh out of school because as a newbie and they were waiting for me to build speed after the quality they wanted was acheived so I wasn't given many dogs a day to start with and at 35% wasn't bringing home much money.

              Your are considering you'll make more with % if you do so many dogs a day but they may not have that many a day for you to do and they many not have some scheduled every day so hourly will probably work out better at first. Ask them if when you build clients, quality and speed if you can have hourly plus commisison that's what some do.

              Pet something do so much per hour or commission whichever turns out to be more which is cool when you are just starting out.

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              • #8
                $10 may be great for a newbie and for a new business. But, it may also be low as a continued wage. So, my question would be what are the plans as their groomer becomes more experienced and is doing better/faster work? What are their thoughts towards long term pay? Are they going to keep you on hourly pay? That can be very good, assuming they are going to increase pay to at least match hourly pay for groomers in your area. If they plan to switch to commission, then what is the amount they are thinking? How competative are their prices?

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                • #9
                  It's GREAT!!!!

                  For now, anyway. So say you do 4 dogs for $35 and you are there for 6-7 hours. Guess what?? You are earning about 50% commission!!!

                  So do your thing, take it slow, do well, and when you know you are getting to know the clients and improve your timing and can do more dogs, THAT'S when you say you would like to switch to commission, because then you COULD earn more than $10 per hour. (Not always, though, so don't be grumpy when you have a bad day! LOL)

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                  • #10
                    Just be careful that there is the opportunity for a raise in the future. Sadly there are vets that truly do not understand the value in paying a groomer a good wage. If this vet's idea of a raise is 50 cents over the span of a couple years, you may want to look elsewhere.

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