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Am I too old for a grooming career?

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  • Am I too old for a grooming career?

    I am 52 years old. I am going to be changing careers and am leaning strongly towards grooming. I worked for a big box grooming salon for 3 months as a bather before they laid me off. I found the work tiring at times, but the set-up wasn't that great. We had to bathe and dry the large dogs on the floor. That was hard on my back (even the younger people complained!). I think with a better set up that would not be an issue. Although I have worked for many years on computers, I have no signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. I work out 5 days a week, so I am in good shape. Please let me know if you think I am too old. I was told by someone that I was, but she wasn't a groomer. She had done it in the past, but was not doing it anymore. Also, is there any way to know if I would be good at it? I will probably have to pay for grooming school and don't want to spend the money, if it is not a viable career at this point in my life. Thank you for your help.

  • #2
    If you are in the shape you are in and still on the green side of the sod, then you are not too old for a grooming career. You're only three years older than I am!
    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
    Laura Lee Ray
    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on


    • #3
      You are only as old as you feel. If you feel confident that you can do it then I say DO IT!
      Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
      Check out my Blog at


      • #4
        In my opinion, the hardest part of the job in working and lifting the big dogs. If you are fortunate enough to be your own boss after training, just limit your shop to small pets only. I do no dogs over 35# and I am turning clients away due to being too busy. Good Luck!
        Lisa VanVleet, RVT


        • #5
          I was almost 57 when I went to grooming school in July 08. I have my own mobile van and LOVE every minute of it. Built up a clientele of over 400 and am booked 2 weeks out and 3 Saturdays out. This month I booked 98 appointments and did 128 dogs!!

          My advice would be if you want to do it...then GO FOR IT!!! Best of luck to you!


          • #6
            Thank you everyone!

            I feel very encouraged by all your feedback! You all are the best!


            • #7
              NOT too old!

              You sound like you are in great shape. Working on the floor should NOT be a regular experience, no matter WHAT age the person is!

              You may be best off not doing many (or maybe not ANY) large dogs, that would be the main concern since you are otherwise in good shape and not suffering from physical ailments. Some groomers start having physical problems within a few years of starting to groom, even though they are much younger. Others don't have much of a problem even after grooming 20, 30 years and more (like me, although I do very few large dogs, and nothing over about 55 pounds).

              I know of a groomer aged 52 who just went to grooming school last year. Others replying to you have told you of their situation. You just want to be easy on yourself. If you're like me, you definitely don't have the same energy you had in your 20's and 30's, so just reduce the workload and have as much fun as possible!

              Good luck!


              • #8
                I'm 56 and went to grooming school last November and it is great. I work on my own doing housecall grooming until I can get a trailer or van. I do a little grooming out of my home also. I will be 57 next month and feel this is one of the best things I have ever done. When I was in school there was a lady who was 62 and she did great. I feel I'm in better shape than some people who are a lot younger. If you feel you can do it there is no reason why you can't. Everyone has an opinion but the important one is yours. Don't let anyone discourage you if this is what you really want to do. I can tell you that it is hard work but it is very rewarding.


                • #9
                  I will be turning 59 in a couple of weeks and have been grooming for a total of about 30 years. Right now I enjoy it more than I ever had. The biggest thing for me is taking care of my back, as when I was young I thought that I was indistructable, and I was wrong. I have never had an issue with carpel tunnel, and I spend a lot of time on this computer too, but have had tendonitis in my hands a few times. I am still planning to continue to groom for a long time.

                  My husband retired and is going to turn 66 soon, and is my bather, although after 4 years is still learning, and I still help him a lot. HE can't brush worth a hoot, but it saves my back a lot.

                  I still do goldens and aussies and border collies and some standard poodles. I love those breeds too much to give them up, but than I have my daughter there too, and she does a lot of the dogs that I feel I cannot do anymore. It helps having your own business, as you can pick and choose as too what you think you can do.

                  I do only work 4 days a week, and 1 week I will work 5 days so to do a Sat. for those customers that can't come in during the week. That's only because I came down with an autoimmune disease a few years ago, which caused me to get an ulcer on my leg which cause a huge scar and standing so much bothers my leg, and working too many hours causes the disease to show its ugly face, other wise I could still work longer hours. Otherwise, I am still quite healthy, and most people don't realize that I am as old as I am. If arthritis is a problem, there are meds for that, but it seems that staying active and using the joints, keeps the meds at bay, unless the joints get over worked. Grooming is not near as hard on me as my horses can be.


                  • #10
                    I wondered that too!

                    I just turned 49 today and started grooming "school" just 9 weeks ago. I'm in OK shape but I'm doing fine, no real problems. I had a desk job, so my body did need to adjust a bit, especially my back. I say go for it!


                    • #11
                      never to old

                      I went into grooming so I could have something that I could do when I was in my later years. I started it when I was 48 and sick from a treatment I took. The hardest part will be the learning after that no troubles. If you love animals and get along with them go for it.


                      • #12
                        Not too old

                        Years ago we didn't have electric tables or many of the conviences that help us deal with grooming dogs day after day.
                        I would say make you look after your health in grooming no matter your age. Learn to 'read' doggies language so you can avoid the bites despite reacting a little slower than your teenage counterparts.
                        Make sure you have a good padded mat to stand on while grooming. Never under estimate that mat.
                        Wear super good shoes.
                        Learn to use scissors correctly so that you aren't straining your wrist while cutting.
                        And in general use all that common sense and wisdom.
                        Ask the 20 something year old to lift then big dog or give her the Bouvier in exchange for the Bichon. Just know your limits. And good luck on your career change.


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=kated;394753]I am 52 years old. I am going to be changing careers and am leaning strongly towards grooming. I worked for a big box grooming salon for 3 months as a bather before they laid me off. I found the work tiring at times, but the set-up wasn't that great. QUOTE]>>>>>>>>

                          I'm 48. As long as your body holds together, you can groom. My mom groomed until she was 74. I'm holding up pretty good, and I'm pretty sedentary other than grooming. You are right, setting it up properly does help reduce the wear on tear on your body. I love having my own shop.


                          • #14
                            You are only as old as...

                            Originally posted by kated View Post
                            I am 52 years old. I am going to be changing careers and am leaning strongly towards grooming. I worked for a big box grooming salon..., if it is not a viable career at this point in my life. Thank you for your help.
                            You let yourself feel.

                            Do you know I just took a grooming course at 46 and opened a home based shop. Career change and it is going well. But if you think you are too old, let me tell you about a lady her e in PEI
                            She is turning 65 in May and has just signed up for the motorcycle safety course! Yeap, never been on a bike in her life, and she went out and bought herself a Harley, and is going to learn to ride this year. She is excited. I met her while in a bike shop while she was picking out her riding gear and checking on the work being done to modify her motorcycle. One of the boys in the shop was questioning a purchase of chaps that she was about to make, and this woman says to him "honey, my ass may not be worth looking at, at my age, but it's stil there, it's just a little to big to fit into any of those leather pant things you have here, and yeas, I'm getting a tank top to Mr, cause although I have had 9 children, I still have boobs, and I still get hot" and then she winks at him, walks over to me, and high fives me! ROFLMAO! I was laughing so loud...she whispered in my ear that she's gonna get a tat of a naked man too! Since her kids are grown, her husband passed, she says it is time to follow her dreams, as she lived for others dreams too long!
                            She and I are going for a ride together once she gets her test passed. She is one feisty lady and I really look forward to hitting the road with her. I'll bet she wants to stop in at some biker bars too LOL!
                            If she can have the determination at 65 to learn how to ride a bike, you have nothing to worry about. Have faith in yourself, and live for your dreams! No matter what they are.
                            PS, this woman's name is Marty, and I have a feeling I'll be seeing a lot of her out on the roads this year.


                            • #15
                              That is a great story!

                              I'll think of Marty when I worry about my age! That is so cool! Thank you!