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  • I'm Thinking About Becoming A Groomer...

    I was wondering if you all (or Ya'll as I say) could answer some questions for me. I'm trying to figure out if this is something I can make a living from and I get the impression that it may be hard to do if you don't live in an affluent area or have your on business. From what I've read the best place to be employed if you want health insurance is a corporation. Do small businesses regularly offer this? What kind of hours does a groomer usually work? Anything else I should know before I invest in grooming school?

    Thank You- Andrea

  • #2
    You can absolutely make a living by being a groomer and a good living at that!! It does seem like the bigger corporations are the ones that typically offer bennies, but there are pros and cons to both small business and corporations, you would have to decide what works for you. As far as hours go, they vary widely as you will find out if you stick w/this board. I have my own shop and my business hours are weekdays from 7:45 to 5:30 (closed Tuesdays) and Saturdays I work according to my grooming schedule which is usually 8:00 til 2:00, though sometimes I stay later, sometimes I close earlier. If you are looking into getting into this profession I would encourage you to get a job at a groomers or kennel first to see if it is your cup of tea. Good luck to you. This is a great place to ask questions and get answers!!
    SheilaB from SC

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    • #3
      Go for it!

      If you love animals, have lots of patience and are very STRONG...you might consider being a groomer. I have my own home based shop and make a nice living, but my husband makes 75% of our income. I always say to him "I WORK SO MUCH HARDER THAN YOU!!" its not fair... That is just our situation though. I can tell alot of the groomers on this board make a DECENT living and some are probably the major bread winners.... it all depends how much you are going to get into it... how many dogs a day you can do.. and your income to start up... or what you can settle on for a starting wage working for someone else... It really all will just fall into place if this is what your meant to do... LOTS OF WORK, FAITH, PATIENCE... AND ABOVE ALL "A LOVE OF DOGS/ANIMALS!) That's what keeps you going .....

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      • #4
        Where in South Carolina are you located? I am in Charlotte, NC and I am just starting my grooming training. I am so excited that I can hardly stand it! I know in my area there are a lot of pet owners that spare no expense to have their pets fluffed, buffed and groomed and thats just the beginning. The pet industry is a very not area right now and it looks if there is no slowing down in the near future.

        Feel free to PM me and I would be glad to help you if I can.

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        • #5
          Some small business offer bennie's but they're few and far in between. My boss mentioned the other day about getting bennies for us employees. A lot of insurance companies wont offer than if there are less than 3 employees. That includes the owner and anyone who gets a paycheck there. I make a great living in summer time. The words getting around now that I'm back and work so it's almost as busy now as summer is. Winter is usually slower so you may make less money. Plus the most common type of pay is commission but some places do pay hourly. So the more dogs you do on comm, the better you'll be. I work now from 7 to usually 2 or 3. But I help with boarding too. I leave when my grooming dogs are done. During summer I've left as late as 6:30. I get a lot of mountain dogs though. I must have at least 5 GP's, a couple Berners, about 5 or 6 Saints, etc. People live in the mountains, only fit to have a mountain dog.. LOL

          It's a lot of hard work. You have to make dogs look good that come in after being "home-groomed". They wiggle, they squirm, they bite, they fight, they jump, they lay down and wont stand (shih tzu's), they try to turn in circles, etc. If a dog can move any certain way or do anything, it will try it's darnedest to do it. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of strength.

          Good luck in whatever you decide.
          Becky

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          • #6
            You can make a living grooming, but how good of one really depends upon YOU. Definitely try to find work as a bather/brusher-trainee somewhere BEFORE investing in a good grooming education and equipment to see if you can handle it. (As you'll soon find out, grooming dogs isn't always all fun and puppy kisses!) Living in an affluent area isn't necessary, but living NEAR one can help (though many groomers don't). Small shops generally don't offer benefits (corporations generally do) and hours and commission will vary depending upon who you work for. Owning your own business obviously has it's pros and cons but is something you can consider after becoming a groomer. Honestly, you've come to one of the best places on the net for information about grooming so don't forget to read through PetGroomer.com!

            Stephen Note: Just for the record, it's not for everyone of course, but I have groomers on this board making $100K a year as an employee, and quite a few business owners making twice that after expenses. The choice is yours.

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            • #7
              If you've never worked with dogs before, I'd suggest you try working as a bather, a kennel attendent, or volunteer at a local shelter to see if it's something you like doing.

              Grooming is hard work. You'll clean up urine and feces. You'll deal with fleas and ticks. You'll see (and smell) incredibly dirty, stinking animals. Some of them will have sores under their matted fur. A few may have maggots in the sores. You may find things lurking under the mats that you'd rather not know what they are.

              You have to accept it when you accidentally injure a pet; those nicks and cuts happen to all of us. At some point, you may have a pet die on the table or in a holding cage. You may even find yourself delivering puppies. You have to be prepared for anything and everything.

              At some point, you will be bitten. You'll get scratched. You'll pull muscles and go home with aches in places you didn't know you had. You'll scratch your head, and find a flea. You'll find dog hair in your pockets, in your bra, and in your sandwich. You'll discover how uncomfortable a hair splinter can be. And you'll find them in disconcerting places.

              You'll also have to deal with owners who can't seem to communicate what they want, and yell at you when you get it wrong. You'll deal with people who are trying to cheat you. People who think their pet is the only one that matters. People who cry when they have to be apart from their pet for an hour.

              You need a strong stomach, a strong back, shoulders and arms, the patience of a saint, and the tact of a diplomat. And you have to know when to put your foot down and say "Sorry about your luck."

              If that doesn't scare you off, you'll also have the satisfaction of taking a matted, overgrown mess and making it clean, comfortable, and if not beautiful, at least cute. You'll hear "That's not my dog. That can't be my dog. He's soooooo cute!" You'll make a huge difference in the lives of many animals. You'll find lumps the owner wasn't aware of, see symptoms of medical conditions that the owner hasn't noticed, and by pointing them out, you may save a pet's life.

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              • #8
                Wow, with a little tweaking, Helly, I'd frame that and put it on my wall, lol. That's a great description of grooming. I've tried putting it all together like that, but it usually just comes out as it's really hard work, but very rewarding. Lol, not nearly as poetic as your rendition. Thanks.
                Erin
                No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Helly Sums it all Up

                  Originally posted by Helly View Post
                  If you've never worked with dogs before, I'd suggest you try working as a bather, a kennel attendent, or volunteer at a local shelter to see if it's something you like doing.

                  Grooming is hard work. You'll clean up urine and feces. You'll deal with fleas and ticks. You'll see (and smell) incredibly dirty, stinking animals. Some of them will have sores under their matted fur. A few may have maggots in the sores. You may find things lurking under the mats that you'd rather not know what they are.

                  You have to accept it when you accidentally injure a pet; those nicks and cuts happen to all of us. At some point, you may have a pet die on the table or in a holding cage. You may even find yourself delivering puppies. You have to be prepared for anything and everything.

                  At some point, you will be bitten. You'll get scratched. You'll pull muscles and go home with aches in places you didn't know you had. You'll scratch your head, and find a flea. You'll find dog hair in your pockets, in your bra, and in your sandwich. You'll discover how uncomfortable a hair splinter can be. And you'll find them in disconcerting places.

                  You'll also have to deal with owners who can't seem to communicate what they want, and yell at you when you get it wrong. You'll deal with people who are trying to cheat you. People who think their pet is the only one that matters. People who cry when they have to be apart from their pet for an hour.

                  You need a strong stomach, a strong back, shoulders and arms, the patience of a saint, and the tact of a diplomat. And you have to know when to put your foot down and say "Sorry about your luck."

                  If that doesn't scare you off, you'll also have the satisfaction of taking a matted, overgrown mess and making it clean, comfortable, and if not beautiful, at least cute. You'll hear "That's not my dog. That can't be my dog. He's soooooo cute!" You'll make a huge difference in the lives of many animals. You'll find lumps the owner wasn't aware of, see symptoms of medical conditions that the owner hasn't noticed, and by pointing them out, you may save a pet's life.
                  Helly sums it all up right here in a nutshell. I couldn't agree more. It also takes artistic ability, a good sense of humor, creativity and ingenuity. So, you wanna be a groomer, huh?

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                  • #10
                    helly...that was awesomely wrote!!!!! You nailed it to a tee. Just wanted you to know

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, what Helly said.

                      Also, regarding benefits, many animal hospital groomers can get insurance. I am under my husband's insurance, but if needed, I could get bennies through the animal hospital, though not cheap! But not as expensive as on my own.

                      Tammy in Utah
                      Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                      • #12
                        making a living

                        I've raised 3 children and own my own home....on my own...as a lil ole groomer lol sure you can make a living at it! investing in yourself is the wisest investment you will ever make! Be sure to check all the associations out on your way

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Helly View Post
                          If you've never worked with dogs before, I'd suggest you try working as a bather, a kennel attendent, or volunteer at a local shelter to see if it's something you like doing.

                          Grooming is hard work. You'll clean up urine and feces. You'll deal with fleas and ticks. You'll see (and smell) incredibly dirty, stinking animals. Some of them will have sores under their matted fur. A few may have maggots in the sores. You may find things lurking under the mats that you'd rather not know what they are.

                          You have to accept it when you accidentally injure a pet; those nicks and cuts happen to all of us. At some point, you may have a pet die on the table or in a holding cage. You may even find yourself delivering puppies. You have to be prepared for anything and everything.

                          At some point, you will be bitten. You'll get scratched. You'll pull muscles and go home with aches in places you didn't know you had. You'll scratch your head, and find a flea. You'll find dog hair in your pockets, in your bra, and in your sandwich. You'll discover how uncomfortable a hair splinter can be. And you'll find them in disconcerting places.

                          You'll also have to deal with owners who can't seem to communicate what they want, and yell at you when you get it wrong. You'll deal with people who are trying to cheat you. People who think their pet is the only one that matters. People who cry when they have to be apart from their pet for an hour.

                          You need a strong stomach, a strong back, shoulders and arms, the patience of a saint, and the tact of a diplomat. And you have to know when to put your foot down and say "Sorry about your luck."

                          If that doesn't scare you off, you'll also have the satisfaction of taking a matted, overgrown mess and making it clean, comfortable, and if not beautiful, at least cute. You'll hear "That's not my dog. That can't be my dog. He's soooooo cute!" You'll make a huge difference in the lives of many animals. You'll find lumps the owner wasn't aware of, see symptoms of medical conditions that the owner hasn't noticed, and by pointing them out, you may save a pet's life.

                          Wow Helly! I think I am going to have to save this one in my computer, to print out and frame.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Helly, you go girl!! I couldn't have said it better.

                            There is one thing, at night when you finally climb into bed and want to fall asleep because you are so darn tired, it just doesn't happen. You hurt so much, your back, your legs, knees, hands and any other part of your body. You end up crying yourself to sleep or getting up and sitting in a chair hoping the pain will go away. But the next morning you're up and ready to do it all over again.
                            "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                            Diane

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                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone. I try.

                              Diane, they make drugs for that, lol. Get yourself a bottle of Percogesic.

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