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how much does a hired groomer make?

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  • how much does a hired groomer make?

    So i am planning to start my busines but have a groomer handle most of the clients until i am expiernced enough.

    How much does a VERY experienced (10+ years) groomer make? If you have a hired groomer, do you pay them per hour or per dog?

    How much does a semi experienced (<2yrs) make?

    I have looked at dozens of ads for groomer jobs but none list how much they will make.

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    That's kind of like a client calling and saying "how much to groom my dog" when there is no other info given.
    Your area, your prices, number of dogs per day, etc make a HUGE difference as to what a groomer can make. In my area, if I worked for someone else doing 8 dogs per day, 5 days a week I would gross about $57K(based on the previous salon I worked at and her prices and just her min hair cut fee so I'd prob make more, cuz I'd go back there if I had to go anywhere). Now my employee, if she grooms 4 dogs a day 5 days a week at my minimum hair cut price she'd gross about $34K. (since she does many that cost more than that she could easily make more if she worked 5 days a week) This is paying 50% commission. It's what I earned and what I pay.
    NOW, that being said, IMO it would be VERY hard to try to start a business supporting an employee from the get go if it is mostly or solely a grooming business. All the seminars I have gone to and courses I have taken have said not to count on being in the black for at least a year and to make sure you can cover expenses without any income from the business for at least 6 months. That would be really hard with an employee to start with.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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    • #3
      Let me also add, and you may already be aware of this, employees are expensive. Paying a groomer 50% commission does not mean the business gets half of that. After expenses, taxes, etc you may get about 20% of what is being brought in. Plus, an employee can leave you high and dry so you really need to be prepared to handle all the aspects of the business in case that does happen.
      What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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      • #4
        gotta find the groomer

        You can get a groomer that has been grooming for 10+ years, and they are really bad... or a groomer who has been grooming for 1 year and they are fabulous...

        My sister graduated from grooming school, one year ago, and she can outgroom most of the other local groomers who have been grooming for 20 years.

        If you can find a good groomer who is willing to start from the bottom and build up a business... good luck! and then pay her/him well. hehe..

        Passionate, talented groomers are easily worth 60% commision, if they provide their own tools. But 50% is common. IF you charge 50 a dog, they get 25 bucks... you still have to pay all employee expenses, business expenses, and advertise...

        if you are learning to groom yourself... go work for someone else... be the employee for a while, so when it's time for you to hire, you better understand your employee.

        If you decide you want to pay an hourly rate... the groomer will likely do a better job per dog, keep the place cleaner, but groom a lot less dogs. If you decide to pay a commision... the groomer will likely rush a bit more, avoid cleaning when possible, but groom a lot more dogs...

        If you have no clients yet, and offer a commision job... you will likely have a hard time finding someone. If you have no clients, and offer an hourly rate, you will have to pay them, even if there aren't any dogs to groom.

        lots to think about

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        • #5
          Thanks for your info, I guess to be more specific i was looking for how the industry pays its groomers. I completely understand location and multiple other factors come into play.

          I was more curious from the stand point of commission vs hourly and experience.

          Thanks for your input!

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          • #6
            How groomers are paid

            If commission is paid, let's say the common 50%, a newer groomer is usually not as fast, therefore does not earn as much, and does not bring in as much for the shop.

            The experienced groomer earns more because they get more dogs done, so even though their commission may be the same, their earnings - and the shop earnings - will likely be higher. Plus they may get more tips.

            Also, an experienced groomer may be used to earning a higher commission, perhaps 55%, or 60% for instance.

            As for hourly pay, you would have to juggle numbers and weigh in the experience of the person (and the productivity) and see if there can be an agreement.

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            • #7
              Groomers

              I would hire a groomer with 10 years plus at 50 to start
              6 months down the road up them to 60 percent
              maybe add a another groomer

              As for a groomer fresh out of school 40 percent
              5 years 50 percent

              Make them all do a few test grooms
              and ask for photos of their work over the years

              Real groomers don't work by the hour,I never did
              you need a groomer that wants to work,and piece work money,not payed by the hour
              you get slow groomers,like anyone that works by the hour,they know their not making anything more then the hourly rate.
              They keep all their tips,don't share with another groomers,like splitting the tips ,angry could develop in a shop.I've seen it first hand..

              plus I would not hire anyone that did not
              attend a real grooming school.
              (video classes or learning from another groomer)


              At points in my long career(27th year now) the top I was payed was 75 percent
              had everything payed for (blades too)
              You should would pay for everything in the shop(shampoos and etc)
              But make them pay for sharpening their own scissors and blades
              My husbands is starting a mobile blade sharpening business(doing for about 6 years now) and here in NJ
              we get 6.50 to 7.00 a blade or more,adding that cost can add up quickly for a shop owner
              Good luck
              Last edited by desertdogs64; 04-22-10, 11:26 PM. Reason: wrong years

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              • #8
                How can any employer pay 60%-75% and make any money? If they are paying all the taxes, workers comp, insurance, etc, I just don't see how that would work. I've made 60% and was even offered 65% when I went to quit (should have stayed) but I still don't understand how they made any money off of me. Just very curious.
                What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                • #9
                  At a boarding kennel

                  in Pa started at 60 percent,then he offered me 75 percent and begged me to stay when they thought I was going to leave.but I ended up staying, not all employers take out taxes,most groomers are self employed,so you don't get health insurance ,and remember I've been doing this for 27 years,I don't work there anymore ,it was just a in between job,when I lived in the Poconos and it was hard to start a mobile grooming business,now being back in North NJ ,I'am mobile with starting rate at 75.00 and maybe putting another trailer on the road soon.My husband is starting a mobile clipper blade/scissor sharpening service,he been doing it for about 6 years now,a much needed service and profitable one too.

                  Originally posted by mylady View Post
                  How can any employer pay 60%-75% and make any money? If they are paying all the taxes, workers comp, insurance, etc, I just don't see how that would work. I've made 60% and was even offered 65% when I went to quit (should have stayed) but I still don't understand how they made any money off of me. Just very curious.

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                  • #10
                    I can see where a kennel or a vet can pay that much, when the grooming is not the main source of income. I would think that some places would do that because they want to offer it to the clients even if they hardly make any money off the grooming department. I would probably disagree that "most" groomers are self employed, and if they are an independent contractor, it is probably really a mis-classified employee, illegal in the eyes of the IRS. For the original question, I think most groomers are paid commission, 50% being the norm. You should get the book "From Problems to Profits" it is a great book for a grooming buiness. If I ever end up having a shop, it is how I am going to try and run my business. For now I am sticking with mobile!
                    What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by desertdogs64 View Post
                      in Pa started at 60 percent,then he offered me 75 percent and begged me to stay when they thought I was going to leave.but I ended up staying, not all employers take out taxes,most groomers are self employed,so you don't get health insurance .
                      If the employers aren't taking out taxes then that isn't an employee it's an IC or they are paying under the table. And most groomers who are being paid as an IC technically aren't and then have to deal with the lovely IRS. IDK if most groomers are self employed honestly, especially with the number of corporate groomers out there. Even though I am self employed and have one employee I do offer health insurance and have only ever worked for those willing to offer it. I won't be without it. If my husband didn't have health insurance that covered me I would have my own. When it comes to health insurance, whether self employed or not, it's something you should have. It's just as important as business insurance or paying your rent. I wouldn't even think of having an employee until I could afford to offer health insurance.
                      What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's called Estimated tax

                        where you pay quarterly,if your self employed,some people do have to pay for their own insurance, which I have done for most of my career.


                        Originally posted by mylady View Post
                        If the employers aren't taking out taxes then that isn't an employee it's an IC or they are paying under the table. And most groomers who are being paid as an IC technically aren't and then have to deal with the lovely IRS. IDK if most groomers are self employed honestly, especially with the number of corporate groomers out there. Even though I am self employed and have one employee I do offer health insurance and have only ever worked for those willing to offer it. I won't be without it. If my husband didn't have health insurance that covered me I would have my own. When it comes to health insurance, whether self employed or not, it's something you should have. It's just as important as business insurance or paying your rent. I wouldn't even think of having an employee until I could afford to offer health insurance.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by desertdogs64 View Post
                          where you pay quarterly,if your self employed,some people do have to pay for their own insurance, which I have done for most of my career.
                          Yes, that is when you are self employed. I'm talking about working for someone as an employee. I have always had to pay a portion of my insurance but would not work for someone else unless they provided it and it was affordable. Of course now, yes, working for myself if my husband didn't have it I would have to provide it. I'm saying that if you are an employee, unless you are being paid illegally under the table, I don't see how a business can pay 75% commission and make any money off of a groomer. Most employers who pay 50% make about 20% off that employee. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I just don't understand why.
                          What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In a boarding kennel

                            this can happen,I owed one and have paid a groomer 65 percent and still made money,back in the 90s,it was not under the table and she was self employed, when you own a boarding kennel ,not just a grooming shop,you can do things like offer a groomer more higher percent,because you make alot of money of the other services. End of story.

                            ,
                            Originally posted by mylady View Post
                            Yes, that is when you are self employed. I'm talking about working for someone as an employee. I have always had to pay a portion of my insurance but would not work for someone else unless they provided it and it was affordable. Of course now, yes, working for myself if my husband didn't have it I would have to provide it. I'm saying that if you are an employee, unless you are being paid illegally under the table, I don't see how a business can pay 75% commission and make any money off of a groomer. Most employers who pay 50% make about 20% off that employee. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I just don't understand why.

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                            • #15
                              I have been a shop owner and I have worked in others shops. I have almost 20 years experience. I have worked for as low as 50% with very few amenities provided by the employers (never again), I have also worked for as high as 70% with shop owners who cover nearly everything(amazing guy to work for). I personally have never employed a groomer that I thought was worth more than 50% although I would have loved to at times, they just are not around very often. I think commission varies drastically by region and overall groom price. I have groomed in 8 different states and in all different types of shops, including a self-serve dog wash (70%), vets offices (65-70%), kennels (50% and mostly just bath dogs), shelters (55%), my home and doing house calls (100% and low overhead!).

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