What does a pet groomer do?

Hired by pet owners across Australia, pet groomers provide a number of services aimed at maintaining the wellbeing and happiness of your pets. Dealing for the most part with dogs and cats, some of the duties a pet groomer will perform are: cutting, grooming and styling an animal’s coat; cleaning, clipping nails and basic paw hygiene; washing animals and applying treatments that ensure hygiene standards are maintained; and even styling your pet’s coat into a whimsical ‘do.

Tasks:

  • Bathing and drying animals
  • Applying treatments to ensure a healthy coat
  • Clipping and detangling long coats
  • Styling an animal’s coat

What skills do I need to be a pet groomer?

A pet groomer is required to handle and care for animals belonging to clients. Communicating clearly with the pet owner is essential to make sure any grooming services have been mutually agreed upon in advance. Pet groomers must be able to work well with animals, particularly those who may be averse to bathing or in need of considerable attention. A calming demeanour and strong hand are needed to soothe nervous animals and make sure they have a positive experience. Clipping, detangling and styling a fidgety animal can be tough work, but seeing a wagging tail and a happy owner at the end of the day makes it all worthwhile.

Skills/attributes
  • Good listening, communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to interpret and respond to an animal’s mood
  • Love for the animals that you work with
  • Thoroughness in work

Specialisations

The decision to become a pet groomer offers you several possibilities for career progression. While qualifications are not a requirement to become a groomer, undertaking a course of study will allow you to demonstrate your skills and trustworthiness to potential clients. Many pet groomers chose to start their own businesses, work in mobile pet salons or at a trusted pet salon. Hours can be flexible, particularly for those who are self-employed.

Specialist Dog Breed Groomer

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, have different coats and require their own specialised attention. A poodle’s woolly fur is very dissimilar to a Pomeranian’s fluffy coat, which is entirely different to the silken locks of a Maltese terrier. Dog groomers can elect to deal with a specific breed of dog, perhaps out of a personal love for the breed or simply because they excel in working with that specific fur type.

Grooming Technician

This is an entry-level position, often referring to the “bather brushers” who work in pet salon. Often salon’s will require you to have some level of training, while offering on-the-job instruction in all aspect’s of pet grooming to help develop your professional skills.

Master Groomer

Generally those who have progressed to the level of master groomer have extensive industry experience, often owning or acting as a senior groomer at a pet salon. Achieving this level as a professional groomer will allow you to charge more for your services and provide interesting job opportunities in the dog and cat show circuits and extreme art grooming competitions.

Study pathways for pet groomers

While obtaining a qualification as a pet groomer is voluntary, it demonstrates a level of understanding, training and dedication to the industry that will make a difference in your employability. Often courses will provide hands-on experience with animals and invaluable guidance on starting your own pet-grooming business in line with your state and local government requirements.

Getting Started

Work towards your career goals in animal grooming with beginners’ courses

Skill Building

Improve your competency and confidence in animal handling with targeted study

Professional Development

Learn more about what it takes to succeed in the wild world of pet grooming

Industry Recognition

Affiliating yourself with a trusted pet grooming organisation is a great way to demonstrate your professionalism and industry skills.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your pet grooming career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for pet grooming jobs.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Future employment growth of pet grooming is expected to remain relatively steady over the next five years.