I started school as pre-vet, worked as a vet tech and have volunteered for non-profits. I wanted to give back to animals all the support and love they have given me during my life. A major life change required me to learn a job quickly and knowing I had to work with animals, I began learning grooming, I was concerned I wasn't going to be able to make as much of difference as I would have wanted. But as I began to train as a groomer, I realized that clean pets are cuddled and included more.
Not only that, but I have found tumors, ear infections, festering sores under mats as well as many more health issues that I could either take care of myself (like removing mats, foxtails, etc.) or I could make sure they went to the vet. Groomers often find health or behavior issues that owners and even Veterinarians may miss.
After working at several grooming shops, I discovered not all groomers take care and patience with pets. Injury, abuse, and neglect happen in many salons. Shops requiring groomers to groom too many dogs, too fast, and without enough care threatens the safety of the pets and groomers. Here at Pretty Pets we only hire kind and caring groomers that work together for the pets' best grooming experience.
Grooming requires patience, skill, strength, mindfulness, intelligence and a commitment. Skills can be learned within months, but like all skills, can take years to hone. Not a day goes by when I don't learn something new or meet a new pet. I go to work to get cheered up! And know I am making a difference in those pets lives.
Comparison of Wages Between Vet Techs and Groomers
Grooming Industry Statistics
Industry publication eGroomer issues an annual survey of grooming businesses, and a more accurate assessment of groomers' income can be gleaned from its 2012 State of the Industry report. At an average* commission of $22.25 per dog in the salon, a groomer finishing five dogs per day would earn $111.25 per day or $556.25 per week. At 50 weeks per year, that's $27,812.50. On the same basis, a groomer finishing seven dogs per day would earn $38,937 per year. Eight dogs per day would add up to $44,500 per year, and 11 dogs equals $61,187 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth of 23 percent between 2010 and 2020 for its broad category of animal caregivers. The 2012 eJournal survey is also optimistic, with 91 percent of grooming salon owners expressing optimism about their businesses despite a sluggish economy.
*Average commissions tend to run closer to $25-30 per dog today (estimate from my shop).
Vet Tech Industry Statistics
While entry-level earners make a little over $20,000 per year, the highest-paid vet tech salary is over $44,000 annually, according to the North American Veterinary Technician Association (NAVTA). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, the average vet tech salary is approximately $30,000 per year.