How to Become a Dog Groomer in California

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If you’re a dog lover and like interacting with different people, you could become a pet groomer!

This article will reveal what it takes for you to become a dog groomer in California, so read on!

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Dog Groomer Job Description and Duties in California

Grooming a dog also ensures he is healthy and will continue to be so.

The process involves a quick skin inspection to make sure there is no skin injury or other critical areas.

This skin inspection can reveal ticks, sunburns, rashes, or moles.

All these issues can turn into serious threats to the animal’s health.

Here are some of the tasks of a dog groomer:

  • Inspect the dog’s skin
  • Cut, clip, and style a dog’s coat
  • Bath dogs
  • Clip a dog’s nails
  • Interact with the owners of the pet
  • Know the hygienic care for each dog breed
  • Brush its teeth
  • Know how to restrain the animal
  • Calm the pet, if needed
  • Identify problem areas

These duties have a more administrative role:

  • Cleaning and maintenance of your workplace
  • Cleaning and maintaining your tools
  • Knowing which tools to use for what task
  • Safely operating the tools
  • Staying updated with styling trends
  • Staying informed on the industry changes

Dog Groomer Job Requirements in California

Like any other job, this one too has certain requirements you should meet.

It’s especially important for dog groomers to love animals and especially dogs.

These people will better understand how a dog behaves and will know how to handle it better.

Certain personality traits are needed as well.

This is a list of the most common traits a pet groomer should have:

  • Good or excellent communication skills
  • Patience
  • Ability to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Ability to stand for an extended time
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to work with both hands
  • Willingness to continue to learn
  • Willingness to work with other animals too

Dog Groomers’ Education and Certification in California

Those living in California wanting to become pet groomers don’t need any special education.

A training course that teaches the basics about dog grooming is generally recommended, but not mandatory either.

Usually, to enroll in these classes, individuals only need a high school diploma or GED.

Dog Groomers’ Education

The classes for a future dog groomer are not longer than a few months, thus you can start a new job rather fast.

Training can be completed in person or online, however, it needs plenty of practice hours.

The structure of such a course should look like this:

  • Introduction to Pet Grooming
  • Introduction to Dogs and Cats
  • Pre-Grooming Procedures
  • Dog Grooming, Part 1
  • Dog Grooming, Part 2
  • Dog Grooming, Part 3
  • Dog Personalities and Behavior
  • Cat Grooming
  • Business Practices

Cat grooming is taught to dog groomers because there are many cats who also need professional grooming.

Many dog grooming facilities also offer services to cats and sometimes even other types of animals.

There are many dog groomers who open their own salons, therefore a class on business practices is also important.

Dog Groomers’ Certification

Once your training program ends, expect to pass an exam.

The exam will differ from school to school, but it may have a practice component.

Additionally, passing a jurisprudence exam may also be needed if you want to operate as a business owner.

You may even obtain more certificates or diplomas if you participate in various workshops and specialty classes.

Dog Groomers’ Employment and Salary in California

Knowing where you’ll work and what your salary can be is rather important for a successful career.

You can apply for a position at any of these establishments:

  • Dog rescues
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Pet grooming salons
  • Pet shops
  • Dog daycare centers

Your salary will depend on factors such as these:

  • Location
  • Who you work for – yourself or someone else
  • How many hours you work – full or part-time
  • Number of certifications
Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Dog Groomers in California

City NameSalary
Los Angeles$40,601
San Diego$38,701
San Jose$45,001
San Francisco$44,801
Long Beach$40,001
Santa Ana$40,001
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in California

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA330$33,870$16.28$36,390$29,140
Chico, CA170$33,730$16.21$36,430$29,230
El Centro, CA50$33,320$16.02$35,380$29,120
Fresno, CA410$35,380$17.01$38,390$29,220
Hanford-Corcoran, CA60$36,070$17.34$44,140$30,390
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA8,390$37,480$18.02$45,690$31,070
Merced, CA70$34,710$16.69$42,490$29,120
Modesto, CA280$36,440$17.52$47,450$30,040
Napa, CA100$38,230$18.38$48,340$32,150
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA570$35,270$16.96$42,170$29,890
Redding, CA140$33,810$16.26$38,600$29,700
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA2,130$35,420$17.03$44,190$29,750
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA1,540$36,670$17.63$45,520$30,670
Salinas, CA240$38,360$18.44$49,320$30,740
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA3,100$39,780$19.12$61,100$30,380
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA3,400$42,910$20.63$55,900$35,120
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA940$43,960$21.13$53,190$35,880
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA350$35,330$16.99$40,610$30,270
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA210$36,550$17.57$43,630$31,040
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA370$36,730$17.66$46,960$30,390
Santa Rosa, CA590$38,810$18.66$47,670$33,020
Stockton-Lodi, CA260$36,020$17.32$45,350$29,870
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA210$37,480$18.02$44,710$31,030
Visalia-Porterville, CA160$37,430$18$47,490$29,560
Yuba City, CA50$37,750$18.15$51,660$30,380
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Animal Caretakers, OCC Code 39-2021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information for Dog Groomers in California

You might need more information regarding some aspects, or even further help to find a job.

For these purposes and more, you can use these organizations and their resources:

  • California Dog Groomer Ads
  • National Dog Groomers Association of America
  • California Dog Grooming Directory
  • American Kennel Club (AKC)
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