Dog groomer


Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would help dog owners keep their dog’s coat healthy and looking good. You’d advise them about coat care, grooming and diet.

You’d need to be confident with dogs and be able to handle the animals firmly but gently. You’d have to be patient with them so you can calm and control nervous dogs.

With each owner, you would discuss the grooming they would like, whether the dog is used to being groomed and the best way to handle the animal.

It would be important to start by checking for any sore areas or lumps on the dog's skin, and for fleas or parasites.

You would then

  • Carefully shape the dog's coat with electric clippers or a stripping knife
  • Shampoo and dry the dog's coat
  • Give it a final trim with scissors

Sometimes you would also clip the dog's claws and clean its teeth and ears.

You would often follow standards for how different breeds should look – for example, poodles are usually clipped to a particular shape. This is particularly important when dogs are being prepared for a show.

Working conditions


In a dog grooming salon, you would usually work around 35 hours a week, Monday to Saturday, with one day off during the week. If you were self-employed, you would arrange your own working hours.


The work can be quite physically demanding with larger breeds. It can also be dusty and hairy, and would not be suitable for some people with certain allergies.

UK employment status



Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Helping customers
  • Working with your hands
  • Caring for animals
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising
  • Paying attention to detail

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


 There are no formal entry qualifications for this role however some employers may ask for applicants to have a good general education (SCQF Level 3-5). 

Helpful to have

Previous experience with animals.

Work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Animal Care (SVQ Level 2/3).

As many dog groomers are self-employed, it could be useful to have qualifications and experience in:

  • customer services, such as Skills for Work retailing (SCQF Level 5)
  • or enterprise such as SQA Enterprise and Employability SQA Awards (SCQF Level 4/5)