How To Become A Dog Groomer In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become dog groomers in Australia.


Do you want an enjoyable, creative, and lucrative career that ignites your passion and love for animals? If yes, you could pursue a career as a Dog Groomer.


Dog groomers have specialized skills and knowledge of different dog breeds, dog behaviour, safe dog handling practices, clipping and styling techniques, and product/ brand knowledge. They provide dog cleaning, washing, cutting, clipping, grooming, and styling services.


You can work as a Dog Groomer without formal qualifications. However, a VET course in pet grooming or animal studies like a Certificate III in Pet Grooming or short dog grooming courses makes you more skilled, credible, and competent.


Keep reading this blog. Learn about the job responsibilities, dog grooming courses, outlook, earning potential, salary, qualifications, and the steps to pursue this career.



1. What Is A Dog Groomer?


Dog Groomers play a vital role in Australian households keeping family pets well-groomed and hygienic. 


They provide many services to care for dogs of all breeds, shapes, ages and sizes to help them live comfortably and look great.


They either work for pet grooming businesses or travel to clients’ homes to conduct their work. Dog groomers work with kennels, animal care centres, and veterinary practices.



2. What Does A Dog Groomer Do?


Are you interested in a dog groomer career? Here are the most common duties you would do while working in this profession:


  • Bath, wash, cut, comb, de-mat, clip claws, detangle knots, trim and style coats, clean teeth, ears, and blow-dry dogs of different breeds and coat types.

  • Maintain safe animal handling

  • Follow directions to use supplies and equipment properly.

  • Meet proper hygiene standards

  • Maintain clean and safe grooming area and equipment 

  • Assist with customer bookings and suggest products and treatments for dog care 

  • Talk to clients to learn about their requirements and set expectations.

  • Check for health problems or specific skin conditions and notify dog owners.

  • Keep records of all dogs and clients, including services offered.

  • Work with dogs to perform grooming, lessen anxiety, and meet schedules.

  • Offer superior customer service to dog owners to maintain and gain new clients. 

  • Pamper (like tying colourful ribbons for long-haired dogs)

  • Work with purebred animals to prepare them for shows.



3. What Skills Do You Need As A Dog Groomer?


The following skills will help you become a good dog groomer and excel in this profession:


  • Genuine love of animals 

  • Passion for animal welfare

  • Strong understanding of dog behaviour

  • Knowledge of different breeds and their needs 

  • Excellent eye-hand coordination

  • Precision

  • Good work ethic

  • Able to work in a team

  • Willingness to keep learning

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Active listening skills

  • Excellent customer service skills 

  • Calm, comfortable, and patient working with different dog breeds.

  • Great hand-eye coordination

  • Proficient in working with various tools

  • Creative

  • Able to work under tight deadlines

  • Physical fit and healthy

  • Caring and compassionate 

  • Non-allergic to fur, dust, or feathers 

  • Excellent eye for detail

  • Able to communicate well 

  • Comfortable working in a physically demanding job 



4. Dog Groomer Qualifications In Australia


You do not need a degree or obtain a license to work as a Dog Groomer in Australia. 


However, undertaking hands-on dog grooming courses / certificate-level qualifications will help you gain valuable insights into the profession and become more hireable.


  • Complete your high school education or equivalent

  • Complete a Certificate II in Animal Studies (ACM20117) or a Certificate III in Pet Grooming (ACM30612). Alternatively, enrol in a 1-day intensive introductory dog grooming and care course. 

  • Though optional, you can complete a Certified Master Groomer course to apply for membership in the Pet Industry Association of Australia.

  • A prior Sales experience may be advantageous if you work in a position that requires offering products and services to clients.



5. Steps To Become A Dog Groomer In Australia



Step 1: Spend Time With Animals


Your preparation to become a professional dog groomer starts at the high school level. 


Seek opportunities like volunteering at shelters to gain hands-on experience handling and grooming animals.



Step 2: Study Dog Grooming


Having proper background knowledge is essential to pursuing this career. Online dog grooming course in Australia is one of the best ways to develop skills, practical experience, and confidence working with dogs. 


Several grooming schools run short courses that provide a basic knowledge of the following areas:


  • Canine health

  • Anatomy

  • Essential hygiene for dogs

  • Types of coats of different dog breeds

  • Cleaning and caring for the coats

  • Dog behaviour

  • Dog handling tips and tricks

  • Different grooming and styling techniques for many dog breeds

  • Basics of business

  • Dealing with clients



Some of the best nationally recognized dog grooming courses are: 


  • Certificate II in Animal Care

  • Certificate III in Animal Care Services

  • Certificate III in Pet Grooming

  • Certificate IV in Pet Styling 


Completing the above courses will make you a professional, capable, and adept Dog Groomer and enhance your credibility with your clients. 


With such courses, you can quickly get a job at a grooming salon, doggie daycares, pet stores, animal shelters, vet clinics, or mobile grooming salons.



Step 3: Gain Professional Membership


Dog grooming is a business. To convert more clients, you must showcase your talent and credibility and convince them to buy your services. Earning a professional membership can give you a competitive edge over the competition.


Join the Pet Industry Association of AustraliaPets Australia, and Dog Groomers Association of Western Australia to gain one-on-one assistance.


It helps build your grooming career and professional network, set up your pet grooming business, and enhance your business prospects.



Step 4: Explore Your Work Options


After completing the course, you have plenty of options to work and progress in your career:


  • Work as a grooming professional

  • Study advanced courses to become a certified master groomer or a specialist dog breed groomer

  • Start your dog grooming salon to offer bathing or complete grooming services 


Dog groomers who plan to run their businesses have the flexibility to work from home or set up a mobile dog grooming business. 



National Resources for Pet Groomers:




6. How Long Does It Take To Become A Dog Grooming Course?


As there are no mandatory formal qualifications, training, or licensing requirements to work in this career, you can start immediately as a dog groomer.


However, many employers and dog owners prefer dog groomers with specialized training programs and the necessary knowledge and skills to work in this job. 


Based on the dog grooming course you choose; you can become a qualified dog groomer in just one day (introductory course) or in 6 to 8 weeks (specialized dog grooming courses that involve theoretical and practical training)



7. Dog Grooming Course In Australia


Certificate III in Pet Grooming is the best course to become a groomer for many animals. TAFE NSW offers this government-funded dog grooming course (ACM30617) with traineeship and Job trainer features.


This fully subsidized free dog grooming course is available in full-time, part-time, and variable study modes and delivered on-campus or in a combination mode. The knowledge and skills will enable you to launch your own business.


The course covers the following areas:


  • Understand animal behaviours 

  • How to prepare different animal breeds for grooming 

  • How to liaise with different types of customers

  • How to distinguish between unhealthy and healthy animals

  • How to provide animal first aid

  • How to use dog grooming equipment

  • Work health and safety procedures


Career opportunities:


  • Assistant groomer

  • Sole trader

  • Pet stylist assistant

  • Trainee groomer



8. Top Grooming Schools For Dog Grooming Courses



Dog Diversity


If you seek short training, consider taking this 4-week course to gain in-depth knowledge in dog grooming.


This short course comprises practical hands-on training and theoretical learning in relevant subjects such as:


  • Scissoring

  • Grooming techniques

  • Maintenance of equipment

  • Breed clips

  • Shampoo ingredients

  • Coat types

  • Skin problems

  • Head styling

  • First aid 


The course helps you develop the best foundation to build your professional dog grooming career. Students obtain an in-house certificate of Professional Dog Grooming upon its successful completion.


Refer to this link to learn more about dog grooming training courses.



Pet Stylist Academy


Do you need clarification about which qualification would be the best to become job-ready for a dog grooming profession? Pet Stylist Academy offers a range of nationally recognized short courses in dog grooming to get you to where you want to be:




  • Certificate II Animal Studies 

  • Certificate III Companion Animal Services

  • Certificate III Pet Grooming

  • Dual Qualification Certificate III Pet Grooming & Companion Animal Services



Short Courses:


  • Bather Brusher (Foundation skills)

  • Bather Brusher Course

  • Pet Sitter Course



Australian Academy of Professional Pet Grooming


Are you looking to enter the industry and fast-track your learning or upgrade your skills? The Australian Academy of Professional Pet Grooming offers nationally accredited courses in pet grooming to accomplish your diverse career objectives.


  • Dual Certificate 3 In Pet Grooming and Companion Animal Services 

  • Companion Animals Studies

  • Certificate 4 in Pet Styling 

  • Certificate 3 in Pet Grooming PLUS Advanced Styling 

  • Grooming Assistant – Washer/Bather Course


The academy provides 100% placement for those who complete the above courses. Click here for more information about their courses.



9. How To Start Your Dog Grooming Business?


Dog groomers with expertise and experience have the flexibility to work self-employed and run their small businesses


If you have been thinking about starting your dog grooming business for a while, consider the following things to make an informed start:



  • Step 1: In Australia, you must register your grooming service and obtain an ABN number to run your business.


  • Step 2: Develop a good grasp of business 


  • Step 3: Whether you want to set up a professional grooming salon or a mobile grooming service, you will need adequate space for the smooth execution of your business. Renting out a storefront or transforming a room in the house into a grooming facility are some great ways to create space to run your business.


  • Step 4: Make arrangements for essential tools/items such as Brushes, Clippers, Grooming table, Manual scissors, Shears, Combs, Towels, Dog-friendly, Shampoo and Conditioner, and Toothbrushes.


  • Step 5: Decide on a business name and design your business logo. Promote your business using various advertising avenues, including flyers, social media posters, etc. Hand out your business cards to potential clients at the vet, dog training schools, doggie daycare centres, etc. Network with dog trainers and vets to find people who need their dogs groomed.



10. Work Conditions For Dog Groomers


The job of a dog groomer is quite physically demanding as it involves prolonged standing, bending, lifting and carrying dogs. You need good physical stamina and be fit to function in this job.


Additionally, ensure that you aren’t asthmatic or allergic to fur, dust, and feather, as these health conditions could impede your ability to work in this role.


Dog groomers usually work part-time, full-time, and in a commission-based position. Those operating a mobile dog grooming service may require travelling to customers to offer their services.



11. Career Progression For Dog Groomers


Dog groomers have several possibilities for career progression. Many choose to work in mobile pet salons or begin their business. Completing advanced courses can help further your career in specialized fields.


Here is the career pathway for a qualified dog groomer:


  • At-home Dog Groomer

  • Grooming Technician level

  • Licensed or Professional Pet Groomer 

  • Master Groomer or Salon Manager 

  • Specialist dog breed groomer



12. Job Outlook For Dog Groomers In Australia


The Australian Pet industry is growing, with over 4 million dogs and 3 million cats and 4000 pet groomers in the country. The national shortage of professional pet groomers contributes to the strong demand for this profession.


Moreover, the need for qualified dog groomers is also high because approx. 40% of all Australian households include a minimum of one canine member. They spend over $13 billion annually on their pets to keep them fed, well-accessorized, and healthy.


Pet parents lack the time, desire, energy, or skill to provide the best treatment. They rely on pet groomers to feed, care for, and offer vet services. It ensures the overall well-being of their pets. 


All these indicate optimistic job prospects and stable future growth in this profession.


According to the National Job Outlook website, around 65% of workers work part-time. Full-time workers work for 42 hours a week. The demand for Dog Groomers is spread uniformly throughout Australia, with many employed in the Retail Trade industry.


The average age of workers working in this profession is 40 years. 85% of workers are female, indicating favourable career prospects for female aspiring dog groomers in Australia.



13. How Much Do Dog Groomers Make In Australia?


The average hourly Dog Groomer salary is AU$22.95, equivalent to AU$48,987 per year. Dog grooming requires immense skill, so talented dog groomers with experience tend to have great careers and earn higher salaries.



Here is the average hourly salary for dog groomers at varying levels of experience:


  • Entry-level Dog Groomers (<1-year experience) earn AU$21.13 

  • Early career Dog Groomers (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$22.15 

  • Mid-career Dog Groomers (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$23.87 

  • Experienced Dog Groomers (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$24.82 


The location of work also impacts the overall pay of a dog groomer.



Those working in the following cities receive a higher salary:


  • Castlecrag NSW: $54,471 per year

  • Hawthorn VIC: $53,358 per year

  • Canterbury VIC: $50,000 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $47,062 per year

  • Wollongong NSW: $46,784 per year

  • Redhead NSW: $45,392 per year

  • Richmond VIC: $43,928 per year

  • Rosebery NSW: $43,032 per year



14. Conclusion


Becoming a “Dog groomer” is a rewarding profession focusing on animal welfare. A dog grooming course will help you learn much about your dog companion and how to give it a professional look.


You can take a short introductory Bather Brusher course or a Certificate III course that teaches you all the tricks and tips for styling various dog breeds.


Hopefully, this blog has helped you gain clarity and a direction to make targeted efforts to become a professional dog groomer.


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