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How to become a pet groomer in Australia: careers in animal care

Pet groomers have an important role in Australia caring for domestic animals. They provide services aimed at keeping family pets well-groomed, hygienic and comfortable. Pet groomers bathe, wash and dry animals, trim and brush their fur, clip their nails and clean teeth and nails. Sometimes they may work with pure-bred animals preparing them for shows. They can be employed either by pet grooming businesses or they may travel to clients’ homes to carry out their work. Pet groomers also work with kennels, catteries and veterinary practices or animal care centres.
Pathways

Being a pet groomer: daily duties

Depending on the types of animals they work with or the environment they are employed in, the daily tasks of a pet groomer can vary. Generally, they are responsible for maintaining the wellbeing and happiness of domestic vets. Usually working with dogs and cats, pet groomers cut, groom and style animals’ coats, clean and clip nails and perform basic paw hygiene, wash animals and apply treatments that ensure hygiene standards are maintained.

Tasks:

  • Bathing and drying animals
  • Applying treatments
  • Clipping nails
  • Clipping and detangling coats
  • Styling coats
Skills

Being a pet groomer: skills for success

Pet groomers should have a genuine love of animals and a caring and compassionate nature, as well as a good degree of patience as some animals will be averse to bathing. If you have allergies to fur, feathers or dust, pet grooming is going to be a problematic occupation. Good organisational skills and an excellent eye for detail, as well as the ability to communicate well are also good attributes for a pet groomer. The work can be physically demanding and you will need to have the strength required to lift and carry animals, as well as the stamina to stand for long periods of time.
Skills/attributes
  • Genuine love of animals
  • Good degree of physical fitness
  • Customer service skills
  • Eye for detail
  • Patience and compassion
  • Specs

    Specialised roles within the animal care industry

    There are several possibilities for career progression for a pet groomer. Many pet groomers choose to start their own businesses or work in mobile pet salons. There are courses of study that you can undertake to further your career in specialised fields.
    • Specialist dog breed groomer
      Dog groomers can elect to deal exclusively with specific breeds of dog and excel in working with that particular breed’s fur type.
    • Grooming technician
      This role is an entry level position and is often called a “bather brusher” in a pet salon. This role allows you to develop professional skills via on-the-job instruction.
    • Master groomer
      Master groomers generally have extensive industry experience, often working as a senior groomer at or owning a pet salon. Working at this level, pet groomers can charge more for their services and are often involved in preparing dogs and cats and other pure-bred animals for show circuits and extreme art grooming competitions.
    Pathways

    Educational pathways for pet groomers

    While it isn’t mandatory to get a qualification to work as a pet groomer, it does demonstrate a level of understanding, training and dedication to potential employers and clients.
    • Start your career
      A beginners’ course will help you work towards your career goals in animal grooming.
    • Strengthen your skills
      Targeted study options will allow you to improve your confidence and competency in animal handling.
    • Build your resume
      Build your skills and learn more about how to succeed as a pet groomer.
    • Industry requirements
      There are no mandatory industry requirements to work as a pet groomer in Australia, however affiliating yourself with a trusted pet grooming organisation demonstrates your professionalism and industry credentials.
    • Finding Work
      Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your animal care career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
    • Employment Prospects
      Employment growth in pet grooming is expected to remain relatively steady over the next five years.

    Resources for Pet groomer

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