Pet Groomer Kaiwhakapaipai Mōkai

Pet groomers clean, trim and shape the hair and nails of animals in salons, mobile grooming vans and pet shops.

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Pet groomers may do some or all of the following:

  • consult with pet owners about their requirements
  • de-knot and brush animal hair
  • bathe, shampoo and dry animals
  • trim, shave, shape and dye fur 
  • trim and paint animals' nails
  • empty dogs’ anal glands
  • clean, inspect and maintain the salon and cages
  • sell animal care products
  • make records and carry out office work.

Pet groomers who run their own businesses may also do tasks such as marketing, managing staff and keeping accounts.

Physical Requirements

Pet groomers need to have a good level of fitness and strength, as they may need to lift heavy animals. They should not have any breathing problems or allergies to animals.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for pet groomers includes:

  • paid or volunteer work with animals
  • cleaning experience
  • customer service experience
  • hairdressing or nail salon experience.

Personal Qualities

Pet groomers need to be:

  • practical
  • caring towards animals
  • able to pay attention to detail
  • responsible and able to follow instructions
  • good communicators as they may have to deal with demanding pet owners
  • patient and calm.


Pet groomers need to have:

  • animal-handling skills
  • animal-grooming skills
  • knowledge of suitable cuts for each type of breed
  • knowledge of animal diseases. 


Pet groomers:

  • may work varied hours on week days or weekends
  • work in salons, shops, homes or mobile vans
  • work in conditions that can be hot, noisy, dirty or smelly
  • may work in conditions that are hazardous such as animals with contagious diseases.

Pet Groomers can earn around $23-$27 per hour.

Pay for pet groomers varies depending on qualifications and experience.

  • New pet groomers usually start on minimum wage.
  • Experienced pet groomers can earn up to $27 an hour.

Pet groomers may also earn commission.

Income for self-employed pet groomers depends on the success of their business. 

Source: National Dog Groomers Association of New Zealand, 2018.

Pet groomers may progress to set up their own grooming businesses, or move into management roles.

With further training they may become animal care attendants, veterinary nurses or veterinary technicians.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a pet groomer.

However, some employers prefer you to have at least one of the following: 

  • experience working in a pet grooming salon
  • a qualification such as a New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management (Level 4) with a strand in Pet Grooming. This qualification will be offered from 2023.
Pet Groomer