A Closer Look
Results for the Employed Groomers Only 2002
2002 was the first year we provided
a survey dedicated to employed groomers. We don't believe there has ever been a survey
dedicated to grooming employees, and so it was time to look at the industry from
their perspective. We thought there might be some interesting results, and there
1,337 employed groomers completed
a survey. 77% described themselves as a "full charge groomer or
stylist" and an additional 7% described themselves as being not only a full
charge groomer or stylist, but also certified (NDGAA, IPG, ISCC etc). Only 7%
were "bather brushers" or 'prep only" workers. 50% of them had 3 to 9 years
grooming experience, and 74% worked 30 or more hours per week. The majority
(74%) worked in a grooming salon or shop whereas 12% worked for a mobile
grooming business and 12% in a grooming department within a veterinary, pet
store, kennel or day care business.
Compensation: Here was a
surprise. Only 51% stated they were paid by commission and 47% stated they were
paid by hourly (40%) or salary (7%) wages. Our surveys of business owners in
previous years showed a growing trend toward hourly and salary wages for
full-charge groomers. However, in less than 2 years the increase in owners
calculating wages by hourly and salary compensation plans has jumped almost 17%.
A modest 26% complained about their wages whereas 52% complained not about wages
but their "working environment." An annual raise was expected by 67% of the
surveyed employed groomers, and 77% said their employer offered them
opportunities for promotion. 88% stated they did not get benefits such as
medical and/or dental insurance, 401K or paid vacation, and 98% stated that
these benefits were somewhat to very important to them.
Career Goals: It seems that
forever and ever, employed full-charge groomers dream of owning a grooming business. In previous surveys
about 70% of career seekers indicated they would seek employment when ready to enter the
industry but their goal was to one day
open their own business. The rank and file held steady in this
survey with 70% stating they were somewhat to very serious in owning their own
grooming business at some time in the future. 45% stated that the longest period of time they worked for
the same employer was 3-5 years, yet a strong 46% stated 6 or more years.
Working Conditions: 84% stated
that they must provide and maintain their scissors and shears, and 77% stated
the same conditions for clippers and blades. The favorite grooming table is
hydraulic (57%), and strangely (in our opinion) the standard four legged table
was slightly favored over an electric table.
Employers: We continue to be
aghast at how grooming business owners ignore effective (even legally required) personnel
management. 89% of surveyed employed groomers did not receive a written job
description during the hiring process, and 91% did not receive an employee
handbook. That is extremely risky management on the part of owners and should
employee related litigation arise it is a strike against the employer, sometimes
a major one. Only 13% of grooming business owners make all grooming assignments
to employees, and 60% rarely or never do.
Productivity: 49% of surveyed
employed groomers said that on an average day they are capable of doing 7 or
more dogs in 8 hours without a bather. That's very productive! Another 49%
stated 5-6 dogs. Mobile groomers were included in these numbers, but they were asked to rate their skills as if they
didn't have to drive between appointments.
Satisfaction: Overall 65% of
surveyed employer groomers said they were satisfied with their job, and 27% said
"average." That's excellent and only 8% of those surveyed said they were
"poorly," or "not at all," satisfied with their jobs. Pet grooming is a wonderful and rewarding
In closing, we may sound like a
broken record to those of you who have followed PetGroomer.com and our book,
From Problems to Profits, but it needs to be said again here. Grooming business
employers must adhere to employment law and codes just like every other employer
in the U.S. If they don't they put their business interests at risk and display
less than professional management to employees which can lead to problems.
With a staggering majority of
grooming employers still overlooking the basics of providing job descriptions
and employee handbooks you can say that as a profession we are still infants.
It's a blight on our industry. Though pet care services may be very professional
choosing to operate a business outside of the employment laws of this country
helps to explain why we are still a fragmented industry. Perhaps it is why so
many of our employees move into self-employment. We took excellent care of our
employees and had proper personnel management throughout our operation and for
that reason our average full-charge groomers stayed with us 9 or more years.
It's time for more grooming business owners to protect the interests of their
businesses and fulfill their obligations for personnel management.
You can review the complete
results of the Employed Groomers Only Survey 2002
Return to Surveys Main Page to
view more results or to select a current survey.