Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers

Occupation:Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers
Category:Sales and Service

About the job

Nature of work:

Animal care workers feed, handle, train and groom animals and assist veterinarians, animal health technologists and technicians and animal breeders. Pet groomers clip coats, bathe and otherwise groom pets. Workers in this group are employed by animal hospitals and clinics, animal shelters, breeding and boarding kennels, zoos, laboratories, retail pet shops, dog training schools, pet grooming establishments, or may be self-employed.

Job duties:
Workers in this group perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare food and feed animals, fish or birds at scheduled intervals.
  • Clean and disinfect cages, pens and surrounding areas.
  • Shampoo, clip and groom animals.
  • Assist veterinarians and animal health technologists and technicians to inoculate and treat animals.
  • Assist animal breeders to handle and nurture animals.
  • Assist scientists and researchers in conducting laboratory tests with animals.
  • Monitor and document animal behaviour.
  • Train dogs to obey commands and perform specific duties in response to signals.
Sample job titles:
  • animal attendant
  • animal care worker (except farm)
  • animal health care assistant
  • animal trainer (except horses or marine mammals)
  • dog trainer
  • kennel attendant
  • laboratory animal care worker
  • pet groomer
  • veterinary attendant

This work demands good communication skills and the ability to cooperate with others. You must be able to pay close attention to detail. To work with animals, you must have good manual dexterity and be comfortable working with instruments and technology.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Depending on the type of work performed, training courses in animal handling, grooming or dog training are usually required. Animal health or veterinary assistant college courses may be required for animal care workers.
Other considerations:

Progression to animal health technology positions is possible with additional training.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 40% of Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $19,902. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers615Strong growth80Low
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $12.75
Maximum: $20.77
Minimum: $783
Median: $11,358
Maximum: $31,320
Occupations in Sales and Service102,605Decline slightly5,260Moderate
Minimum: $10.70
Median: $12.50
Maximum: $21.17
Minimum: $2,949
Median: $16,629
Maximum: $45,086
Pet Groomers and Animal Care WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
Percent employed full-time61%59%
Percent self-employed7%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentPet Groomers and Animal Care WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton7%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley18%$11,69513%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgePet Groomers and Animal Care WorkersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4137
GenderPet Groomers and Animal Care WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
EducationPet Groomers and Animal Care WorkersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school14.2%$14,28818.8%$9,486
High school27.6%$12,43840.4%$12,982
Trades certificate14.2%$15,1208.0%$18,797
College certificate or diploma27.6%$13,77819.9%$19,514
University certificate or diplomaN/Ax1.6%$18,279
Bachelor's degree12.6%$9,83810.0%$20,807
University advanced certificate or diploma1.6%x0.5%$15,716
Master's degree1.6%x0.8%$20,769
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$17,368
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
PO Box 38073, Stn Burnside
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1X2
Tel: (902) 835-4798
Fax: (902) 835-7885

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Program Name:Animal behaviour and ethology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the scientific study of the psychological and neurological bases of animal sensation, perception, cognition, behaviour, and behavioural interactions within and outside the species. These programs include courses in ethology, behavioural neuroscience, neurobiology, behavioural evolution, cognition and sensory perception, motivators, learning and instinct, hormonal controls, reproductive and developmental biology, community ecology, functional behaviour, and applications to specific behaviours and patterns as well as to specific phyla and species.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
Program Name:Veterinary/animal health technology/technician and veterinary assistant
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of veterinarians, laboratory animal specialists, and zoological professionals, to provide patient management, care, and clinical procedures assistance as well as owner communication. These programs include courses in animal nursing care, animal health and nutrition, animal handling, clinical pathology, radiology, anesthesiology, dental prophylaxis, surgical assisting, clinical laboratory procedures, office administration skills, patient and owner management, and applicable standards and regulations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Maritime Business College - Dartmouth
45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6
(902) 463-6700
DaVinci College of Art and Design NS Ltd.
1577 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7
(902) 429-1847
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.