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If you love animals and have the desire to start your career in a pet store or as a groomer, many pet shops need to hire workers now.

Types of Pet Store Jobs

Pet store jobs provide ample opportunities for animal lovers to spend time with pets and perform simple customer service and retail tasks. Companies like Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, Pet Valu, Pet Land, and Pet Smart hire entry-level job seekers for cashier, sales associate, and grooming assistant positions regularly.

Many pet stores include great training programs to teach associates how to perform duties and only require associates to possess high school diplomas or the equivalent. More advanced job titles requiring extensive retail or animal experience may include pet groomer, grooming manager, assistant manager, and store manager. Upper-level pet store jobs may pose higher education standards, as well.

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Entry-level Pet Store Jobs


Cashiers and sales associates administer tasks on par with the rest of the retail industry. Operating POS systems at the front of the store, greeting customers, providing product knowledge, and stocking new products remain common duties for entry-level pet store associates. Employees must also care for the animals and living creatures each pet store sells. Key duties include cleaning and repairing cages or aquariums, feeding and documenting data related to animal diets and health, and moving pets from one environment to another. Retailers generally prefer to hire workers with an existing love for animals. Entry-level associates typically earn between minimum wage and $10.00 per hour.

What Companies Should You Apply To?

Vet Assistant Training Programs.

Sales Associate

Sales associates at pet stores generally hold the same responsibilities as entry-level employees working for other types of retailers. Job duties typically include standard retail tasks like moving merchandise onto the sales floor, setting up displays, executing price changes, offering assistance to shoppers, and manning checkout stations as needed. Pet store sales associates also respond to questions regarding the best products for various types of animals and must therefore maintain extensive knowledge about the habits and characteristics of pets in order to provide effective customer service. Unlike employees in traditional retail settings, pet store associates regularly handle or work in close proximity to live animals.

In addition to requiring workers to feel comfortable around animals, sales associate jobs available at pet stores often come with flexible schedules and demand evening, weekend, and holiday availability. Pet stores frequently employ high school graduates as sales associates and usually train employees without prior experience. Entry-level sales associate positions typically pay between minimum wage and $10.00 an hour.


Groomers must typically possess some experience to gain employment at pet stores; however, some retailers may hire inexperienced candidates and provide in-store training to catch new employees up to speed with grooming techniques. Workers with groomer job titles must trim or cut hair, bathe, and clip nails of cats, dogs, or other pets. Groomers may also need to express anal glands of dogs. Additional tasks include interacting with customers, scheduling appointments, and ultimately building consistent clientele. As mentioned above, pet stores often look for candidates with backgrounds in grooming but sometimes hire assistants to help and also apprentice with official pet groomers. Assistant pet groomers generally earn hourly pay between minimum wage and $10.00 or strictly commission-based salaries. Official pet groomers may earn yearly salary options as high as $30,000.

Upper-level Pet Store Positions

Animal Care Worker

As the job title denotes, animal care workers attend to the various animals regularly available for purchase at pet stores. Depending on the store, the position sometimes comes with different job titles, such as pet care specialist or a similar designation. Regardless of the title of the position, workers remain dedicated to the care and welfare of the live animals kept onsite. The responsibilities of animal care workers range from cleaning tanks and other types of habitats to furnishing purchasable pets with food and water. Animal care workers also provide customers with the information necessary for raising healthy and happy pets. The job often involves handling and caring for a wide range of animals, as pet stores frequently offer birds, fish, reptiles, and rodents in addition to standard selections, like puppies and kittens.

Like pet store sales associates, animal care workers usually enjoy schedule flexibility and work a variety of different shifts. Candidates with prior experience or knowledge of caring for animals generally prove most qualified for animal care positions. Pet stores typically pay between $9.00 and $10.00 per hour for the services of animal care workers.


Upper-level job titles, such as assistant manager and store manager, require workers with animal knowledge, retail expertise, and management capabilities. Managers oversee store operations, hire and train new employees, and ensure the profitability of each store through loss prevention, promotions, and marketing. Pet stores may demand several years of retail management experience from aspiring candidates. Annual salary options for upper-level associates range from $25,000 to $65,000 per year, depending on position.


In addition to selling animals and supplies, larger pet stores routinely hold onsite training classes and employ trainers responsible for providing the auxiliary service. Trainers primarily work with dogs and use proven techniques to induce the animals to behave and respond in desired ways. The job also entails constant interaction with pet owners, as trainers offer advice and instruction on how to develop healthy relationships with animals. Work performed by trainers usually takes place in store, where customers gather in small groups to participate in training classes. Trainers lead the classes and evaluate the progress of the enrolled dogs. Some local pet stores may even provide individual training sessions or allow trainers to hold private classes at the homes of customers. Job seekers interested in trainer positions usually need to complete an accreditation program to become fully certified. Trainers employed by pet stores earn about $10.00 an hour, on average.

The State of the Pet Store Industry

Pet store positions call for customer service aptitude. Hiring managers typically look for workers exuding strong desires to care for animals in safe and humane manners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, working at a pet store may pose a higher risk of injury than jobs unassociated with animal care. Working with frightened, nervous, or unruly animals sometimes leads to bites or scratches. Work-related illnesses also prove more common than the national average in the animal care industry. However, continuously increasing pet ownership in the United States calls for more pet care workers, and statistics indicate employment in the animal care industry to grow 15 percent by 2022.