While working as a pet waste removal specialist might not be a glamorous job, it can help you pay the bills. It’s a vital service for pet owners, especially seniors. If you’re looking for a career that can provide many benefits, learning how to become a pet waste removal specialist might be the perfect option.
While you won’t need a degree or any specific education, you still need to follow the right steps. For many, becoming a pet waste removal specialist will mean working for yourself. The startup cost is incredibly low and you won’t need any special training.
Before you decide to go into this type of job, make sure you understand it well. Let’s look at the job duties and how to become a pet waste removal specialist.
Job Duties of a Pet Waste Removal Specialist
The job duties of a pet waste removal specialist are pretty simple and straightforward. You will pick up pet waste, whether in a yard or in a litter box. Often, you will work with a tool for picking up waste in the yard. It’s also possible you could clean out cages for smaller animals and birds.
How To Become a Pet Waste Removal Specialist in 4 Steps
Step #1 – Get the Right Supplies
You won’t need much to become a pet waste removal specialist, but you will need a few things. You will likely want to invest in a good pooper scooper, some pet waste bags, and a few other items. You can get everything you need for less than $100.
If you work for a pet service, you will likely be provided all the supplies you need.
Step #2 – Consider Investing in a Franchise
One of the easiest ways to become a pet waste removal specialist is by investing in one of the popular franchises. There are a few good options out there to choose from, such as Pet Butler or Poop 911. You will need to pay a franchise cost of around $15K to $40K, depending on the option you choose.
With a franchise, you get training for the business, a proven business model, and a support team.
Step #3 – Start Your Own Pet Waste Business
If you don’t want to invest in a franchise, you can start your own pet waste removal business pretty easily. Just make sure you get the right licenses and permits for your local area. Then, you can set up a website and start marketing throughout the local area.
It’s smart to look into your local market and see if there is already a pet waste removal business. If so, make sure there is room in the market for you. With about 75% of American households including at least one pet, there is quite a market out there for this type of service.
Step #4 – Set Your Rates & Get to Work
After you’ve decided to invest in a franchise or open a pet waste removal business of your own, you need to set your rates. If you have competition in the area, you can check out their rates and consider setting yours in a similar manner.
All that’s left is finding clients and getting to work. Most pet waste removal specialists work independently. You will need to fill your calendar with regular clients to ensure you can make enough money for your business.
The good news is, you don’t need a location. Running a pet waste removal business really just requires a dependable mode of transportation. You can run it right out of your home since clients won’t need to visit a physical location.
Pros & Cons of Becoming a Pet Waste Removal Specialist
- Very low startup cost, even with a franchise
- Easy business to operate
- No need for special training or an education
- Great for business owners of any age
- Many ways to expand your business with dog walking, dog sitting, lawn care, and other services
- You will be picking up poop
- It’s necessary to dispose of the waste based on your area’s local rules and regulations
- You will need to find many clients to make enough money
- It’s necessary to work outside
- You might need liability insurance or bonding
While there are a few cons, this is a very good business for the right person. It’s not glamorous and it probably won’t make you a millionaire, but you can earn a nice living as a pet waste removal specialist. Plus, for some people, working outside might be a huge benefit.
Starting a Pet Waste Removal Business vs. Working for Someone Else
While you can get a job as a pet waste removal specialist, it’s likely better and more lucrative to start a pet waste removal business. Many of the jobs found in this area are under the job title of a pooper scooper. You can earn from $350 to $800 per week working for the top employers.
However, if you start your own business and build your clients, you can earn much more. Charging $15 per dog, if you can handle cleaning up after 4 dogs per hour, you can earn $60 per hour. If you work a full 40-hour week, you can earn as much as $2,400 per week. Of course, you will have to build up your client list and you might not always handle 4 dogs per hour.
It’s even possible to earn more money by adding services or charging extra for larger yards. Some pet owners may want their yard serviced twice per week, too, which can help you earn more money.
While starting a business does require some upfront work, it can be much more lucrative compared to a startup scooping poop for someone else. Before you decide which way to go, take the time to consider how serious you are about being a pet waste removal specialist.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Waste Removal Specialists
How much can I make as a pet waste removal specialist?
If you work as a pooper scooper, ZipRecruiter.com shows an average salary of around $29K per year. Most of the job listings pay hourly with rates around $10 to $15 per hour.
Working for yourself, you can make $40 to $45 per hour, according to Matthew Osborn, the author of The Professional Pooper-Scooper.
According to Dept. of Doody, their fee is $14.99 for 1-2 dogs with 1 visit per week. This means if you work for yourself, and you can handle cleaning up 4 yards in one hour, you can earn up to $60 per hour. This might include picking up after multiple households or more dogs per yard.
Pet waste removal specialists can also offer additional services, such as treating brown spots on the grass, cleaning larger yards, and deep cleaning patios for pet owners. All of these additional options can lead to upcharges allowing you to make even more money per client.
What are the job requirements to become a pet waste removal specialist?
There really are no specific job requirements to become a pooper scooper. You will need to know a little bit about dogs to protect yourself, but that’s about it. For example, if a dog is growling at you, it’s probably a good idea to leave it alone. However, if it’s wagging its tail, it might just want to play.
How can I market a pet waste removal business?
There are many great ways to market your business if you decide to become a pet waste removal specialist. You can partner with other local businesses, such as veterinarians, pet groomers, and pet stores. It’s even possible to offer your services through landscapers and maid services.
Of course, you can create a website and use social media, too. Flyers can be very helpful with your local marketing, as well. Another popular option is to send a direct mail postcard to the neighborhoods throughout your local community.
What type of services can I offer to make more money as a pet waste removal specialist?
There are many services you can offer to go along with removing pet waste including:
- Dog walking
- Dog sitting
- Dog grooming
- Landscaping/Lawn mowing
- Patio clean up
- Cat litter cleaning
- Small animal cage cleaning
- And more!
Anything that makes sense to go along with picking up the poop can be added. For example, if you offer lawn mowing services, you can pick up the dog poop first, and then mow the lawn. This is a great way to add even more revenue per client to your bottom line.
With the right type of pet owner, you could be servicing a yard with two dogs, cleaning a litter box for their cat, and even cleaning out a few small animal cages. This could allow you to earn a higher amount for that one client each week.
If you want to become a pet waste removal specialist, you can follow the steps above. While you can certainly work for someone else, it’s likely a better option to start your own business for this unique career.