Become a Contributor

Car Detailer Job Description

Car Detailer Job Description

As a full-time job or a side business, car detailing is for those with an eye for detail and a penchant for hard work. This article 'details' a car detailer's job description, duties, requirements and pay scale.
CareerStint Staff
Car detailing is an entry-level job which includes complete or 'detailed' servicing of a car and is a very competitive business. According to the recent statistics, around 349,000 people are in the car detailing business. Car detailers are also known as automobile detailers or more informally, autopians. They are responsible for the overall maintenance and protection of a car. In a dealership, they are expected to give a new look to used cars before sending them on the parking lot for sale.

Job Description

A car detailer is expected to work on a car according to his employer's instructions or customer's preference. Detailing of a car includes exterior and interior cleaning and engine detailing, using a variety of products and tools. As a detailer, you could work at car dealerships, aviation companies or car detailing and cleaning firms. You could also work independently as a professional car detailer, quick fix detailer (QFD) or a part-time detailer. A car detailer's job description varies from place to place. A detailer working in a dealership is sometimes required to help out in other departments too. In general, an auto detailer has to do a lot of physical work and be outdoors quite often (irrespective of the season). Many of the independent auto detailers work from the back of their trucks, going to customers as and when they are called, while some have their own workstations or garages as a base.

Some of the duties of an auto detailer include:
  • Car wash
  • Cleaning wheels
  • Shampooing and vacuuming seats, carpets and other upholstery inside the car
  • Removing grease and stains
  • Waxing and buffing
  • Polishing
  • Removing defects and swirls
  • Paint protection
  • Minor repairs
In addition to these, a car detailer is expected to give prompt and effective services to the client, maintain the tools and products that he/she uses and diligently follow the instructions of his/her employer in case of a dealership, aviation company or a car detailing station. In the execution of his/her duties, a car detailer is required to observe all safety measures that are necessary. The most essential qualification of a car detailer is his/her ability to learn from others and his/her own experiences.

The minimum educational qualification required is a high school diploma and the age limit is 18 years or above. A prospective employer might insist on a drug-screening test along with the regular background check for law violations and criminal records. A car detailer should have a working knowledge of car parts and the tools used for cars. He/she also must know (or be able to learn) chemical formulas for various cleaning products and the most effective way to use them. As the job of a car detailer requires him/her to travel, a valid driving license is a must. Though most of the detailers are given on-job training, professional training is given in some organizations (for example, the 3D Training Academy).

Pay Scale
On an average, a car detailer (with experience of 3 years or less) earns around $22,110 per year, excluding any bonus or commission. An independent professional earns about $200 for one detailing service (4 to 5 hours of work). Those who take up car detailing as a side business, charge anything between $40 to $75 for one hour of work.

The benchmark of a successful career in a car detailing business is a satisfied client base which is a result of good quality services provided by the car detailer. For those who have been in this line of work, car detailing is more of a passion than a way to earn. It is these passionate car detailers who leave rest of the market behind, meet the needs of their clients and get paid more than the average.