Detailer Job Description
Detailers make cars look brand new by thoroughly cleaning the exterior and interior surfaces. They may work at car dealerships, car rental agencies, body repair shops or carwashes. Using various products, equipment and techniques, the Detailer’s work results in a spotless automobile that goes far beyond the scope of a routine carwash.
Detailers may work independently on autos or may work with a team. Detailers should have the ability to work in a team, as well as with minimal supervision. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a job growth of 5 percent through 2024 for the Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics industry. This would add about 39,100 jobs to this sector during this period.
Detailer Duties and Responsibilities
A Detailer’s duties and responsibilities will depend upon the type of organization they work for, but there are several primary responsibilities that can be applied to nearly all Detailer positions. A review of current job listings identified the following core responsibilities.
One of the main duties of a Detailer is cleaning the interiors of automobiles. This includes steam cleaning upholstery, shampooing carpets, vacuuming, wiping surfaces and applying waxes and sealants. Detailers may also be called upon to make minor repairs to upholstery and remove stains.
In addition to cleaning the interiors, Detailers also concentrate on the exteriors of cars. They wash, wax, polish, buff and protect the paint jobs of the cars they work on. They clean all surfaces in-depth spending time cleaning the tires and even the undercarriage. They may be called upon to make minor paint fixes or mend small defects as well.
Detailers are responsible for managing supplies and equipment. They must order supplies when needed as well as keep close tabs on the chemicals and products they have on hand. They also repair and maintain all equipment and ensure all the proper safety gear is available for the operation of any given machine or tool.
Detailers must be skilled at working with their hands and have an eye for detail. They must be motivated and customer service oriented. They should be reliable and good at time management. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Detailers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Detailer, focus on the following.
- Cleaning procedures and practices
- Working with cleaning chemicals
- Meeting physical requirements, such as lifting, bending, and standing for duration of shift
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.
- Ability to drive standard and manual transmission vehicles
- Previous experience working in detailing setting
There are some helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming a Detailer. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities.
On the Web
Detailing Addict – This magazine is dedicated to the Detailer professional and covers everything from industry news to product reviews.
Professional Car Washing and Detailing – This is a leading industry magazine for the retailing business. The magazine is offered in print and digital format for easy and convenient reading.
Professional Auto Detailing News – This site is dedicated to promoting professional Detailers and the detailing industry. With a range of resources and even a recommended Detailer area this is a wonderful resource for those in the detailing industry.
Behind the Detail – This blog is part of the Dr. Beasley website and offers wonderful car care tips and how-to-videos that are a great source of information for new and experienced Detailers.
Automotive Detailing: A Complete Car Guide for Auto Enthusiasts and Detailing Professionals – This book covers everything from products and practices to setting up a car detailing business. With useful illustrations and guides it is a great resource for Detailers.
The Big Book on Auto Detailing – This clear and concise guidebook offers readers detailed information about the processes, equipment, and products used in automobile detailing work.
How to Start a Home-based Car Detailing Business – From the Home-Based Business series, this informative text covers every aspect of starting and successfully running an automobile detailing business.
International Detailing Association – IDA is the leading trade association for Detailer professionals. They aim to promote detail work as a professional trade and assist members with job growth and opportunities.
Professional Auto Detailers Association – PADA was created to help standardize the training and practices of Detailers. They offer a wide-range of courses covering different aspects of detail work and provide certification as well.
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