Many people are attracted to car detailing jobs and careers for the potential of high earnings and for the freedom many experience form having their own business.
While car detailing jobs vary from location, geography and the experience you bring to the table, most require developing skills that truly allow you to improve the appearance of the car. This can mean an understanding of how to properly wash and dry, to advance use of chemicals, polishes and waxes.
Most agree the trade is similar to an artist or craftsman developing a skill or craft often requiring an apprentice period to learn the ins and outs of the skill as well as how the business of car and auto detailing works.
Many who are interested can begin their careers working with professional detailing services. These companies often provide outsourced detailing services to automobile dealerships. These companies provide “make ready” services whereby pre-owned and new cars are prep’d for the dealers lot.
The list of requirements can range from simply removing travel protection (such as plastics and paper mats) to full details that include vacuuming, washing, waxing, wheel protection, and engine compartment cleaning.
Advanced services provided to dealers can also include headlight restoration, ozone cleaning, interior steam cleaning, and dent and paint repair. It is also common for dealers to provide car detailing services as an added service to its customers. Most often these are done in conjunction with servicing, collision, or repair services. The amount and type of services are commonly worked out between the detailing service and the dealer.
While not the most glamorous, detailer jobs can also be found at upper-end car washes. While many of us prefer just to have our cars washed, wiped down and vacuumed, a high margin detail is usually a customer option. For some this may be a good start if you are interested in car detailing, though the pay may not be as lucrative as if you work with a professional detailing company that generally pays on a commission or performance basis.
A third alternative is to start a mobile detailing company. Costs of entry are not too high, but there is lots of competition. Another downside is you are often left to developing skills on your own – not to mention the time, cost and effort needed for promoting your service.
Bottom line, if you are looking for a car detailing job, choose a professional detail service where you can learn the ropes, get experience, and have an opportunity to learn from the ground up. While entry-level positions may only pay $15,000 – $18,000, senior detailers can as much as $80,000.