How to Become a Car Detailer

Auto detailing has no formal requirements, but like all professions, you need to learn the proper skills to become a car detailer.
Written by Elan Mcafee
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Car detailers are responsible for fully cleaning the interiors and sometimes exteriors of vehicles.
This can include polishing windows, vacuuming
, and cleaning the grime out of hard-to-reach places.
While much of car detailing occurs outdoors, some places have indoor washing stations. Car detailers are frequently employees of auto dealerships, car washes, and vehicle rental companies.
Licensed insurance broker
is here to show you how to become a car detailer.

How to become a basic car detailer

Make sure you meet the physical requirements. There are no educational requirements to become a car detailer, but bear in mind it is physical labor. You should have coordination, dexterity, and endurance to effectively clean cars for extended hours. Customer service skills are also a plus.
Talk to potential employers. Approach the owners or human resources contacts of dealerships, car washes, and car rental companies. Ask if they need to hire a car detailer. You can also keep an eye on online job boards and the newspaper classifieds for posts about places hiring detailers.
Put your best foot forward. Submit your application or resume to potential employers. Dress nicely, and highlight your positive attributes, such as a strong work ethic and attention to detail. While you may not be successful in gaining employment the first place you try, you are likely to succeed with perseverance.

Becoming an advanced car detailer

You must first become a general car detailer before transforming into an advanced one. Advanced car detailers must meet the same physical requirements as basic ones, and it is best to work from the bottom up to learn all of the nuances of the trade.
Learn from those more experienced than you. Pay attention to co-workers with greater experience than you. Ask questions and learn as much about car detailing as you can.
Seek advanced training. While there is not a certification program in car detailing, there are professional organizations that offer educational courses.
The Power Washers of North America (PWNA), for instance, offers training in safe environmental practices and power washing techniques. Through gaining additional training in your field, you position yourself for higher wages and better hours.
Auto detailing can be a rewarding profession as you work to bring vehicles to their cleanest and freshest condition. The skills learned in detailing can also be used in related industries.
Many car detailers move on into more established positions with benefits like retirement and health care in the industrial setting, cleaning storage tanks, large machinery, and even pipelines. Another avenue for professional advancement is to save up money and open up a car detailing business of your own, moving from labor to a supervisory role.
Key Takeaway: To go from a general to an advanced detailer, try to take extra training, and learn as much as you can while on the job. One day you could move up to a different industry, or even lead your own detailing business.


What's it like to be a car detailer?

If you're wondering if becoming a car detailer is the right choice for you, you'll be happy to know that the job is as straightforward as it is rewarding.
Car detailers usually work on cleaning, vacuuming, buffing, and waxing vehicles. This can include every part of a vehicle, from making the interior spotless to giving the outside a nice new shine.
Car detailing isn't without its challenges, though. Occasionally, cars with some wear on them will need to be detailed. This requires the skill and competence to work around dents and dings. Rust and repaint jobs also present a satisfying challenge.
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