Automobile Detailers in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $10.80 per hour. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geography, but years of experience and the specific company are influential factors as well. Health benefits are not claimed by all — a little more than half lack any form of coverage — but more than two-fifths have medical insurance, and nearly one in three have dental, too. Work is reasonably fulfilling for most Automobile Detailers — the majority report average levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$18,581 - $58,579
(Median)
$19K
$35K
$59K
MEDIAN: $34,529
10%
50%
90%

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$8.45 - $15.15
(Median)
$8
$11
$15
MEDIAN: $10
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$18,581 - $58,579  
   
Bonus
$177.39 - $6,112  
Profit Sharing
$200.00  
Commission
$-0.50 - $33,772  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,306 - $38,409  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 134
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$8$16$24
Hourly Rate
$8.45 - $15.15  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.12 - $5.17  
Overtime
$12.11 - $21.94  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Bonus
$177.39 - $6,112  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $33,772  
Profit Sharing
$200.00  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,306 - $38,409  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,015
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Job Description for Automobile Detailer

Automobile detailers specialize in providing a thorough cleaning of an automobile's interior and exterior. Polishing, waxing, and vacuuming are common techniques used by auto detailers in an attempt to make a vehicle look as close to new as possible. They must provide care for windows, wheels, paint, rims, and interior upholstery. Detailers must have a good understanding of the various waxes, polishes, detergents, and degreasers they may be required to use on the job. Clay bars are often used to get rid of any embedded particles that other products cannot touch. Interior cleaning is usually done with a vacuum, but steam cleaners and brushes can also be used.

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Automobile Detailer Tasks

  • Clean and detail engine and engine compartment.
  • Touch up interior and exterior surfaces.
  • Clean and restore vehicle exterior and interior.
  • Examine vehicle for cosmetic defects.

Common Career Paths for Automobile Detailer


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Though some Automobile Detailers move into positions like Mechanical Engineer (where the average salary is $64K), this progression is not the norm. When Automobile Detailers are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Auto Mechanics or Automobile Service Advisors. Those roles pay an additional $14K and $16K, respectively.

Automobile Detailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Automobile Detailer


Automobile Detailers flock to CarMax, Inc., Toyota Dealership, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co, Gerber Collision and Glass, and JD Byrider, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Although CarMax, Inc. heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $27K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $17K to $49K.

Popular Skills for Automobile Detailer


Survey takers working as Automobile Detailers report using a large range of professional skills. Lucky workers who know headlight restoration can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 36 percent above average. Paint Correction and Washing are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 30 percent and 36 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like detailer, Waxing, and Detail. Employees educated in buffing are typically practiced in Cleaning, too.

Pay by Experience Level for Automobile Detailer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Automobile Detailers, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $23K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $26K. For Automobile Detailers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $29K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $31K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Automobile Detailer Reviews

What is it like working as an Automobile Detailer?

Automobile Detailer in Lake City:
"Piecework can be slave wages."
Pros: Independent working environment, opportunity to make your check larger with work ethic.
Cons: Low paying piecework for some vehicles. As low as $3 for a "service wash" that the company charges $9 for. Takes roughly 40 minutes to get it done right. Involves a full outside body wash and dry, with a topical quick inside vaccuming. Bug removal, and door jambs/windows. Company charges big for certain jobs, but pays the employee barely a third of the profit for all of the work.

Automobile Detailer in Greensboro:
"More responsibility given."
Pros: Extensive travel allows me to work in places I might not get to visit on my own.
Cons: My compensation has not increased with my job responsibility.

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Experience Affects Automobile Detailer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 25%



National Average
$24,000


Skills That Affect Automobile Detailer Salaries

headlight restoration
up arrow 36%

Paint Correction
up arrow 30%

Washing
up arrow 30%

attention to detail
up arrow 16%

Wet Sanding
up arrow 15%

wet sand
up arrow 15%

polishing
up arrow 10%

buffer
up arrow 9%

up arrow 6%

Customer Service
up arrow 2%

detailing
0%

National Average
$24,000

Cleaning
up arrow 2%

Detail
up arrow 4%

Waxing
up arrow 6%

detailer
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 155 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 42%
dental benefits
Dental: 32%
medical benefits
Vision: 23%
dental benefits
None: 55%
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