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Auto Detailer

Auto detailers clean and refurbish the interiors and exteriors of automobiles.

  • Avg. Salary $31,252.00
  • Avg. Wage $16.50
  • Minimum Education Less than high school
  • Outlook avg
Also Known As

Cleaner, Light Duty Cleaner, Upholstery Cleaner

NOC & Interest Codes
The Auto Detailer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Vehicle Cleaners
NOC code: 6662.5

Interest in operating specialized cleaning equipment


Interest in comparing to inspect surfaces for dust, dirt, grease and other deposits; and in cleaning the interior and exterior of vehicles


Interest in selecting appropriate vehicle cleaning equipment

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 19, 2016

Auto detailers make cars and trucks look as new as possible for automobile owners, car dealerships, car rental services and insurance companies. Duties and methods vary but, in general, auto detailers:

  • hand wash and wax vehicles
  • apply rust proofing and undercoating 
  • clean the undercarriage, engine, tires, chrome and aluminum parts, upholstery, vinyl and leather
  • use air compressors and other tools to clean vents and other small places that gather dust
  • vacuum and shampoo carpets
  • repair damages (for example, dents and scrapes)
  • apply exterior and interior finishes
  • remove stains.

Experienced auto detailers also may touch up chipped paint, tint windows and repair or replace upholstery.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Auto detailing is repetitive, physically demanding work that involves handling chemicals and items that weigh up to 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Auto detailers need the following characteristics:

  • able to lift and carry heavy equipment such as polishers and buffers
  • able to repeatedly stoop, kneel, crouch and work in awkward positions
  • able to pay close attention to details
  • able to work around cleaning chemicals and perfumes
  • have a clean, neat personal appearance.

They should enjoy operating specialized cleaning equipment, taking a methodical approach to cleaning vehicle interiors and exteriors, and immediately seeing the results of their work.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

There are no standard education requirements for auto detailers but employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have a valid driver's license with a good driving record, and related experience or a high school diploma. Basic reading and arithmetic skills are required. Employers that cater to the trucking industry generally require applicants to have the licenses required for handling specific types of trucks.

Auto detailers are trained on the job and through short courses offered by auto and car care product manufacturers. To make vehicles shine without causing damage in the process, auto detailers must be able to select and use appropriate cleaning agents, solvents and equipment. They usually start with simpler tasks and may take on more complex work as they gain knowledge and experience. 

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Auto detailers are employed by car washes and shops that specialize in auto detailing. Employment often is seasonal in Alberta.

Experienced auto detailers may move into related occupations such as Automobile Accessories Installer or Auto Body Technician, or advance to supervisory positions. Those who have the required entrepreneurial skills may start their own businesses.

Auto detailers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6732: Specialized cleaners. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 4,700 Albertans are employed in the Specialized cleaners occupational group. This group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 80 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As auto detailers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for auto detailers. 

There is a relatively high employment turnover rate in this occupation so demand for new workers is fairly steady. However, there often are many applicants for vacant positions.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Auto detailers may be paid an hourly wage or per job or vehicle.

Auto detailers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6732: Specialized cleaners.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Specialized cleaners occupational group earned on average from $14.53 to $19.65 an hour. The overall average wage was $16.50 an hour. For more information, see the Specialized cleaners wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Science
    • Chemistry
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Mechanics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training

Updated Mar 17, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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