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Old 02-15-2017, 10:04 PM   #1
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Changing career, Do auto detailers make decent money?

I am just not happy with what I've been doing for past few years and want to go into what I enjoy doing, I feel repainting automobiles, and detailing is what I have always been good with, it feels like a form of art.

Anyone have input, experience, suggestions, advice where to take a class and how to get started in these areas? I dont mind starting small.

Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:11 PM   #2
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The quick answer is no.

You will be starting at minimum wage and won't be getting much raise either.

You can make good money if you become an auto body technician / painter though. But I believe you would have to go to college/trade school for that.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:15 PM   #3
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The quick answer is no.

You will be starting at minimum wage and won't be getting much raise either.

You can make good money if you become an auto body technician / painter though. But I believe you would have to go to college/trade school for that.
body technician and painter just deals with cosmetics for exterior right? I'd like to do custom jobs like wrap cars, dip sprays etc...
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:24 PM   #4
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body technician and painter just deals with cosmetics for exterior right? I'd like to do custom jobs like wrap cars, dip sprays etc...
If you're doing just the labour you're not going to get much. Only route where you're actually looking at making a decent amount is running your own business and operating a business itself can be a handful if you don't know what you're doing which raises a whole lot of other questions.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:30 PM   #5
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:08 AM   #6
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:18 AM   #7
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body technician and painter just deals with cosmetics for exterior right? I'd like to do custom jobs like wrap cars, dip sprays etc...
Thats completely different from what you talk about in your first post. I don't know any detailers that wrap cars, or dip cars.

From the sounds of it, sounds like you want to open a customization shop, or work out of your garage dipping cars?

If so I wish you the best of luck, but your in for a lot of late nights and long hours to make shitty pay until you establish yourself. And if you suck, your always gonna have complaining people who will cost you all your profit.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:26 AM   #8
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auto detailers of expensive cars, yes

general auto detailers, no
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:20 PM   #9
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It's possible, 911fanatic on here does well for himself but he's also been doing it a long time and hes really good at it. When I last talked to him it sounded like the real money was in new cars getting coatings done and paint protection film installed, and not so much detailing abused paint back to glory.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:11 PM   #10
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It's possible, 911fanatic on here does well for himself but he's also been doing it a long time and hes really good at it. When I last talked to him it sounded like the real money was in new cars getting coatings done and paint protection film installed, and not so much detailing abused paint back to glory.
would you think auto body technician is better? repairing vehicles for icbc and such, mostly body work and the repainting process?
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:30 PM   #11
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would you think auto body technician is better? repairing vehicles for icbc and such, mostly body work and the repainting process?
If you're serious about it, I would go ask current auto body tech to get some feedback.

I know so many auto body tech who quit usually due to injuries and toxic fumes(masks will help, but only does so much).
They told me they made good money though, like $100k or close to that.

But it is a really hard labour. Lifting heavy equipment for hours in toxic air. It's not a hobby or one time project, if you do it all the time for years it's inevitable you're gonna have some health issue.

In the end, your health is wealth.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:55 PM   #12
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Props to you doritos for following a career path in which you have a passion for.

The only advice that I can give you, based on past threads on RS, is not to work for a certain employer in this line of work.

MM Design Content. Stay far away from this shop. The quality of their wraps is very suspect.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:24 PM   #13
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Props to you doritos for following a career path in which you have a passion for.

The only advice that I can give you, based on past threads on RS, is not to work for a certain employer in this line of work.

MM Design Content. Stay far away from this shop. The quality of their wraps is very suspect.
haha thank you! Yeah, I my current job is more than enough but i've been miserable working the past few years. I really enjoy working on cars especially painting and molding things to specifications and I know what it means to have great customer relationship and service. I just need alot of help getting started since I know almost nothing about the industry, just DIY garage projects. Once I can figure it all out, I'll go beyond to provide the service people are usually after. Seen way too many people not giving a shit about their quality of work and their interest in their jobs.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:54 PM   #14
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Careful turning a hobby into a career. A lot of people lose their passion for it, once it becomes a job.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:45 PM   #15
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As with most profession, when you strike out on your own, you will have to do other business things such as building and maintaining your client book (this is probably the toughest task) enough to provide consistent income. That is besides the administrative stuffs.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:57 PM   #16
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Too bad it isn't about flipping cars to lose money, I'm really good at that.
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This wouldn't happen if you didn't drive a peasant car like an Audi...
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:56 PM   #17
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You are going to have to be very driven to make it successful financially. Be prepared to earn your keep. Truthfully its like that in any job, especially nowadays unless you are some rich kid who's parents have already paved a path for you.
Its a lot easier to be driven in a field you are passionate about.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:45 PM   #18
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Okanagan College revs-up its Collision Repair program
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Okanagan College revs-up its Collision Repair program



Okanagan College Media Release

Training in Collision Repair is about to get an overhaul at Okanagan College.

The College is in the final approval process with the province’s Industry Training Authority to offer a much more complex program for students, right from the start.

The new Collision Repair Technician Certificate program comes in response to pressures being exerted on the industry, said John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship for Okanagan College.

“Right now employers are reluctant to hire entry level employees because they find it difficult to release them later for the two additional five-week apprenticeship training sessions,” he said.

“As a result some employers try to attract workers away from other shops, look outside the province, or even the country, to get workers with the skill level they need.”

The College puzzled over the problem, and quickly realized its students needed to arrive at the shop with that higher skill set – particularly in the key areas of electronics, diagnostics and advanced sectioning technology.

The result is that now all three levels of apprenticeship training take place over a continuous 41-week period.

“We call it front-loading,” Haller said. “The aim is to train-up the students at this entry level so that they’re better equipped to deal with the current job demands.”

In addition to making the Collision Repair Technician Certificate more streamlined, the College also decided to add more depth to the curriculum.

Jeff Francis is the chair of the Collision Repair Department. He’s worked for years with the highly detailed I-CAR training modules originally developed in the U.S. Now he’s incorporated significant elements of the I-CAR curriculum into the College’s program, all while maintaining the Industry Training Authority’s requirements for Red Seal certification.

“This is a far more complex program,” Francis said. “We have a great tool here in the I-CAR modules, but up until now we’ve only been scratching the surface of what’s possible.”

The newly minted Certificate means students will also be eligible for points leading to I-CAR certification.

“This means even more employment flexibility for our students,” Francis said. “With this kind of training, it will make our students really stand out.”

The new program is slated to start Sept. 6, with a limited enrolment of 18 students. For more information on how to register, contact Okanagan College at 250-862-5457 or toll free at 1-877-755-2266 ext. 5457.

Okanagan College’s Collision Repair Department has been training students for successful careers in the industry for decades. In 2011, the College celebrated its 20-year-old partnership with Toyota Technical College in Japan, which continues to send dozens of its best students for training in Kelowna each year.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:50 PM   #19
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Careful turning a hobby into a career. A lot of people lose their passion for it, once it becomes a job.
Totally true... Used to love building PCs and solving problems when I was young... now 20 years working in IT, I don't even want to turn a computer on when I get home. My current PC is a circa 2004 Pentium D dual core, there's no reason to upgrade something I don't use. You'll find other hobbies tho. I trade stocks and craft things out of wood in my spare time...
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:37 PM   #20
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Totally true... Used to love building PCs and solving problems when I was young... now 20 years working in IT, I don't even want to turn a computer on when I get home. My current PC is a circa 2004 Pentium D dual core, there's no reason to upgrade something I don't use. You'll find other hobbies tho. I trade stocks and craft things out of wood in my spare time...
making crafts is hobby but trading stocks?

if you invest in mutual funds, TSX, NASDAQ, GIC, RSP, etc...I don't know if they're considered as hobby
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:38 AM   #21
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making crafts is hobby but trading stocks?

if you invest in mutual funds, TSX, NASDAQ, GIC, RSP, etc...I don't know if they're considered as hobby
That's because you don't enjoy it.


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Old 02-17-2017, 09:31 AM   #22
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body technician and painter just deals with cosmetics for exterior right? I'd like to do custom jobs like wrap cars, dip sprays etc...
Detailer/painter, wrap and dips are completely different areas. Wraps are slowly starting to die off, and the process can't even be remotely compared to painting. Dips, just no. Please don't plastidip an entire car here, I don't think I've ever seen one done that looks good in person.

Like someone else said, you probably won't get much money, and the labour is fairly intensive compared to the money you'll get. That is, unless you start your own business and do well against the many other wrap or paint shops around here, which is possible. I know some people that do detailing and wrapping on the side along with their day job, if you're really into it maybe you can try it out that way first.

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Old 02-17-2017, 01:05 PM   #23
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Detailer/painter, wrap and dips are completely different areas. Wraps are slowly starting to die off, and the process can't even be remotely compared to painting. Dips, just no. Please don't plastidip an entire car here, I don't think I've ever seen one done that looks good in person.

Like someone else said, you probably won't get much money, and the labour is fairly intensive compared to the money you'll get. That is, unless you start your own business and do well against the many other wrap or paint shops around here, which is possible. I know some people that do detailing and wrapping on the side along with their day job, if you're really into it maybe you can try it out that way first.



Lol, thread of the century.
does detailing and wrapping require training somewhere? I have a little bit of knowledge for everything, tinting, installing hids, modding headlights, dipping wheels, I learned all that during my free time as hobby and I do enjoy it even as work. My current job, It felt like it was fun everyday I went to work until recently, longer hours, traveling to other cities.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:03 PM   #24
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does detailing and wrapping require training somewhere? I have a little bit of knowledge for everything, tinting, installing hids, modding headlights, dipping wheels, I learned all that during my free time as hobby and I do enjoy it even as work. My current job, It felt like it was fun everyday I went to work until recently, longer hours, traveling to other cities.
it seems like the only way to make decent money in detailing is opening your own business. If you hate longer hours, DO NOT open your own business.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:39 PM   #25
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Detailer/painter, wrap and dips are completely different areas. Wraps are slowly starting to die off, and the process can't even be remotely compared to painting. Dips, just no. Please don't plastidip an entire car here, I don't think I've ever seen one done that looks good in person.

Like someone else said, you probably won't get much money, and the labour is fairly intensive compared to the money you'll get. That is, unless you start your own business and do well against the many other wrap or paint shops around here, which is possible. I know some people that do detailing and wrapping on the side along with their day job, if you're really into it maybe you can try it out that way first.
Yeah I think wrapping/dipping is poor man's painting.

If you're picky about details, I'm sure you would rather have a top quality paint job.

I think people that are wrapping/dipping are looking for cheap alternatives to painting. So if you charge too much money, no customers.
Maybe also a convenience of peeling off too, but still, it needs to be cheap.
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