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Occupation Profile

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Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment
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Description: what do they do?
Wash or otherwise clean vehicles, machinery, and other equipment. Use such materials as water, cleaning agents, brushes, cloths, and hoses.
Also known as:
Auto Detailer, Automobile Detailer, Automotive Detailer, Car Detailer, Car Washer, Detailer, Reconditioner, Aircraft Cleaner, Sanitation Truck Cleaner

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: While computers and machines now perform many kinds of work, the ability to accomplish a job using your own hands and strength has a value and reward all its own. Laboring with your hands takes coordination and stamina, but it also takes customer service skills and the ability to follow through on instructions. Several jobs require these qualities: Most hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers work as pickers in warehouses… retrieving items from storage to be loaded and shipped. They may need to pack and wrap items, or load and unload them from a truck. Packers and packagers pack groceries for customers, or pack shipping materials for transport. They often label packages and keep records of what they’ve packed. Vehicle and equipment cleaners wash vehicles, storage tanks, and industrial machinery. Most clean cars for an auto dealership, car rental agency, or car wash. Machine feeders work in manufacturing or warehouses… they insert materials into equipment, while offbearers remove materials from equipment after processing. Refuse and recyclable material collectors pick up garbage and recyclables from homes and businesses to transport to a landfill or recycling center. Most work either in waste collection or for local government. Most hand laborers and material movers work full time, though part-time hours are not uncommon. Warehouse and shipping positions may require overnight shifts. It’s typical for employers to require that workers have the ability to lift a certain weight to qualify for the job, but there are no formal education requirements. Jobs often include repetitive movement and heavy lifting.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations, 2019. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
408,500
2018 Employment
433,000
2028 Employment
6%
Percent change
63,700
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$19,150
25%$22,360
Median$25,800
75%$31,210
90%$39,010


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Clean vehicles or vehicle components.
  • Clean machinery or equipment.
  • Inspect motor vehicles.
  • Acquire supplies or equipment.
  • Drive passenger vehicles.
  • Monitor engine operation or functioning.
  • Report vehicle or equipment malfunctions.
  • Control pumps or pumping equipment.
  • Connect hoses to equipment or machinery.
  • Collect samples for analysis or testing.
  • Test materials, solutions, or samples.
  • Remove debris or damaged materials.
  • Clean facilities or work areas.
  • Shovel materials.
  • Install parts, assemblies, or attachments in transportation or material handling equipment.
  • Maintain vehicles in good working condition.
  • Move materials, equipment, or supplies.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Clean and polish vehicle windows.
  • Scrub, scrape, or spray machine parts, equipment, or vehicles, using scrapers, brushes, clothes, cleaners, disinfectants, insecticides, acid, abrasives, vacuums, or hoses.
  • Inspect parts, equipment, or vehicles for cleanliness, damage, and compliance with standards or regulations.
  • Maintain inventories of supplies.
  • Drive vehicles to or from workshops or customers' workplaces or homes.
  • Monitor operation of cleaning machines and stop machines or notify supervisors when malfunctions occur.
  • Turn valves or handles on equipment to regulate pressure or flow of water, air, steam, or abrasives from sprayer nozzles.
  • Clean the plastic work inside cars, using paintbrushes.
  • Rinse objects and place them on drying racks or use cloth, squeegees, or air compressors to dry surfaces.
  • Pre-soak or rinse machine parts, equipment, or vehicles by immersing objects in cleaning solutions or water, manually or using hoists.
  • Connect hoses or lines to pumps or other equipment.
  • Turn valves or disconnect hoses to eliminate water, cleaning solutions, or vapors from machinery or tanks.
  • Collect and test samples of cleaning solutions or vapors.
  • Sweep, shovel, or vacuum loose debris or salvageable scrap into containers and remove containers from work areas.
  • Disassemble and reassemble machines or equipment or remove and reattach vehicle parts or trim, using hand tools.
  • Lubricate machinery, vehicles, or equipment or perform minor repairs or adjustments, using hand tools.
  • Transport materials, equipment, or supplies to or from work areas, using carts or hoists.
  • Fit boot spoilers, side skirts, or mud flaps to cars.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.