The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies boat detailers in the hand laborers and material movers category. Job duties for boat detailers include cleaning, sweeping, shoveling or vacuuming loose debris or salvageable scrap and removing containers from work areas. Keeping boats clean is important for safety and equipment longevity. No formal education is required beyond a high school diploma and most training is on-the-job.
Entry-level salaries of boat detailers as of 2013 in 10 randomly selected cities were Pierre, S.D., $16,996; Miami, $18,205; Houston, $18,713; Augusta, Maine, $19,797; Bensalem, Pa., $20,821; Chicago, $21,365; Walla Walla, Wash., $21,449; Baltimore, $22,187; Washington, D.C., $22,696; and New York, $23,599, as reported by the national salary survey website Salary Expert. The average of this group was $20,583, with a difference of $6,603 between the highest and lowest paying cities.
Salary Expert reports a national average of $25,125 for boat detailers as of 2013. This average is $4,714 higher than the average starting salary. Among 10 randomly selected cities averages included Pierre, S.D., $20,888; Miami, $22,375; Houston, $22,999; Augusta, Maine, $24,332; Bensalem, Pa., $25,590; Chicago, $26,258; Walla Walla, Wash., $26,362; Baltimore, $27,268; Washington, D.C., $27,895; and New York, $29,004. The range in averages was $8,116 among these 10 cities.
Top salaries for boat detailers averaged $17,736 more than starting salaries in 10 randomly selected cities, indicating this occupation has some increased earnings potential. Individual differences included Pierre, S.D., $31,640; Miami, $33,893; Houston, $34,837; Augusta, Maine, $36,857; Bensalem, Pa., $38,762; Chicago, $39,774; Walla Walla, Wash., $39,932; Baltimore, $41,304; Washington, D.C., $42,254; and New York, $43,934. The difference between the highest average and the lowest for these cities was $12,294.
The BLS predicts demand for cleaners of vehicles and equipment, including boat detailers, will increase by 19 percent through 2020, which is 5 percent higher than the predicted increase in demand for all surveyed occupations. The Bureau predicts there will be 370,800 employees in these cleaning occupations by 2020. High turnover accounts for the high demand, despite a sluggish economy, according to the BLS. Detailers who are comfortable with technology, including computer tablets and cleaning machinery, will be the most successful.