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How did you get your training?

Posted by GTR 
How did you get your training?
January 08, 2012 02:27AM
It seems there's 4 ways of "going pro":

1. Attend a school (RightLook, TotalPros, Detail King, Detailing Success, etc.).
2. Self-taught: trial and error, research online, etc.
3. Work at a car dealership.
4. Work at a detail shop.

Where did the pros here get their training?

Robert Keppel
Applied Colors
Paint Touch Up Systems for Detailers
Re: How did you get your training?
January 08, 2012 11:11AM
Number 2.

I did a lot of work on friends cars and week-ends at my house. In hindsight, although the best choice I had at the time was to start a detailing business, as a professional I could have done with a lot more training. But none was available in this country at this time. Over the years I have learned a lot. Now when Reps come into my shop selling chemicals, I end up telling them the best way to use their products because they have no clue what is inside the bottle.

But to this day, I still haven't done any formal training. I've been invited to some free training by an international brand who asked me to join their team of approved detailers. I'm thinking about it....
Re: How did you get your training?
January 08, 2012 09:45PM
Interesting. 85% of the responses I've received are #2 (self-taught). I posted the poll in 2 other forums:

I would have thought at least half of the pros had worked at a dealership or detail shp.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 08, 2012 10:26PM
Hip, self taught here too. Started out in my dinky uninsulated garage with nothing but a single 60 watt light bulb and a bucket of hot soapy water. That first winter was a rough one and it also made me wonder how the real pros got started too.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 08, 2012 10:28PM
Hip? Really? Damn you auto correct. 'yup'
Re: How did you get your training?
January 09, 2012 01:07AM
We always thought there was a better way of doing things..and being out in front of our competitors

In the beginning we attended ICA conventions and seminars, requested in house training from manufacturers and vendors before using their products or tools. We subscribed to every industry magazine pouring over every article....we perfected our techniques in house, on dealer cars, rental cars, all the while pushing the envelope. We attended as many seminars as we could, we attended many different schools to learn about all aspects of cleaning, autobody, etc. went to as many seminars as we could, and as the industry evolved we participated in internet forums, purchased videos, books, and have certifications in many different fields.

30 years ago because of ICA seminars we incorporated air for blowing dust and debris out of vehicles and carpet air brush in prepping carpets for shampooing
30 years ago we incorporated sealants as the primary protectant in our detailing service
30 years ago we incorporated shampoo machines in our detailing services
17 years ago we incorporated claying in detailing
15 years ago we incorporated steam in cleaining
15 years ago incorporated paint mil gauges to read paint thickness in ferrous and non ferrous paint
12 years ago we started using dual action polishers with sponge pads
12 years ago we started using microfiber towels
9 years ago we added Tornador Tools to our detailing service
6 years ago we started using single polish systems and added forced action polishers to our tools

we are certified
Glass Chip Repair Glass Weld systems
Dent Removal trained
Sem Training
Leather, Vinyl, Fabric Repair trained
Bumper painting training
Small Damage Repair training (painting)
carpet cleaning
Fabric and Upholstery cleaning
Odor Control
Fire and Smoke Damage
Water Damage
Carpet Dyeing
Leather cleaning
Mold Remediation
Water Leak Repair
Headlight Relensing - Permanent Headlight Relensing
ICAR classes
in house training Meguiars, Auto Magic, Pro,
Bridgepoint Training
Von Schrader training

We have won over 25 Concours d' Elegance Awards for our clients our most notable Best In class Ameilia Island and specialized in perfection polishing way before it has become popular.. we just did not know we needed to go to the internet and tell everyone and show pictures of what we were doing..

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2012 01:10AM by concoursgarage.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 09, 2012 09:53AM
wow thats friggin awesome concourse. I love single polish systems also.
myself - combination of worked for dealership, worked for really good detail shop, 10 years of research and sharing knowledge on forums and buying all the latest tools and products and doing tonnes of R & D

However in the next several years I'm going to get some training from Renny Doyle, Todd Cooperider, Barry Theal, a guy in Portland Oregon who is a real genius at sanding and many other people

sadly in Australia, there are no trade magazines or expo's for detailers. the USA is it and I'm slowly getting over there each few years seeing more of the country and the best detailers there are
Re: How did you get your training?
January 10, 2012 03:33AM
Gina you are commended for your efforts to gain and expand your knowledge needed to be called a professional in the detail industry.

It is unnecessary for me to say this, but for others "keep learning."

Bud A
Re: How did you get your training?
January 10, 2012 09:14AM
As I always say, there are no detailers, only apprentice detailers. Everything keeps changing and you have no choice but to keep learning or fall behind.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2012 09:30PM by Profile Detailer.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 10, 2012 12:48PM
Quote from bud
It is unnecessary for me to say this, but for others "keep learning."

Quote from gina "15 years ago we incorporated steam in cleaining"
Actually bud gina has to still learn to check her spelling even after editing ;-)

Gina just curious the only thing you don,t have is rustproofing in your arsenal.
We often referred details to a guy who referred our rustproofing in the winter months to tackle 40 vehicles plus a day .
Some high end and low end detail shops up here are now offering some sort of rustproofing.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 10, 2012 01:45PM
I live by the motto:

"I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma."
Eartha Kitt:

I have done some rust proofing but really do not offer the service and prefer to refer to another vendor. I do paint repair rusted running bars, and and some floor pans that have rusted out (when we do water damage remediation) We repaint rusty wiper blades and trim peices, fender wells, and places that are obvious after you detail.

My achilles heel is thinking I never know enough, so I have a open willingness to learn all the time.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 11, 2012 12:39AM
Okay, the results of the survey are complete.

Of 66 responses, 41 noted that they are "self taught."

I suppose that the online community draws a lot more learn-it-yourselfers and that if you assembled an offline group of 66, you might find that more of them learned on-the-job.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 11, 2012 02:19PM
So the question asks detailer's if they have received professional training and where.?..

Should detailer's/industry also ask a few questions like:
Is it good enough for a trainer to be self taught and offer training?
If people are investing money in training what body/ qualifies trainers or training schools apart from saying "I hear they are good"
Where have these trainers received training?
Do they have any certifications? and what are they?
Do they engage in continuing education where?
Does it matter if the trainers are also self taught?
Should these trainers have a biography where the public can read about them that says more than we trained detailers?
How current is their last training? when have they updated their training materials and where do they get this info so we know if it is bona fide.
Do they currently use the latest materials, tools, products techniques?
Are they uptodate with the latest paint, plastic and materials or do they get their information off the internet like everyone else?
Do trainers have continuing mentoring programs with their trainees?
Does the training involve real world dirty vehicles or cream puffs?
Does the training include work on daily drivers, thrashed vehicles, trailer queens - to give students a sense of what is out there?
Do the trainers expose the students to various types of clients, from the fastidious to the crazy so they get a sense of the people they will be dealing with?
Do the trainers sell products and equipment and promote their own product line... Is this a conflict of interest? and affects their objectivity in training?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2012 05:07PM by concoursgarage.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 11, 2012 05:41PM
Not sure if your questions covered this within their terms, but does the trainer also have a qualification in Training itself?

There are many things worth learning if you are to facilitate people's education.
Re: How did you get your training?
January 12, 2012 04:54PM
Can't resist a few funny quotes :

" You'd be surprised what you can see just by observing " - Yogi Berra

" They say to practice but I never practiced. I just played. " -Minnesota Fats-

" Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach. Those who can't teach, teach gym. Those who couldn't even teach gym taught at our school ". - Woody Allen-
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