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What Does an Automotive Trimmer Do?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

An automotive trimmer is a person who works in the automotive industry installing upholstery and other trim items in various vehicles. This person may work for an automobile manufacturer, or he or she may work independently to repair damaged upholstery in older cars. No specific level of formal education is necessary to become an automotive trimmer, though many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a high school education or equivalent credential. Basic math and communication skills are necessary to be successful in this position.

The specific job responsibilities of the automotive trimmer can vary depending on his or her work setting. Some trimmers are responsible for only one specific task within an assembly line setting; the automotive trimmer may, for example, be responsible for upholstering seats, while another trimmer may be exclusively responsible for lining the roof of a vehicle. In other settings, each automotive trimmer may be responsible for several duties instead of just one. On any given vehicle, one person may be responsible for upholstering seats, lining ceilings, lining doors, or installing aesthetic accents in various locations throughout the automobile. Installing carpeting on floors and in trunks will also be the responsibility of the trimmer.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Sometimes the automotive trimmer will be responsible for installing other components that do not necessarily relate to upholstery. Aesthetic accents known simply as trim will appear throughout a vehicle, particularly on dashboards and doors, and the trimmer may be responsible for ensuring proper installation of such items. Trimmers must have superior dexterity, and they must be trained to use various types of machines and tools to install fabrics or other materials. Dexterity is very important because the trimmer must be able to install various components accurately for the correct fit and look, but also quickly to ensure efficiency in production.

Most of the skills an automotive trimmer will need can be learned on the job. It is likely that the trimmer will start in a lower-level position, or as an assistant or apprentice. An apprenticeship allows the new trimmer to learn various skills while working with a more experienced trimmer. He or she will usually start such an apprenticeship by doing simple, low-level tasks, and as time progresses, he or she will begin to complete the more complex tasks associated with the job. Some safety training will probably also be necessary, as the various machines and tools the trimmer will use can be dangerous.

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