If you can think on your feet and would love a diverse and varied career, you may be interested in becoming an auctioneer. Auctioneers deal with many exciting items every day and have a unique and interesting career.
What Is an Auctioneer?
Auctioneers are often certified by some form of certifying agency and go through an extensive amount of training before they can begin running auctions on their own. Often an auctioneer will work in the industry before actually running an auction, prepping the items that are to be for sale and closing the auction down at the end of the day.
What Does an Auctioneer Do?
Auctioneers need to be very knowledgeable about the items they are selling and will need to be extremely precise about everything they say and do. High value auctions need to be handled very carefully as they run very quickly and bids can come in fast. The auctioneer needs to acknowledge every bid as it comes in and needs to identify the order of the bids. Often, there will only be seconds between bids. Some auctioneers are required to have a license to run auctions, according to the Department of Commerce and Insurance Auctioneer Commission. Auctioneers may undergo extensive on-the-job training before they are allowed to run certain auctions, or may practice on smaller auctions.
How Do You Become an Auctioneer?
An auctioneer is usually required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, though it isn’t always required. Auctioneers that need to run high profile auctions will often be required to have an Associate’s Degree or higher. Auctioneers will often begin as part-time workers that are trained on the job. Auctioneering is an extremely intense process that needs to be handled properly, as very expensive goods are often being offered. Auctioneers may apprentice under another professional for some time before they are allowed to auction.
There are select programs that train auctioneers. Those interested in a career within the field may join an association such as the National Auctioneers Association. This may be required for some positions. Some auctioneers will work for a single auction company, but others will work on a contract basis. Joining an auctioneering association can be an excellent way to build clientele for a self-employed auctioneer.
How Do You Advance as an Auctioneer?
Auctioneers advance by getting into progressively higher profile auctions. An auctioneer will advance based on how effectively they auction, how they promote the items that are being auctioned, how easily they interact with the audience and how consistent their accuracy is. Auctioneers need to be perfectionists, as a single mistake can be extremely detrimental to a sale. Some auctioneers also need to have marketing or promotional experience, as they need to push auction attendees into bidding.
Auctions often range from small-scale local auctions to extremely extravagant auctions in major metropolitan areas and charity auctions where the proceeds are donated to a cause. Auctioneers that are interested in increasing their revenue can be hired at larger auction houses and can eventually auction off more expensive items, such as fine art, collectibles and antiques.