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Art Appraisal Training and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an art appraiser. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about education, job duties and training to find out if this is the career for you.

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Art appraisers work for art galleries, auction houses or investors. If you're thinking about a career as an art appraiser, you will need to meet credentials set by the Appraiser Qualifications Board, and continuing education will be required to maintain them.

Essential Information

Art appraisers are specialists within the field of personal property appraisal. They are trained to judge and report on the monetary value of fine and decorative arts. While no postsecondary education is required to become an art appraiser, the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) sets training and education standards.

Required Education High school diploma
Other Requirements Credentials earned through the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB)
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% (for all types of appraisers, claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators)*
Median Salary (2015) $63,060 (for all types of appraisers, claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Art Appraisal Training

Several universities offer certificate programs in fine and decorative arts appraisal that help meet the education qualifications outlined by the Appraisers Qualifications Board (AQB), part of The Appraisal Foundation. Professional appraisal organizations such as the American Society of Appraisers and The Appraisal Foundation also offer courses that meet the AQB's requirements.

Most certificate programs require a core of valuation methods and reporting courses, along with courses in appraisal laws and ethics. Program electives focus on areas of specialty within the field of personal property appraisal and vary by institution. Common offerings include classes in evaluating the art and furnishings of various historical periods, rugs and collectibles, machinery and industrial equipment or gemology.

Professional Credentialing

There are no national or state regulations that require specific training or licensing for art appraisers. However, the AQB has some minimum qualification criteria that the appraisal industry recognizes as its standards (www.appraisalfoundation.org).

To earn AQB credentials, students must complete 120 classroom hours of coursework in professional standards, valuation theory and personal property appraisal. They also should obtain 700 hours of experience in an area of specialization (such as fine art or jewelry) in addition to 1,800-4,500 hours of personal property or market related field experience. And, students must pass a comprehensive examination that covers the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the principles of personal property appraisal. To maintain credentials with the AQB, appraisal-related continuing education coursework must be completed every five years.

Art Appraisal Career Information

Personal property appraisers generally work in the areas of machinery and equipment valuation, fine arts and gems valuation or residential contents valuation. They are often hired by insurance firms or property lawyers, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service may ask appraisers to handle issues of estate tax assessments. Depending upon the area of specialization, an appraiser could work for antique dealers, private collectors, jewelers or industrial wholesalers. Art appraisers, specifically, often work with art investors, galleries and auction houses.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), appraisers, claim adjusters, examiners and investigators should experience a three percent increase in employment from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). In May of 2015, the BLS reported that the same group earned a median annual salary of $63,060.

Art appraisers can receive a certificate or take courses in decorative or fine arts appraisal. Classes will cover valuation methods and reporting, as well as appraisal laws and ethics. Art appraisers are hired by insurance companies or property lawyers, and sometimes assess estate taxes for the IRS.

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