Auctioneer: License Requirement, Job Description & Salary

May 30, 2020

Career Definition of an Auctioneer

Auctioneers are responsible for organizing an auction and managing the bidding and sale process for items such as fine art, jewelry, memorabilia, or classic cars. Estate sales or real estate auctions are also managed by auctioneers. They work in a variety of fields, but can choose to specialize in a particular item like classic cars. Auctioneers can work full-time or part-time and often work outside of typical business hours. They may start their own company, work as a freelancer, or join an established regional auction company. Some of their time is spent an office; however, they primarily travel to sites to prepare for auctions and conduct them.

The job responsibilities for an auctioneer can vary and are dependent upon the specific type of auction. General duties may include meeting with the client, setting up the auction site and items, collaborating with auction staff like clerks and cashiers, and managing the process of organizing items after the auction. Auctioneers can also assist clients with marketing efforts surrounding the auction, including online advertising, placing items for sale online, or receiving live bids via the Internet.

Educational Requirements Minimum of a high school diploma
Job Skills Strong speaking voice, ability to speak quickly, excellent attention to detail, strong organizational skills, strong interpersonal skills
Median Salary (2020)* $64,000
Job Outlook (2018-2028)** 7% (Sales Representatives, Services, All Others)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

An auctioneer will need at least a high school diploma; however, some in the field pursue postsecondary training. According to the National Auctioneers Association (NAA), 35% of people in the field have a college degree, and 36% have some college experience. Licensing requirements are different in each state; however, there are thirty-seven states that require licensure. Prospective candidates can obtain membership in the NAA, which offers various resources and certifications for auctioneers. The certifications include the Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate, Auction Marketing Management, and Benefit Auctioneer Specialist.

Required Skills

The most important skills an auctioneer must have are a very strong speaking presence and the ability to speak very quickly. They should be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, as bidding at auctions is a streamlined, efficient process. Auctioneers must have strong organizational skills, because they are involved in the planning and execution of auctions. They should also be very detail-oriented and know the value of the items they are selling. Strong interpersonal skills are essential, as auctioneers interact with clients, auction staff, and private or public bidders.

Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect employment information specific to auctioneers; however, they report an 7% growth in employment opportunities for the category ''sales representatives, services, all other'' between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than average for all occupations. In May 2020, PayScale reported that the median annual wage for auctioneers was $64,000.

Related Careers

Those considering a career as an auctioneer may be interested in one of the below related careers. They offer prospective candidates the freedom to work with clients or utilize their sales skills.

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