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What Is an Art Consultant? - Job Description & Salary

Art consultants look after art-related transactions. They need to have a strong base of knowledge about art and artistic techniques so that they can assist clients with the purchase or sale of art. Read on to learn more about this career.

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Career Definition of an Art Consultant

Art consultants may represent clients and purchase artworks on their behalf. In this capacity one of their primary objectives is to develop a clear understanding of their client's art needs and interests. They may be employed by businesses or organizations who are acquiring art for office buildings. They may also work for individuals who want to add works to their personal art collection. Art consultants may attend art exhibits with their clients or meet with business representatives to establish a clear understanding of their needs. They then pursue opportunities to purchase artworks. This can involve negotiating the price and having works appraised. Art consultants may also educate their clients on the insurance needs for the purchased artwork.

Art consultants may also be employed as salespeople. Their role may be to promote works of art in order to sell them to buyers. In order to do this they may plan and host events such as art exhibits. They may also meet with prospective buyers to show works to them. Their work can also involve displaying artwork that's for sale and transporting it to buyers.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree recommended
Job Skills Sales skills, communication skills, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, customer service skills, organizational skills, negotiation skills
Median Salary (2018)* $45,414
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 14% (all curators)

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

Required Education

Art consultants need to know about different forms of art and different artistic techniques. Although there are no absolute academic requirements, and it is possible for a person who is an art enthusiast to start their own company and work in this role, formal postsecondary training is an asset. Studying art history or art and earning a bachelor's degree may offer a distinct advantage when competing for clients or jobs since completing education in a relevant field demonstrates possession of applicable knowledge and commitment to the industry. Art consultants and curators share many common duties and curators are typically expected to have a master's degree.

Required Skills

Art consultants need to have strong sales skills in order to sell art. They benefit from negotiation skills when purchasing artworks for their clients. Customer service skills are crucial because their main objective is to satisfy the needs of their clients. Attention to detail is also important because they need to thoroughly inspect works and verify they are authentic when they are purchasing art.

Career Outlook and Salary

PayScale's listing for art consultants states that as of 2018, these professionals enjoyed a median annual salary of $45,414. This is higher than the average median income for all occupations reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2016, which was $37,040. The BLS provides occupational data for curators, who share many common duties with art consultants. Over a ten-year period starting in 2016 the BLS expects curators will see job growth of 14%. This is twice as fast as the BLS's predicted average rate of job growth of 7% for all occupations during the same ten-year period.

Related Careers

If a future as an art consultant interests you then you may be interested in other careers working with art, such as being a museum technician or an art director, or you may also want to consider opportunities to buy goods on behalf of retailers instead of buying art for clients. Learn more about these other career options through the links provided here.

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