How to Become an Art Auctioneer?

By The Arty Teacher - November 4, 1989

What is an Art Auctioneer?

An art auctioneer is a skilled professional responsible for overseeing and conducting auctions of fine art, collectibles, and valuable items. Their primary role is to manage the auction process, engage with potential buyers, and facilitate the sale of art pieces to the highest bidder. Art auctioneers play a crucial role in the art market, employing their knowledge of art history, market trends, and effective salesmanship to generate interest and competitive bidding. They work in prestigious auction houses, galleries, or as independent auctioneers, using their expertise to ensure that valuable artworks are sold at fair market prices while creating an atmosphere of excitement and competitiveness during the auction event.

What Skills does an Art Auctioneer need?

You’ll need to develop great public speaking skills, be knowledgeable about different types of art, and have a keen eye for recognising valuable pieces. You’ll also need to be good at engaging with people and creating excitement during auctions.

What Qualification does an Art Auctioneer Need?

Most aspiring art auctioneers pursue a bachelor’s degree in art history, business, or a related field to gain foundational knowledge of art and business practices. Following this, they often undertake specialised auctioneer training programs or apprenticeships to learn the practical skills required for conducting auctions. Communication and public speaking skills are essential, as art auctioneers need to engage with diverse audiences worldwide. Additionally, staying updated on art market trends, artists, and art history is crucial, as it enhances their expertise in evaluating and valuing artworks.

What Next?

Building a CV to become an art auctioneer while still a student involves a combination of education and practical experiences. Here are some steps students can take to prepare for a career in this field:

  1. Academic Foundation: Maintain a strong academic record, particularly in subjects related to art, business, and communication.
  2. Art History Courses: Take art history classes to develop a strong understanding of different art movements, styles, and artists.
  3. Business and Economics Courses: Gain knowledge in business and economics to understand the financial aspects of art auctions.
  4. Public Speaking Skills: Hone your public speaking and presentation skills, as effective communication is a key part of the auctioneer’s role.
  5. Auction House Internship: Seek internships or part-time positions at auction houses, galleries, or art dealerships to gain hands-on experience and learn about the art auction process. Simply phone and ask what you could do.
  6. Cataloging and Valuation Experience: Participate in cataloging art pieces and assessing their value, which are fundamental skills for an art auctioneer.
  7. Networking: Attend art events, auctions, and industry conferences to build connections and learn from experienced professionals.
  8. Art Market Research: Stay informed about the current art market trends, art sales records, and notable artists.
  9. Auctioneer Training: Consider enrolling in formal auctioneer training programs or courses that teach the techniques and strategies for conducting successful auctions.
  10. Membership in Auctioneer Associations: Join auctioneer associations and organisations to access resources, networking opportunities, and industry standards.
  11. Digital Skills: Familiarise yourself with auction software and online platforms, as online auctions are increasingly prevalent in the art world.
  12. Leadership and Sales Experience: Build leadership and sales skills through extracurricular activities, such as participating in clubs or teams related to public speaking or entrepreneurship.
  13. Study Auction Records: Analyse past auction records and outcomes to understand the factors that influence bidding and sale prices.
  14. Create a Portfolio: Document your coursework, internship experiences, and achievements in a professional portfolio to showcase your skills and knowledge.

By taking these steps and actively seeking opportunities to gain experience and knowledge in the field, students can prepare themselves for a successful career as an art auctioneer and begin to build a strong CV.

Interesting Links:

How To Sell Multimillion-Dollar Art At Christie’s

Welcome to Livestreamed Auctions at Sotheby’s

Popular Art Lessons on this Website

Zendoodle Feathers
Art Lesson Plans for Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns Watercolour
Surrealist Art Project
mark making animals

If you have enjoyed this article about ‘What is an auctioneer?’, why not register to receive my newsletter and hear about future articles? You’ll be able to download 3 of my free art lessons every month too.

register on the arty teacher

Enjoy this article, Drop it a like


Or Share it

The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More Resources you might like...

Subscribe & save in any currency!

Basic Subscription

Register and you can download 3 of the Free Resources Every Month!

3 Free Resources

Premium Subscription
$9.99 Per month $99 Per year


Save money and get 10 resources of your choice every month. The yearly subscription is the best value.

Save over 66%

School Subscription
Free Per year Free Per year Free Per year Free Per year Free Per year Free Per year Free Per year Free Per year Free Per year


For departments with 2 or more members. Subscribe for a total of 2 teachers to download 10 resources each month.

save over 5% save over 5% save over 5% save over 7% save over 7% save over 7% save over 10% save over 10% save over 10%