There are a few things you need to learn to become an auctioneer. You can
pick up the basics, including the fast-paced chant -- "Who'll bid 10? Do I
hear 10? Now 20? Who's gonna bid 20?"-- at an auction school. These types
of programs typically last one or two weeks.
"Auction schools only give a student the basics of the profession. It may
take years of practice to develop a good chant," says Buddy Updike. He is
an auctioneer and instructor. "And it will take years to develop a business
strong enough to make a full-time auction living."
In addition to the two-week course at auction schools, how much additional
schooling is necessary? The answer depends on where you live and what it is
you want to auction.
According to the National Auctioneers Association, many states require
attendance at an auction school before granting an auctioneer's license.
Also, some states require annual continuing education classes.
Auctioneer Brent Voorheis recommends classes in speech, communications,
accounting, history and math to help a student succeed in the auction
business. He adds that these are not as important as a good mental attitude
for those interested in the profession.
"If they wish to be an antique auctioneer, they should read about or collect
antiques, collectibles and furniture," says Updike. "If they live on a farm,
perhaps they will be interested in farm machinery auctions."
Try to get a weekend job at an auction house. That'll help you get good
You'll eventually need to know a bit about computers. "Computers are here
in all phases of the auction business. [Those who want to become auctioneers]need
to be computer-literate and Internet-literate. Both are going to be the
future of the auction business," Updike says.
Expenses vary. There will be the cost of room and board for the
two weeks of the school's session. Also, you may have to buy a sound system
and pay for clerking, cashiering and signs.
However, a sound system is, "not needed until they actually start their
careers," Updike adds.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Sales
Careers in the Auction Profession
Lots of related information
National Auctioneers Association
Check out the education information