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Antique dealer

Alternative titles for this job include

Antique dealers buy and sell old objects and collector items.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Antique dealer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • turning a hobby into a job


You could study for a degree in fine arts or art history, although this is not always essential.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You may be able to start by taking part-time or short residential courses to build up your knowledge.

Courses include:

  • antiques
  • history of art
  • fine art
  • decorative arts

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

More Information


You could work in an antiques shop as an assistant to learn on the job.

You could also start in a salesroom or auction house as a porter, clerk, cataloguer, valuer or auctioneer.

Other Routes

You could collect and research antiques as a hobby and then:

  • get a stall at an antiques market or fair
  • buy and sell on the internet
  • open a shop

Some of the larger auction houses, like Sotheby's Institute of Art and Christie's Education, run short courses in art history and the arts market. They also offer more in-depth postgraduate study aimed at graduates wanting to work in the commercial arts market.

More Information

Career tips

You'll need a good knowledge of antiques and the market. Sales skills, the ability to spot items that will sell and having money to start up are likely more important than formal qualifications.

Further information

You can discover more about working in antiques through The British Antique Dealers' Association.

You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to sell products and services
  • persuading and negotiating skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • business management skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day work, you could:

  • buy items from salesrooms, auctions, markets and private owners
  • sell items to the public from shops or from stalls in antique centres
  • negotiate purchases and sales
  • buy and sell items online
  • carry out minor restoration work
  • research the identity and value of objects
  • value antique objects for insurance or sales purposes

Working environment

You could work at antiques fairs, at a store or from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could progress to become a specialist dealer, valuer or auctioneer.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an Antique dealer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

History of Art

  • Provider: READING SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Reading

History of Art

  • Start date: 23 September 2024
  • Location: London

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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