Antique Dealer

Antique dealers buy and sell old objects and collectors' items.

Average salary (a year)

Variable

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed away from home

How to become an 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

University

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 for a degree

More information

College

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

Work

You could work in an antiques shop as an assistant, learning 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 take a stall at an antiques market or fair, buy and sell on the internet, or 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 saleable items, and funds for starting up are likely to be more important than formal qualifications.

Further information

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

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
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • buying items from salesrooms, auctions, markets, trade fairs and private owners
  • selling items to the general public from shops or from stalls in antique centres
  • negotiating purchases and sales
  • buying and selling items online
  • carrying out minor restoration work
  • researching the identity and value of objects
  • advising owners on the value of their antiques for insurance or sales purposes

Working environment

You could work at a store or from home.

Your working environment may be crowded and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

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

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: Wales High School
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location:

Art History - Great Art and Artists

  • Provider: COMMUNITY LEARNING AND SKILLS
  • Start date: 02 October 2019
  • Location: Canterbury

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