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Top 10 Tips to Get into an Auction House
From Christies to Paddle
Career 09 Aug 2022

Have you ever dreamed of working in auction house with rare and valuable art pieces ranging from Renaissance artworks to the Contemporary ones? This is definitely the kind of job for those who are thinking about becoming an art connoisseur and of course, passionate about any kind of arts especially in the world of auction houses. There are many ways for you to be able to channel your inner artist, but have you ever thought getting into an art auction house? Now, let’s see what kind of opportunities you have there!

1. Variety of jobs in auction houses
Auction houses are mostly large institutions, hence a variety of different job opportunities offered; administrator, auctioneer, assistants, cataloguer/researcher, customer service representative, registrar, specialist and technician. This is why you don’t always need to be an auctioneer if you want to get into an auction house.
2. No art degree in auction houses? No problem!
Sure, you get better chances if you did major or minor in Art History or Fine Arts, plus another language. But if you didn’t, you could always still increase your chances by taking some courses at art institutes or just leverage your other skills that might be suitable for the non art-related positions as long as you have a strong passion for the arts!
3. Auction school before auction houses
If you really want to be an auctioneer, you can visit an auction school first in order to learn some proper bidding techniques, public speaking, business and marketing and of course legal and tax issues.
4. Learn from people working in auction houses
There is no harm in visiting art previews and auctions, especially if you want to get a job at auction houses. It’s important to see what kind of artworks are usually available for auctions, also to learn from the art auction staff about the value and rarity of certain artworks. Once you visit more than just a couple of auctions already, you can never experience a culture shock once you get into an auction house.
5. Apprenticeship in art auction houses
It is important to have a working experience as an apprentice in the art industry or at an auction house to get the first-hand experience on the market and clients. Who knows, maybe you could gain more personal networkings with like-minded people in the same industry? You have to expose yourself to more opportunities!
6. Auction research.. and action!
Read! Do your own research! To have a certain level of passion for arts is important to get into an auction house, but you also need to develop your own knowledge of the art market and your areas of particular interest by reviewing catalogues from museums, art galleries or auction houses, or even subscribing to academic journals.
7. What’s so interesting in auction house?
Realising what your areas of interest is also crucial in order to develop further expertise before you start approaching specialists and gaining more knowledge from them by being engaged in conversations.
8. Art auction houses needs you to be more aware of art market trends
Attend more art events, museums, galleries and lectures, surround yourself with people working in the same field and make yourself more aware of the current art market trends.
9. Socialize, then you can get into auction houses
This might sound easy but apparently not so many people have it; socializing skills! You will be expected to communicate in a clear manner if you want to get into an auction house. This skill will lead you to good auctions and sales, as well as a good team-work that will be highly valued.
10. Get paid by auction houses
Normally, the starting salaries at auction houses are not really interesting. It will only increase as your career and expertise develop. It is relevant to know that eventually everyone has to start from somewhere, right?

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