How do you learn the auction business?
Many auctioneers got their start working as a clerk or bid caller for the family auction business. Some NAA members now run businesses that have been in their family for two or three consecutive generations. Many auction companies continue to be family-held endeavors, with extended family members helping organize and staff sales.
If you haven’t been involved in a family auction business, there are two other ways to learn the trade.
- First, there are dozens of auction schools and programs, either independent institutions or programs that are affiliated with a community or four-year college.
Schooling can last for a couple weeks or as long as a college semester. You can expect to learn the trademark auctioneer chant, how to market your services and sales and how to get started in the auction business. The NAA has developed a growing list of auction schools from across North America.
- A second option is to gain practical experience as an apprentice under an experienced auctioneer. Apprentice auctioneers assist in organizing and running sales, and learn many of the crucial day-to-day operations of running an auction business.
Either option also includes holding a high school diploma or a GED. Some auctioneers find completing some additional education, either through a local community college or four-year institution, helpful.
Your choice of education could largely depend upon the licensing requirements for auctioneers in your state. Many states that require licensing for auctioneers only accept educational credit from specific auction schools or programs. Often licensing boards will waive the educational credits if an applicant served as an apprenticeship under a licensed auctioneer. Required apprenticeships can range in length from conducting a few auctions under an auctioneer’s guidance to one or more years. Call your state government offices to determine if your state has auctioneer licensing laws and educational requirements.
Courtesy of the National Auctioneers Association