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Program Description

Just the Facts

Auctioneering. A program that prepares individuals for professional careers as auctioneers and auction managers, and for meeting applicable state licensing requirements. Includes instruction in bid calling, public speaking, ringworking, auction techniques, salesmanship skills, auction clerking and cashiering, auction advertising, working independently or with auction houses, contracts and agency, applicable sales law, and managing both general auctions and auctions specializing in commodities such as antiques, consignments, farm equipment, industrial equipment, real estate, livestock, and automobiles.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

Additional Information

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 experience.

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 Worker Supervisors

Careers in the Auction Profession
Lots of related information

National Auctioneers Association
Check out the education information