Auctioneer

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Adam, 25

What does an auctioneer do?

Adam has been an auctioneer for three and a half years now, and he prefers to work part-time: "I don't want to be around temperamental buyers and sellers all day, every day." Or night, as the case may be. When there are night sales, Adam starts work at around 4:30 in the afternoon, and prepares for the evening's auction by looking at the auctioneer sheets and learning about the items to be sold. Given how fast an auction can proceed, that could mean learning about 500 different items a night.

How did you become an auctioneer?

Adam first began as an auctioneer accidentally. He was working on the floor when one of the auctioneers didn't show up for his shift, leaving Adam to fill his shoes. "I had no choice. I was roped into it. There was no one else that would or could do it!"

Adam also works as a painting valuer, so a career auctioning paintings, amongst other things, seemed to tie in perfectly with his interests. "The job is really varied because every sale is so different and it certainly keeps you on your toes," he adds.

What sort of skills and qualities do you need?

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a performer and you have a decent speaking voice, then you might enjoy a career as an auctioneer, says Adam. He adds that being an auctioneer is something akin to being an entertainer. You need confidence and an outgoing personality.

What are some of the pros and cons of the job?

There are a lot of things that make the job enjoyable for Adam. "When you sell something that you expect would only make around $500 for $15,000, you surprise not only the seller but yourself as well. It's also great when you can make the auction a bit different and have some fun while you're at it. It doesn't always need to be serious," he adds.

On the other hand, auctioning can have its downsides: "Often people aren't happy about what they've paid for items, or what they've sold them for, and they take it out on me."

In fact, the auctioneer is in a good position to observe human behaviour: "A lot of people would never even consider the psychology involved in auctioning. It's really interesting observing the way people behave when they're trying to get a good deal," says Adam.

Although being an auctioneer is an interesting job, Adam says that the scope to diversify or progress further isn't so great: "You can go into auctioning real estate or possibly move to broadcasting, or advertising on radio, but that's about it."

However, if you are thinking about a career in auctioning, Adam still encourages you to "get up and have a go!"

Find out more

Visit the MyFuture website to find more about duties and tasks, work conditions, earnings and required qualifications for a career in auctioneering.

Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).