How to become an Auctioneer

Auctioneers conduct sales at which property or goods are sold to the person offering the highest purchase price.

Personal requirements for an Auctioneer

  • Strong, clear voice
  • Able to make quick, sound decisions
  • Self-confidence
  • Able to address large groups of people

Education & Training for an Auctioneer

You can work as an auctioneer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Training and experience in real estate may be an advantage when seeking employment and training opportunities. State and territory real estate institutes offer short courses and professional development for real estate practitioners who wish to specialise in auctioneering. The Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia also offers courses in auctioneering and valuation practice. Contact the association for details.


Additional information

To conduct a business or property auction you must be a licensed real estate agent or agent's representative. See the separate entry for Real Estate Salesperson for full details. Auctioneers of dangerous or sensitive goods, such as firearms or live animals, may require additional licences.

Duties & Tasks of an Auctioneer

Auctioneers:

  • Check the property or articles for auction
  • Organise the display of merchandise for inspection before the auction
  • Talk to vendors (sellers) to determine the lowest price at which the vendor is prepared to sell (the 'reserve price')
  • Read out the terms and conditions of sale at auctions and, if necessary, present relevant documents
  • Comment on any special features of the item being sold, call a starting price and ask for the first bid
  • Ask for bids and carefully adjust the amount by which bids are advanced until the item being sold goes 'under the hammer' to the highest bidder
  • Supervise the work of others as sales are finalised at the auction.

Tasks

  • Appraises and lists property for auction..
  • Closes sales to the highest bidders..
  • Accepts bids from potential buyers..
  • Consults vendors and sets reserve prices..
  • Asks for or sets opening bids..
  • Describes property presented and the conditions of sale..
  • Organises advertising, catalogues and other publicity for auctions..

Working conditions for an Auctioneer

Auctioneers may be required to travel to inspect property or merchandise, or to visit prospective clients. They usually stand on a platform during auctions so they can be clearly heard and seen by all the people present. They need to be thoroughly familiar with the property or goods they are offering for sale so they can recommend a realistic reserve price to vendors. Sometimes they work outdoors (for example, when involved in an auction of livestock or real estate auctioned on site). They may also work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.


Employment Opportunities for an Auctioneer

Auctioneers are employed by auctioneering firms, valuers or real estate agents, stock agents and produce firms. Some work alone or in partnership as consultants. Many people gain experience as an auctioneer's clerk before becoming an auctioneer. Employment opportunities for auctioneers may change during periods of economic growth, although work is still available during periods of low growth, particularly when firms and individuals become insolvent and have to sell their assets to pay off debts. There is also a shift within the industry towards greater use of the internet and online auctions.


Specializations

Auctioneers may specialise in selling certain types of goods such as livestock, produce, real estate, vehicles, plant machinery and equipment, antiques and general household items. Some auctioneers may also specialise in online auctions.


Auctioneer

Auctioneers conduct sales at which property or goods are sold to the person offering the highest purchase price.

  • Average age
    Average age
    46 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    11% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    49 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,405
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    83% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    630 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.9%
    NSW: 34.7%
    NT: 0.8%
    QLD: 21.9%
    SA: 9.0%
    TAS: 2.4%
    VIC: 22.5%
    WA: 6.8%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.5%
    20-24: 4.5%
    25-34: 17.3%
    35-44: 23.6%
    45-54: 23.1%
    55-59: 10.4%
    60-64: 9%
    65 and Over: 11.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 12.4%
    Bachelor degree: 12.3%
    Certificate III/IV: 23.6%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.7%
    Year 10 and below: 14.8%
    Year 11: 7%
    Year 12: 27.2%
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