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Art valuer

Art valuers give advice on how much a piece of art or a collection of art is worth.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,500 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need in-depth knowledge of your art specialism and the antiques market.

You could:

  • work in an auction house or antiques business as an assistant, porter, or cataloguer and learn and study on the job
  • join a graduate training scheme with a large auction house - you’ll usually need a degree in a subject like history of art or fine art, and relevant art and business experience
  • complete a degree in a relevant subject, like art history, fine arts and restoration, or fine arts conservation, and take some valuation training

Paid or unpaid work experience would be helpful.

The Museums Association has information on placements and work experience.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • excellent maths and IT skills
  • research skills
  • a strong eye for detail

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • assessing the condition, quality and age of the object or collection
  • checking if objects have been restored or changed in any way
  • checking the origin of the object or collection by examining receipts or other proof of how the owner obtained it
  • carrying out research, using reference books and the internet
  • consulting specialists and historians
  • keeping up-to-date with current prices and demand
  • preparing written valuations for clients
  • preparing catalogues and run auctions
  • acting as an expert witness in disputed cases which have gone to court

4. Salary

Starter: £18,500

Experienced: £22,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll often work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.

You’ll be based in an office in a dealership or auction house.

You’ll also travel to clients' homes or businesses to carry out valuations. You may travel locally, nationally or overseas, depending on your clients.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could set up your own business, offering a valuation service as well as buying and selling fine arts and antiques.

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Last updated: 13 December 2016