Antique dealers are involved in buying and selling old objects and collector's items. They will buy items from auctions, salesrooms, trade fairs and private sellers and will negotiate purchase prices which will allow them to sell them onto the general public from a shop, stall or antiques centre. They will also advise owners on the value of their antiques forinsurance or sales purposes. Some antiques dealers may carry out minor restoration work if required.
There are various courses that you could take at college or university which will help you become an antique dealer or you could work in an antiques shop as an assistant and learn on the job
You could do a course in fine art, antiques or decorative arts.
You will usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs (including Maths and English) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.
The following local colleges offer courses in Art and Design:
- City College Norwich
- East Coast College
- One Sixth Form College
- Suffolk New College
- The College of West Anglia
- West Suffolk College
Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.
You could study for a degree in fine arts or art history, although this is not always essential.
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree. Entry requirements for courses vary, so you should check with individual colleges or universities.
Click here to search for a suitable course.
You'll need a good knowledge of antiques and the market. Sales skills, the ability to spot saleable items, and funds for starting up are likely to be more important than formal qualifications.
You could get a part time job or volunteer in an antiques shop as an assistant or general worker.
You should have an interest in collecting and researching antiques as a hobby then taking a stall at antiques markets or fairs, buying and selling on the internet.
The British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA) has information on working as an antique dealer.
Career Path and Progression
You could progress to become a specialist dealer, valuer or auctioneer.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Art gallery curator
- Art valuer
- Watch or clock repairer
- A strong interest in historical items and antiques
- Willingness to research
- Good negotiation skills
- Good judgement
- Able to make a quick decision
- Good commercial awareness
- A passion for antiques