Job Highlight: Antique Dealer

Do you love scrounging through your grandmother’s attic? Are you a history buff? Were things simply made better 100 years ago? If this sounds like you, then an antique dealer could be a fine job!

The main skill in antique careers is all about knowing details. Knowing what items are worth, how to market them and sell them is the key to success. Having some background in sales and a passion for historic relics is the perfect makeup for this profession.

There are tons of options and specialties too – vintage clothing, art, rare books, jewelry and collectibles to name a few. You can select one area or be a general dealer, depending on the market for your skills and your own personal interests.

Antique dealers must truly be experts. This is not a used car salesmen style career. You have to know what you have to sell it best. It is a busy job geared toward direct contact with clients. It requires long hours with an erratic schedule, working odd times and weekends. Many are self-employed and spend vast amounts of time acquiring inventory, researching items, and managing the business side. Some do work for other larger antique stores, but if they don’t, they have to usually put up large sums of money for their inventory. This can create a lot of risk.

Good educational choices are a degree in history, arts, design as well as some background in business or marketing. Internships can also help you build experience. A lot of your expertise comes from personal research and passion for antiques. Jobs as assistants to dealers are a great foot in the door.

Salaries tend to be on the lower side, ranging from $20,000 to $60,000 a year. Most individuals in this profession choose it as a labor of love, not for the money.

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