Art Valuer

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • assess the condition, quality and age of the object or collection
  • check if objects have been restored or changed in any way
  • check the origin of the object or collection by examining receipts or other proof of how the owner obtained it
  • carry out research, using reference books and the internet
  • consult specialists and historians
  • keep up-to-date with current prices and demand
  • prepare written valuations for clients
  • catalogue items, write notes and condition reports
  • lead auctions and make sure goods are sold for the best price
  • act as an expert witness in disputed cases that have gone to court


You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of the law like trading, consumer rights and property
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • administration & organisational skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

You could complete a degree in a relevant subject, like art history, fine arts and restoration, or fine arts conservation. You could then take professional training in valuation.

You could also do a specialist postgraduate course, like art market and appraisal or arts business, with universities and arts institutes.

Some major auction houses offer internship programmes. Information on placements and work experience is available from the Museums Association.

You could work in an auction house or antiques business as an assistant, porter, or cataloguer and learn through experience and part-time study.

Entry can be very competitive so it’s important to get some work experience. Taking on some voluntary work experience can also help you to get started in this career.

Society of Fine Art Auctioneers And Valuers has a list of auction houses in the UK.

Other Routes
You could join a graduate training scheme with a large auction house. Only a few of these are offered each year.

You’ll usually need a degree in a subject like history of art or fine art, along with relevant art and business experience.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a client’s home, in an office or at a client’s business.

Your working environment may be dusty and you’ll travel often.

Career Path & Progression:

You could become a specialist in a particular period or type of art, move from small to large auction houses or work in a high profile gallery.

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