Job type

Antique Dealer

£23k - £52k

Typical salary

39 – 41

Hours per week

Antique dealers buy and sell old objects and collectors' items.

More info

  • Lots of travelling, visiting clients and going to auctions and antique fairs
  • Manage your own time and workload
  • Requires knowledge of antiques and the market, and funds for starting up

Your role will be to find and buy valuable objects that can be sold on to make a profit.


  • Buying items from sale rooms, auctions, markets, trade fairs and private owners
  • Selling items to the general public from shops or from stalls in antique centres
  • Negotiating purchases and sales
  • Buying and selling items online
  • Carrying out minor restoration work
  • Researching the identity and value of objects
  • Advising owners on the value of their antiques for insurance or sales purposes


You could also work from home, buying and selling to meet customer orders. Many antique dealers are self-employed, but you could also work for an established dealer to learn the trade.

You'll need

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 started in the antiques business by working in an antiques shop as an assistant or general worker, working in a salesroom or an auction house as a porter, clerk, cataloguer, valuer or auctioneer, collecting and researching antiques as a hobby then taking a stall at antiques markets or fairs, buying and selling on internet auction sites, or opening a shop.

You could also increase your knowledge by doing degrees, diplomas and short courses in subjects like art history, antiques or decorative arts. Some of the larger auction houses, like Sotheby's Institute of Art and Christie's Education run short courses in art history and the arts market. They also offer more in-depth postgraduate study aimed at graduates wanting to work in the commercial arts market.

The British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA) has information on working as an antique dealer.


You could work with a wide range of objects or specialise in a particular area, like jewellery, glass, memorabilia, furniture or china.