Antique dealer

Retail and customer services

Career outlook for antique dealer

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would find beautiful old objects and furniture, buy them and then sell them to people who will enjoy and re-use them.

You'd identify potentially valuable items at sales, auctions, on the internet and in people's homes, judge their value and negotiate a price.

You'd find out more about the item or repair minor damage. You'd advertise it to collectors and members of the public, convincing someone to buy it at a higher price so that you make a profit.

You might work with a wide range of historical objects or specialise in a particular area that interests you, such as:

  • Jewellery
  • Glass
  • China
  • Furniture
  • Industrial items
  • Paintings
  • Toys
  • Books and records
  • Coins, stamps and old postcards

You would:

  • Buy items from salesrooms, auctions, markets, trade fairs and private owners
  • Sell items to the general public from a shops or a stall in antique centres
  • Negotiate purchases and sales
  • Buy and sell items online
  • Carry out minor restoration work
  • Research the identity and value of objects
  • Advise owners on the value of their antiques for sale or insurance

You could also work from home, buying and selling to suit customer orders.

Working conditions


You would not normally have set working times, and you may have to work long and unsocial hours, including weekends and evenings.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Negotiating
  • Making decisions
  • Attention to detail
  • Recalling
  • Verbal communication
  • Networking
  • Researching
  • Working with numbers

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You do not need formal qualifications however a degree in a relevant subject such as Fine Art, History or History of Fine Art may be helpful.

To enter an relevant history-centred degree (SCFQ Level 9/10) requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND. To enter a Fine Art Degree requires similar qualifications. 

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • History (required by many courses)
  • Art
  • Design & manufacture
  • Maths
  • Languages
  • Business
  • Computing

You will also need

A Fine Art degree may require a portfolio of your work.

Helpful to have

Once in work membership of the British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA) can be useful.