Although online auction houses have reduced the importance of auctioneers in the past decade, there are still thousands of outlets for them to ply their trade in the real world. While online auctions provide sellers the opportunity to reach buyers of relatively inexpensive household goods, major auction purchases are still largely brokered by an auction house or overseen by an auctioneer hired to facilitate sales of goods such as high-priced collectibles, livestock, bank repossessions and art.
The average auctioneer earns £24,050 per year as of November 2010, according to Simply Hired, although the salary range for the profession is a wide one. Auctioneer earnings may vary between £21,012 and £48,747 in 2010, according to PayScale, which tracks conventional wage and salary earnings as well as bonuses and commissions for auctioneers.
Auctioneers often specialise in selling one type of good, and structure their auction houses and marketing efforts to fit that niche. Auctioneers who specialise in real estate sales may expect an annual salary in the range of £23,252 and £49,448 as of 2010, according to PayScale. Those who focus their efforts on automobile auctions may receive higher earnings, with an annual salary range of £29,757 to £68,554. Self-employed auctioneers have the potential to earn more than those employed by a company, topping out at £49,596 and £46,471, respectively, although self-employed auctioneers also face the possibility of lower earnings. The bottom range for a company-employed auctioneer's annual salary is £24,987, while self-employed auctioneers may earn as little as £19,161.
The earnings of auctioneers vary by the market in which they practice their trade. The average yearly salary for auctioneers in Colorado is £30,904 as of November 2010, according to Salary Expert, while those in Illinois average £38,471 per year. While those states represented the extremes presented by Salary Expert, five states reported median incomes between £33,109 and £35,804 annually. Each state reporting to Salary Expert listed an average salary higher than that listed as the national average by Simply Hired.
The longer they operate, the longer auctioneers have to build up a base of buyers for their auctions, which helps boost overall sales. Because many auctioneers are paid on commission, this helps more established auctioneers earn more than those just starting. Those with 20 or more years in the business boast annual earnings between £33,406 and £68,981 as of November 2010, according to PayScale. In contrast, those with one to four years’ experience make between £18,362 and £39,000.