Typical requirements for licensure include auction school, a test, fees, bonding, background check, serving an apprenticeship and/or periodic continuing education.
The other “about one-half” of the states in the United States don’t license auctioneers to any significant degree, or at all.
Some of these non-license states require a permit by county or municipality, or possibly require a license for certain types of auctions, but not much more.
In those states which license auctioneers in a statewide fashion, there is typically a body known as the “state auctioneers commission” or board, which is setup to oversee and guide the auctioneer licensing program in the state.
For instance, Ohio’s state auctioneer commission is charged with the following duties:
- Establish requirements and standards for courses of study in auctioneering and approve such institutions
- Administer the oral exam of the auctioneer license test
- Use any moneys from the auction education fund to advance and underwrite education and research in the auction field
- Form subcommittees for purposes of research, education, and promotion of the auctioneering profession
- Advise the director on actions of the director as required
What this necessarily means is that a commission is typically not involved in administrative issues — such as issuing licenses, investigating complaints, interpreting laws and the like.
The members of a state auctioneers commission usually must hold a license in the subject state with a minimum number of years experience. As well, most state auctioneers commission members are limited to a certain maximum number of terms of service. Some states require no more than a simple majority from any one political party.
Ohio’s state auctioneers commission meets a minimum of 4 times per year, and is paid $100 per meeting. Some similar commissions and boards pay more than that, and some pay nothing at all.
Why would someone want to serve on a state auctioneers commission? A sense of giving back? Duty? Prestige? Passion? I suspect most all possess those motivations.
We applaud those serving on state auctioneers commissions and the like; those involved help shape auctioneering in the United States and set a good example for all auctioneers.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.