Almost like any other occupation, it’s difficult — if not impossible — to start “at the top.” Said another way, as an auctioneer, you may have to register bidders, clerk, cashier, secure consignments, set up auctions, and any other of a myriad of jobs before securing that job as auctioneer (bid caller.)
We’ve hired dozens of auctioneers to bid call, and I can tell you that while the actual bid call expertise is important, there are far more important factors such as personality, demeanor, attitude, etc. Thousands of auctioneers have reasonable bid calling skills so vocal aptitude alone is not terribly difficult to find.
What is harder to find is bid calling ability along with the appropriate personality, demeanor, and attitude. Auctioneers such as these are usually ones who have experience working other aspects of the business before assuming the role of auctioneer.
The basic “science” of any auction is “you can’t start where you want to finish” and this as well goes for auctioneers wanting to get into this business as auctioneers: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/you-cant-start-where-you-want-to-finish/.
What’s misleading to some is the view that an auctioneer has been the primary bid caller for years, so he or she has always done that. What isn’t seen is this auctioneer worked two other jobs, worked as a ring worker for three years, and then started as a backup auctioneer 20 years ago …
We have written about hiring other auctioneers and that a variety of skills are needed for such employment numerous times including here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/the-9-important-traits-of-a-contract-bid-caller/ and here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/its-easy-to-become-an-auctioneer-but/.
Finally, look at the picture above, or think of any series of steps on a ladder or stairs, and remember to get to the top step, you may have to (or probably have to) step on the lower steps first … your personality, demeanor, attitude, and skills will play a big part in how long it will take to get from that first step to where you want to end up.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.