Art Appraiser

Figure out the true value of artwork.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $98,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Art Appraisers do?

As an Art Appraiser, you determine the authenticity as well as the value of art pieces. In order to do that, you work with other art experts, comparing pieces and finding similarities and differences that make the piece you’re appraising somehow special. You also look for flaws and cracks — anything that wasn’t placed there purposefully by the Artist — in order to figure out the relative value of the piece.

Assuming the artwork is authentic and in good condition, you go one step further and do an evaluation of the market. You take into account former sales by the same Artist, works in the same genre, the climate of the market in general, and the current demand for the Artist, as well as the long-term value of the piece. All of that comes together to form an Art Appraiser’s opinion of the value of a piece of art. Because of the extensive work that goes into this profession, most Art Appraisers subspecialize in one particular kind of art, Artist, time period, or country of origin.

Your appraisals are extremely important. They can determine the desirability of a piece of art and the price point that will be set for it. The work you do involves a lot of research and communication with Art Dealers, Artists, Buyers, museums, and auction houses.

You may end up working in a gallery, museum, or auction house. Alternatively, you can choose to work independently, offering your services to multiple venues. Or maybe you could just get a job traveling around with the Antiques Roadshow, and appraising art for the guy who just bought a Picasso for 10 dollars at a yard sale.

Should I be an Art Appraiser?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Appraiser, Art, Art Objects Repairer

    How to become an Art Appraiser

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Art Appraiser-related education!
    Schools close to

    Careers Similar to Art Appraiser