Pawnbroker

Appraise items customers bring and loan them reasonable amounts for them.
picture of Pawnbroker

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $73,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Pawnbrokers do?

A Pawnbroker operates a pawnshop where he or she loans money to customers who offer up valuable personal possessions as collateral. Just as people go to a Loan Officer at a bank when they need money for big-ticket items, like a house, car, or business, they go to a Pawnbroker when they need quick cash — to settle a debt, pay a bill, or otherwise purchase something they need or want.

When you’re a Pawnbroker, the valuables you accept as collateral could be almost anything. Commonly pawned items, for instance, include jewelry, electronics, furs, furniture, tools, antiques, and collectibles, such as baseball cards, coins, stamps, and comic books.

In exchange for money, people give you these items with the intent of eventually coming back to reclaim them. And they can, provided they repay their loan — with interest — within the agreed-upon timeframe. If they don’t, you’re entitled to keep the item and sell it.

That’s how the pawning process works. Your job as a Pawnbroker, however, is a lot more complicated than exchanging cash for collectibles. In order to be successful as a Small Business Owner, you’ve got to run your business profitably and lawfully.

Doing that requires studying and memorizing the laws regulating your industry, which govern what items can and can’t be pawned, and cooperating with Police Officers looking for stolen property. And, of course, it requires being a skilled Appraiser: To make money, you’ve got to know what items are and aren’t valuable, which items are real and which are fake, and what items are worth in the current marketplace.


Should I be a Pawnbroker?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Social: You're happiest working on teams or with other people.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • How to become a Pawnbroker

    We recommend at least a Certificate. Check out these schools offering Pawnbroker-related education!
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