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Can a Felon Be an Auctioneer?

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You might have gone to an estate sale at some point and encountered someone standing up front, talking in a rapid fire manner and taking bids for items at the sale. Maybe you have a fascination with this style of talking and the sale process and wonder if you can get a job like this. 

Thinking about being an auctioneer? Let’s take a look at whether you can become an auctioneer with a felony.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

  • What Does an Auctioneer Do?
  • Requirements to Become an Auctioneer
  • Is a License Required?
  • Is There a Background Check?
  • Will a Felony Eliminate You as an Auctioneer?
  • Meeting the Challenge


What Does an Auctioneer Do?

An auction is a sale in one location. Auctioneers sell items at auctions to individuals who place the highest bid.

An auctioneer performs many duties. He or she gathers the items for sale and helps separate them into lots to be bid on.

Auctioneers set a sound system and test it prior to beginning of an auction. An auctioneer starts each item at a predetermined price. All money that is to be collected at the end of the auction is collected by the auctioneer.

An auctioneer is generally paid through a commission based on gross receipts of each auction. An auctioneer might earn up to 15% of proceeds at an antiques auction, for example.  

Some auctioneers specialize in various kinds of inventory, including antiques, autos, and business equipment.  

Requirements to Become an Auctioneer

To be an auctioneer, you can’t just have a glib tongue and be a rapid talker. There is much to learn and training so that you can reach that goal. 

You must attend an auctioneer school. The National Auctioneers Association has a list of sanctioned schools that typically last for a few weeks or months.

After completing auctioneer schooling, you can start your career by entering a professional organization. It would help to work a job while starting as an auctioneer for financial support. You may want to work for an auction house or company to gain experience.  

You must gain experience in public speaking and how to control your voice. You need to learn the basics of auctioneering and record keeping.  

Many who become an auctioneer work as an apprentice for another experienced auctioneer. You must be familiar with local and state auction regulations and licensing laws. It would help to have a resume that shows having worked in charity auctions for experience.  

Is a License Required?

Almost half of all states do not license auctioneers

  • To be eligible for an auctioneer license in most states that require a license, you must: 
  • Be at least 18 years old 
  • Be a citizen of the U.S. or a legal resident
  • Have a high school diploma or a GED 
  • Not have been convicted of a felony within five years of the application  
  • Complete 80 hours of classroom instruction in an auctioneer school approved by the auctioning board  
  • Pass an auctioneer licensing exam 

Is There a Background Check?

Yes, there is a background check. After being released and looking for a job, you have encountered this regulation over and over.

Auctioneer laws require that all applicants must not be convicted of a felony up to five years before the date of the application.  

So, when it comes to acquiring the education and training to become an auctioneer, you will be asked if you have any criminal convictions on your record. You must answer this honestly. 

Failure to be honest here will result in being denied the opportunity to pursue an auctioneer career if the background check turns up an undisclosed conviction. 

Will a Felony Eliminate You as an Auctioneer?

A felon can be an auctioneer in a state that requires a license. An applicant must be honest about the past and in answering any questions on the application for an auctioneer license.  

Licensing agencies like the National Auctioneers Association often ask about previous crimes and reserve the right to require an explanation.  

The severity of the crime, how long ago the crime was committed, and what the applicant has done since the conviction will make a difference in this case. So, give yourself the best chance at success by answering honestly. 

Meeting the Challenge

Your conviction is part of the public record and cannot be hidden from view. You need to be aware of this fact. You shouldn’t try and hide the conviction, but you don’t have to dwell on it either. As you tell your story, be honest, but let your criminal record be part of the details.

It was a time in your life when you made mistakes. Then you came to a decision to live your life differently, with getting a job as an auctioneer as your goal for the future.

If you are thinking about becoming an auctioneer, take time to present yourself in a favorable light. You can run a background check on yourself to know what a potential employer might see about you.  

You can also seek to have your criminal record expunged if you qualify. This will allow you to honestly state that you do not have a conviction on your record.  

You have made some mistakes. However, you are not defined by those mistakes but in how you recover from them. Give yourself a chance and don’t get discouraged. 

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to become an auctioneer with a felony on your record? What was that like, and how did you achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.

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