What Is an Art Valuation Degree?

Read about the different degree programs that can help to prepare you for a career in art valuation or appraising. Find information on online study options and career opportunities. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Training Could I Pursue for This Profession?

There is no single educational path to becoming an art appraiser. Taking a course in art valuation will prepare you to conduct research on a work of art and on consumer demand for the art in order to make an appraisal of its worth. However, you'll also need to be versed in the business and legal requirements for the industry.

Undergraduate programs in art or art business could provide a useful foundation, but you'll want to look at certificate programs or less conventional institutions for training in art valuation specifically. For instance, some schools offer certificates in this field, and a large auction house in New York City offers a master's degree. Many law schools offer courses in art law. These courses cover topics like art valuation and fraud. Appraisers often work with lawyers, so you will not necessarily have to enroll in such advanced or detailed training.

After gaining the credentials and experience outlined by a professional association, you can complete the steps to become certified by that organization as an art appraiser. Certification training is where many courses that are specific to art valuation can be completed. You will need to find out if your state has requirements for certification or not, but it's not a bad idea to take the extra training regardless.

Program Levels Certificate program, bachelor's degree, master's degree
Certification Options Organization-based certification is available
Online Availability Some courses may be available online
Possible Careers Art expert, auction house employee, art consultant
Job Duties Art research, price selection, appraisal
Median Salary (2018)$65,670 (for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)1% decline (for all claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Take Classes Online for This Field of Study?

It is difficult to find a complete program online, but you can take some art valuation classes, workshops and seminars online. Many such courses are offered by professional appraisal organizations. Universities frequently offer online undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history, art education and other related fields. Depending on the institution and the type of class you sign up for, some courses can be attended live or asynchronously, so be sure to choose a style that is comfortable to you.

What Can I Do After I Finish Studying?

Working exclusively as an art appraiser might be unlikely; art valuation is more likely to be one of several duties you'll perform as an art expert. After finishing an art program in school, start to determine what job opportunities or internships are available with galleries, auction houses, consulting agencies and similar business entities. Maybe you'll land a recurring role on 'Antiques Roadshow'!

What Is Art Valuation?

Art valuation, also known as art appraisal, is detective work. It is the process of determining a financial value for a work of art. Selecting a right price for artwork involves researching how well it has sold in the past and predicting how it would perform if placed on the market again.

Who Hires Art Appraisers?

People consult art appraisers when they are interested in selling a piece of art, determining its current value for insurance purposes, donating it to receive a tax deduction or learning the market value for any similar purpose. Virtually anyone who deals with art could hire an appraiser at some point. This includes individual collectors as well as institutions such as art museums and auction houses.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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