Outside sales representatives: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
Outside sales representatives spend much of their time traveling to and visiting with current clients and prospective buyers. During a sales call, they discuss the clients needs and suggest how they can meet those needs with merchandise or services. They may show samples or catalogs that describe items their company provides, and they may inform customers about the prices and availability of the products they are selling and the ways in which their products can save money and boost productivity.
- Education Required
- A high school diploma is typically sufficient for many positions, primarily those selling nontechnical or scientific products. However, representatives selling scientific and technical products usually must have a bachelors degree. Scientific and technical products include pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, and industrial equipment. A degree in a field related to the product sold, such as chemistry, biology, or engineering, is sometimes required.
- Training Required
- Many companies have formal training programs for beginning wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives. These programs may last up to 1 year. In some, trainees rotate among jobs in plants and offices in order to learn all phases of producing, installing, and distributing the product. In others, trainees receive formal technical instruction at the plant, followed by on-the-job training under the supervision of a field sales manager.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 6% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- Frequently, promotion takes the form of an assignment to a larger account or territory, for which commissions are likely to be greater. Those who have good sales records and leadership ability may advance to higher level positions, such as sales manager, sales supervisor, district manager, or vice president of sales.
- The Certified Professional Manufacturers Representative (CPMR) certification and the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification are both offered by the Manufacturers Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF). Certification typically involves completing formal technical training and passing an exam. In addition, the CPMR requires 10 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification.
- Median pay: How much do Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives make?
- $60,530 Annual Salary
- $29.10 per hour
Careers for Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives
- Bottling equipment sales representatives
- Chemical sales representatives
- Electroplating sales representatives
- Freight brokers
- Hotel supplies salespersons
- Inside sales representatives
- Manufacturers' representatives
- Mortician supplies sales representatives
- Pharmaceutical detailers
- Surgical instruments sales representatives
- Wholesale diamond brokers
- Wholesale ultrasonic equipment salespersons
- Advertising Sales Agents
- Customer Service Representatives
- Insurance Sales Agents
- Public Relations Specialists
- Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents
- Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
- Retail Sales Workers
- Sales Engineers
- Sales Managers
- Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents