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Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products
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Description: what do they do?
Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, chemistry, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of postsecondary education.
Also known as:
Inside Sales Representative, Marketing Representative, Sales Representative

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: Most salespeople use their product knowledge, customer service skills, and confidence to persuade potential customers to buy a product…. But unlike those who sell directly to consumers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. They sell products from wholesalers or manufacturers, including food, office supplies, and clothing, as well as technical and scientific products, such as agricultural and mechanical equipment, computers, or pharmaceuticals. Wholesale and manufacturing sales reps typically contact potential customers, explain the features of their products, negotiate prices, and answer customers’ questions. After making a sale, representatives may follow-up to ensure customer satisfaction, or to help train the customers’ employees on how to use new equipment. They also analyze sales statistics, write up reports, and handle duties such as filing expense accounts, scheduling appointments, and making travel plans. Most wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives work full time, and many work more than 40 hours per week. They often have sales quotas to meet… their income and job security may depend directly on the amount of product they sell. For non-technical product sales, a high school diploma is considered an entry level qualification. For scientific or technical products, sales representatives typically need a related bachelor’s degree.
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Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Vermont
400
2018 Employment
390
2028 Employment
-3%
Percent change
40
Annual projected job openings
United States
321,000
2019 Employment
334,000
2029 Employment
4%
Percent change
30,700
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2019 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2029 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    Please note that these projections do not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different projections due to the rapidly changing economy. When revised data are available, they will be published here.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2019-29.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products in Vermont
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationVermontUnited States
10%$40,220$41,080
25%$52,150$57,050
Median$81,920$81,020
75%$112,950$117,560
90%$154,590$158,580


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2019.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Negotiate prices or other sales terms.
  • Prepare sales or other contracts.
  • Process sales or other transactions.
  • Contact current or potential customers to promote products or services.
  • Sell products or services.
  • Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
  • Maintain records of customer accounts.
  • Answer customer questions about goods or services.
  • Estimate costs or terms of sales.
  • Explain technical product or service information to customers.
  • Demonstrate products to consumers.
  • Discuss design or technical features of products or services with technical personnel.
  • Recommend products or services to customers.
  • Develop content for sales presentations or other materials.
  • Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.
  • Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
  • Arrange delivery of goods or services.
  • Identify potential customers.
  • Coordinate sales campaigns.
  • Share sales-related or market information with colleagues.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services.
  • Verify customer credit information.
  • Study product information to acquire professional knowledge.
  • Distribute promotional literature or samples to customers.
  • Stock products or parts.
  • Monitor market conditions or trends.
  • Attend events to develop professional knowledge.
  • Monitor sales activities.
  • Deliver promotional presentations to current or prospective customers.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Negotiate prices or terms of sales or service agreements.
  • Prepare and submit sales contracts for orders.
  • Visit establishments to evaluate needs or to promote product or service sales.
  • Sell service contracts for technical or scientific products.
  • Maintain customer records, using automated systems.
  • Answer customers' questions about products, prices, availability, or credit terms.
  • Quote prices, credit terms, or other bid specifications.
  • Contact new or existing customers to discuss how specific products or services can meet their needs.
  • Emphasize product features, based on analyses of customers' needs and on technical knowledge of product capabilities and limitations.
  • Compute customer's installation or production costs and estimate savings from new services, products, or equipment.
  • Demonstrate the operation or use of technical or scientific products.
  • Provide feedback to product design teams so that products can be tailored to clients' needs.
  • Select or assist customers in selecting products based on customer needs, product specifications, and applicable regulations.
  • Prepare sales presentations or proposals to explain product specifications or applications.
  • Complete expense reports, sales reports, or other paperwork.
  • Verify that delivery schedules meet project deadlines.
  • Identify prospective customers, using business directories, leads from existing clients, participation in organizations, or trade show or conference attendance.
  • Arrange for installation and testing of products or machinery.
  • Inform customers of estimated delivery schedules, service contracts, warranties, or other information pertaining to purchased products.
  • Initiate sales campaigns to meet sales and production expectations.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to exchange information, such as selling strategies or marketing information.
  • Provide customers with ongoing technical support.
  • Advise customers on product usage to improve production.
  • Obtain building blueprints or specifications for use by engineering departments in bid preparations.
  • Verify customer credit ratings.
  • Consult with engineers regarding technical problems with products.
  • Sell technical and scientific products that are environmentally sound or designed for environmental remediation.
  • Study documentation or other information for new scientific or technical products.
  • Stock or distribute resources, such as samples or promotional or educational materials.
  • Attend sales or trade meetings or read related publications to obtain information about market conditions, business trends, environmental regulations, or industry developments.
  • Visit establishments, such as pharmacies, to determine product sales.
  • Present information to customers about the energy efficiency or environmental impact of scientific or technical products.
  • Inform customers about issues related to responsible use and disposal of products, such as waste reduction or product or byproduct recycling or disposal.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.