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Five Careers in Sales: Description and Pay

career in sales two men on computer

Almost everybody knows someone with a career in sales, and almost everybody knows someone with a job in sales who absolutely hates that job. But not every job in sales means endless work with little pay reward or hard rejection at every corner.

In fact, there are probably more careers in sales that pay extremely well than there are ones that pay below reasonable means. If you’re looking to get started in sales and need some direction, here are five areas within sales with salaries that make them worth it. 

1. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Being a pharmaceutical sales representative is one of the most sought-after sales positions in America today. Mostly, it’s because of the opportunity for high payment rewards within this field. In order to become a sales representative in this field, you do not need to have a background in medicine or pharmacology. You do, however, need a degree from a respected university. And, more importantly, you need a strong mind that can think quickly on one’s feet and remember information well. With all the complexities in modern medications, there is no room for a slip-up in this field.

Pharmaceutical sales reps make the “big bucks” because they are doing the hard, risky work. A typical job in this career has an average salary of $132,944 per year because they are risking potential litigation or harassment if they mistake any information or intricacies within that which they are selling. That’s why this type of sales career is not an easy one to get. However, if you are smart and strong in high-pressure situations, this just could be the dream job for you. 

2. Realtor 

Real estate sales jobs are highly profitable (earning an average of $100,000 per year) and sought after in today’s world. Realtors can work either for the buyers or the sellers on the market, it truly does not matter which one. In the process of selling a home or property to someone, realtors handle everything from listing the property online to hosting open houses to finalizing the closing paperwork.

Realtors also handle the very important job of taking care of the marketing. This means getting strong, professional photography of the property’s interior and exterior, keeping up with the necessary fixes and upgrades a property may require in order to be sold, and managing the overall look and feel of a property during a showing or open house events. But being a realtor is not just about the property. Being a successful realtor involves being good at managing relationships.

In order to sell an expensive piece of property, the saying “the house sells itself” does not really apply. When people are making large, risky (in some cases) purchases such as buying their first home or an office building, they want to feel assured. They want to buy from someone who is prepared and who knows the business and the property inside and out. They want someone that can connect with them and show their understanding of potential concerns or fears.  

3. Account Manager

Account managers hold a job that can intertwine a wonderful mixture of sales, marketing, public relations, or really anything that goes with client relationships. An account manager’s national average salary, according to indeed.com, is about $59,013 per year. If you are an organized and personable person who enjoys communicating wants and needs with the client and delegating tasks to others, a career as an account manager could be just right for you.

4. Car Sales Executive

Not everyone in auto sales needs to be a car expert or enthusiast. In fact, being a car owner yourself and knowing what the basic general population wants and needs to live their life comfortably is the first qualification of any good car sales executive. As an executive in auto sales, you will typically work for a large auto dealership. Here, you show and feature demo cars to customers as they go about their purchase journeys. Car salespeople typically make around $69,000 per year, depending on their success at selling and your location.

This job involves learning and reiterating some of the more complex parts that come with any car purchase. It also involves negotiating deals and pricing with customers. Like other careers in sales, this job requires someone with a strong sense of patience and understanding, as cars are a large and often hard-to-justify purchase. 

5. Sales Engineer

Being a sales engineer means you have a background in engineering of some sort. You are the translator between the technology and the clients to whom you are selling. As a sales engineer, your job will likely involve creating simplified, easy-to-understand pitches. You then give these to clients to explain the technology you are selling.

Sales engineers can also be responsible for representing their employers and the creators of the technology at conferences and trade shows. This is so you can explain the tech in layman’s terms. Sales engineers’ salaries average at about $89,000 per year. 

Final Thoughts

Long story short, the opportunity with careers in sales is within reach for anyone and everyone who is willing to do the hard work to get there. With strong organizational, listening, time-management, and relational skills, anyone can succeed in a sales position. 

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