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Career Profile: Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 298,200 people employed as sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products in the United States. The median annual salary is $86,700. Entry level employees earn approximately $42,820 per year and senior employees earn approximately $171,700 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • 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.
  • Arrange for installation and testing of products or machinery.
  • Initiate sales campaigns to meet sales and production expectations.
  • Obtain building blueprints or specifications for use by engineering departments in bid preparations.
  • Verify accuracy of materials lists.
  • Verify customer credit ratings.
  • Appraise equipment to determine contract terms or trade-in values.
  • Consult with engineers regarding technical problems with products.
  • Sell technical and scientific products that are environmentally sound or designed for environmental remediation.
  • 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.
  • Research and convey information to customers about tax benefits or government rebates associated with energy-efficient scientific or technical products, such as solar panels.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inform customers of estimated delivery schedules, service contracts, warranties, or other information pertaining to purchased products.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sell service contracts for technical or scientific products.
  • 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.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
298,200
Annual Openings:
31,700
Increase in Openings by 2030:
6%
Annual Salary Range:
$42,820 - $171,700
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree