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.
Sample of reported job titles: Inside Sales Representative, Marketing Representative, Sales Representative
Also see: Solar Sales Representatives and Assessors
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Access software — Citrix
- Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks ; Tax software
- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; SAS ; StataCorp Stata
- Business intelligence and data analysis software — MicroStrategy
- Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Customer relationship management CRM software — ActionWare; Sage ACT!; Salesforce software ; Sybase iAnywhere Sales Anywhere (see all 12 examples)
- Data base management system software — Apache Hadoop ; Teradata Database
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access ; Oracle DBMS
- Data mining software — Google Analytics
- Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
- Electronic mail software — IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange ; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise application integration software — IBM InfoSphere DataStage
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Microsoft Dynamics ; NetSuite ERP ; Oracle Hyperion ; Oracle PeopleSoft (see all 7 examples)
- Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Voice over internet protocol VoIP system software
- Network conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToWebinar
- Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Virtual private networking VPN software
- Object or component oriented development software — R
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Linux
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Khameleon; Microsoft Project
- Sales and marketing software — Google AdWords ; HubSpot software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Transaction security and virus protection software — McAfee; Symantec
- Video conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToMeeting
- Video creation and editing software — YouTube
- Web page creation and editing software — LinkedIn
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
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- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Negotiate prices or other sales terms.
- Contact current or potential customers to promote products or services.
- Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
- Sell products or services.
- Prepare sales or other contracts.
- Process sales or other transactions.
- 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.
- Develop content for sales presentations or other materials.
- Recommend products or services to customers.
- Arrange delivery of goods or services.
- Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Identify potential customers.
- Share sales-related or market information with colleagues.
- Coordinate sales campaigns.
- Advise customers on the use of products or services.
- Verify accuracy of records.
- Verify customer credit information.
- Appraise property values.
- Study product information to acquire professional knowledge.
- Distribute promotional literature or samples to customers.
- Stock products or parts.
- Attend events to develop professional knowledge.
- Monitor market conditions or trends.
- Monitor sales activities.
- Deliver promotional presentations to current or prospective customers.
- Explain financial information to customers.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 73% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 79% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Contact With Others — 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 49% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 61% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 48% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 50% responded “Important results.”
- Time Pressure — 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 44% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 59% responded “More than half the time.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|30||Some college, no degree|
|14||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: EC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$41.66 hourly, $86,650 annual|
|Employment (2020)||298,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||31,700|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Chemical Society
- Health Industry Representatives Association
- Manufacturers’ Agents National Association
- Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation
- National Association of Chemical Distributors
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
- Society of Cosmetic Chemists
- The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
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