If you’re considering becoming a sales engineer, you may be wondering what all goes into the job. What is a sales engineer salary? What are the job requirements?
It’s absolutely essential to look into every detail before deciding if this is the right career for you.
Sales Engineer Salary Overview
On average, the median sales engineer salary is $101,420 per year as of 2018. This is equivalent to $48.76 per hour.
The median salary is the wage in which half of sales engineers earned more than that amount, and half of them earned less.
In 2018, the lowest 10 percent of sales engineers earned less than $58,430, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $165,350.
Additionally, sales engineers work in various industries, and pay will vary between these industries.
As of May 2018, these were the median wages for each industry in which sales engineers are employed:
- Telecommunications: $118,040
- Computer systems design and related services: $108,860
- Wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers: $104,750
- Merchant wholesalers, durable goods: $99,010
- Manufacturing: $90,670
The pay for a sales engineer will vary based on the type of firm and the product that is sold.
Many employers of sales engineers will offer a base pay plus commission or bonuses.
For commissions, this is usually based on the value of sales. Bonuses could depend on an employee’s performance, the performance of all employees, or the company’s performance.
Also, many sales engineers will be reimbursed for work-related expenses such as meals, transportation, hotels, and customer entertainment.
Many sales engineers work full-time and may have to work additional hours to meet sales goals or client needs.
The employment of sales engineers is expected to grow about seven percent between 2016 and 2026, which is the equivalent to the national average.
Sales engineers are going to continue to be in demand to help sell products or services that are related to technologically sophisticated products that are continually coming out onto the market.
Sales Engineer Salary: Job Description
A sales engineer is a modern day traveling liaison between a company and its prospective clients as well as its existing clients.
Sales engineers usually work more than forty hours a week and cover a vast territory, which means they are away from home for extended periods.
International travel is increasing in some industries due to off-shore manufacturing facilities, but some sales engineers still service the needs of customers locally using a company car.
The hours can be long, and the challenges can be stressful, but sales engineers can usually develop their own schedule and can arrange appointments so they can have time off without jeopardizing accounts.
The title of sales engineer can also apply to technical support workers, sales representatives, manufacturer’s agent, and sales and service representatives based on the industry and the nature of the product or service.
Regardless of the title, understanding and explaining the technical aspects of a product or service are essential components in making a sale. So, the technical issues related to the sale are the main focus, but marketing and follow-up are also critical elements in client loyalty, so sales engineers must be proficient in all aspects of the selling process.
Some companies use a team approach where the sales engineer handles the technical presentation and the marketing team handle sales, advertising, and follow-up.
A team effort allows the sales engineer to concentrate on the small details that are critical elements in convincing prospective clients to use their services or buy their products.
Typically, sales engineers perform the following duties throughout their day:
- Talk with customers and engineers to determine requirements
- Prepare and deliver technical presentations
- Secure and renew orders
- Arrange delivery
- Collaborate with sales team
- Help clients solve problems
- Plan and modify products
- Assist in research and development
- Recommend improved materials or equipment to customers
Training and Education Requirements
Education requirements vary from industry to industry, but most companies want some sort of degree and some experience or technical training.
A large number of sales engineers work as engineers first to fine-tune their product or service knowledge.
Each industry offers different sales engineer certifications. Large companies have their own certification programs, so most sales engineers are certified to sell and service a particular product.
Very few sales engineers are self-employed, so almost all of them are certified by some company or organization.
There are hundreds of professional organizations that certify and educate sales engineers. Two significant manufacturing associations are:
- Manufacturer’s Agents National Association: www.manaonline.org
- Manufacturer’s Representatives Educational Research Foundation: www.mrerf.org
Should You Become a Sales Engineer?
Multiple factors go into determining whether or not to become a sales engineer, such as the job outlook, the sales engineer salary, and the training required.
It’s essential to determine if all of the work makes the job worth it to you, and whether or not you have the skills necessary for the position.
Are you thinking about becoming a sales engineer? Let us know in a comment!
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