In Demand Sales Jobs

Learn about the best sales jobs for 2012.

Photo: Thinkstock

By Adam Jazairi

Though perhaps not as popular as they once were, sales jobs are still very abundant. If you’re persuasive, approachable, and enjoy working with people, sales could be exactly what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for jobs in sales, it’s smart to first determine which sales jobs are in demand.

If you’re looking for jobs in sales, it’s smart to first determine which sales jobs are in demand. This list will give you an idea of the some of the major sales jobs out there, including what you need to do to join the profession, what the job outlook is like, and of course how much you’ll make.

Retail Sales Worker

  • What They Do: While not the most glamorous of sales jobs, retail workers are perhaps the most important part of the process. Working in stores, retail sales reps help customers get what they need.
  • Salary: Wages vary by employer. The national average is about $10 per hour, but some retail sales workers make minimum wage.
  • Demand: Due to fast turnover, demand is consistently high.
  • Prerequisites: No educational background is required to become a retail sales worker, making it the most accessible of sales jobs.

Financial Services Agent

  • What They Do: Dealing with individuals and businesses, financial services agents sell everything from bank accounts to stocks.
  • Salary: In 2010, financial services agents earned an average salary of approximately $70,000.
  • Demand: As a result of recent economic tension, prudent financial advice should be in high demand.
  • Prerequisites: To be competitive in the job market, you should get an MBA. Plenty of knowledge about the stock market and commodities is also essential.

Sales Engineer

  • What They Do: Sales engineers are experts both with technology and closing the deal. They sell scientific products that require extended explanations.
  • Salary: With an average salary of about $87,300, sales engineers make more than most other sales jobs.
  • Demand: As technology continues to advance, sales engineers will continue to be in demand. Their expertise is essential to many businesses.
  • Prerequisites: Most sales engineers have a bachelor’s degree in engineering. An MBA may help with the business-oriented aspects of the job.

Insurance Agent

  • What They Do: Insurance agents help people cover anything of significant value: homes, vehicles and health, to name a few. Some agents specialize in one area, while others sell multiple kinds of insurance.
  • Salary: On average, insurance agents make about $46,800 per year, primarily from commission.
  • Demand: Especially for those specializing in life insurance, demand should be high for insurance agents over the next decade.
  • Prerequisites: In the past, only a high school diploma was required. Nowadays, employers like to see a bachelor’s degree.

Advertising Agent

  • What They Do: Advertising agents work with a variety of clients to sell ad space. (Don’t worry: It’s not quite like what you see in Mad Men.)
  • Salary: As with many sales jobs, salary is largely dependent on commissions. Most advertising agents make about $45,300 per year.
  • Demand: Though the landscape of the profession is shifting from print to digital media, demand for advertising agents will remain consistently strong.
  • Prerequisites: Particularly for higher-level jobs, it’s a good idea to get a bachelor’s degree. However, a high school diploma is often all you need to break into the profession.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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