Have you mastered the art of persuasion? You might be the perfect candidate for a career in sales. It’s a career path offering lucrative opportunities for charismatic and hard-working people. Some roles don’t even require a fancy degree!

So, if you’d like to earn a good living while selling things to others, here are the positions to aim for. These are the top high-paying sales jobs, their requirements, the highs and lows, and the paycheques you take home.

SALES ENGINEERS

Sales engineers are salespeople selling technological products. Your job would be to make clients – often other organizations – buy a technical product and you’d mainly operate in scientific or medical industries. Job titles and positions also include telecommunications and computer system design jobs.

In essence, you’d be selling technology. It’s not just selling the product either, as you often have to demonstrate the product in action. You might even be part of the product development cycle, as you will be directly in contact with the customer and their needs.

The Positives The Negatives
  • A growing industry.
  • Plenty of benefits for hard workers and those willing to put in the extra effort.
  • Flexiblility in deciding how and where you work.
  • Irregular work hours.
  • Job and income security depends on meeting goals and objectives.
  • You will have to travel a lot.

Academic requirements

Most sales engineers roles require a Bachelors Degree. Since it’s a highly technical and industry-specific field, you tend to need a degree in a related field to what you’d be selling. Very often sales engineers have degrees in Engineering or another related field.

Salary average: $97,000 (Data by Sokanu.com)

REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Real estate agents might not be considered a traditional sales job but this career path is reliant on your ability to close down a deal. You would be selling homes and other properties to clients varying from private buyers to business clients and even investors.

You can either work as a seller that helps a specific client to sell their property or help a specific client find a property. The job also requires you to negotiate the best deal for your client and you tend to have to have a good grasp of local property laws (such as how taxation works and what licensing clients might require).

The Positives

The Negatives

  • A staple industry with good job outlook – people will always be selling and buying homes.
  • Plenty of opportunities for independent person who likes to work hard.
  • Work days are never alike.
  • Job and income security depends on meeting goals and objectives.
  • Tough, competitive market.
  • The job can feel lonely at times.
  • Irregular work hours.

Academic requirements

You can get entry-level roles in real estate without a Bachelor’s Degree. However, a high school or another relevant diploma will be preferred. There are courses in real estate you can take as well.

Acting as a real estate agent can require a specific license, depending on the country you work in. You can usually acquire these and any other specific qualifications with the help of your employer and prior to starting in your new job.

Salary average: $43,000 (Data by Sokanu.com)

FINANCIAL SERVICES SALES AGENTS

Financial services sales agents are required to sell a specific financial product that will provide clients monetary benefits. The field is rather wide and so you might be selling financial products to private clients or work with institutional investors or businesses.

Furthermore, the sales job encompasses roles in banking, securities or insurance. It might also include responsibilities such as managing your client’s accounts, loans and even things like retirement planning.

The Positives

The Negatives

  • A growing industry.
  • Plenty of opportunities to advance in the career ladder.
  • Stressful role because a lot depends on your performance – you will be in charge of other people’s money.
  • A volatile role.
  • Competition is ripe.

Academic requirements

You will typically require a Bachelor’s Degree for the entry-level roles. If you are looking to advance in your career, then an MBA will be the preferred requirement. The acceptable degrees are all in the financial field and could range from Economics to Accounting.

Salary average: $67,000 (Data by US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

ADVERTISING/MARKETING SALES AGENTS

As an advertising or marketing sales agent, you won’t be making the ads but selling them or advertising space to clients. You will need to create and sell this space to a range of clients and you could be operating in radio, television or online publishing. You will be scouting for clients, making sales presentations and maintaining proper client accounts.

The Positives

The Negatives

  • Creative job with plenty of specialisation opportunities.
  • You will be able to meet other people and work outside of the office.
  • Competitive industry.
  • Income and job security will depend on your ability to expand your clientele.

Academic requirements

The jobs tend to require a Bachelor’s Degree for entry-level positions. Degrees in marketing, communications and business are advantageous. With these degrees, you will be able to progress faster and further, often with a better salary negotiating position.

Salary average: $48,000 (Data by Sokanu.com)

INSURANCE SALES AGENTS

The insurance sales agent role is a position in which you’ll be selling different types of insurances to different clients. You might be a car insurance sales agent, selling to private citizens or a healthcare insurance agent, negotiating with business clients.

Insurance sales agents could be working in phone-sales or face-to-face position and you might be a travelling agent or operate from a set location.

The Positives

The Negatives

  • Plenty of room for specialisation.
  • An independent role.
  • A growing market, especially in terms of healthcare insurance industry.
  • Can often choose between big and small companies in terms of positions
  • Comptitive job market.
  • Job can involve a lot of travel.
  • You often have to work alone.

Academic requirements

You can get an entry-level role in the insurance business with a high school or relevant diploma. Bachelor’s Degree is not required but it can help your chances of landing a job.

Anyone operating in the insurance business will require an appropriate license, which is generally provided by the employer (the insurer). Some training might also occur prior to starting in the role, depending on the sector and the nature of the job.

Salary average: $48,000 (Data by Sokanu.com)

MEDICAL/PHARMACEUTICAL SALES REPRESENTATIVES

Now, everyone knows surgeons and doctors earn a high salary but the medical sector, in general, is quite a lucrative place to work in. You could make a good living as a medical or pharmaceutical sales representative.

The former is a role in which you sell individuals or healthcare professionals and institutions a specific medical product or service. In the latter role, you’d be selling specific pharmaceutical products, such as medicine. You won’t just sell to the private sector but often you’d be negotiating deals with national and local government agencies.

The Positives

The Negatives

  • Plenty of opportunities to specialise.
  • Great additional benefits and perks for high performers.
  • A growing industry.
  • Job requires a lot of travelling.
  • A lonely role with lots of independent work.
  • Competitive industry.

Academic requirements

You will need a Bachelor’s Degree for entry-level jobs in the sector. A degree in science or medicine will help tremendously and might even be required in some instances. You will need further specialization depending on the field and the more senior level role, the higher the degree demands.

Since you are dealing with a technical and scientific field, the employer will often provide further training and licensing prior to starting in the job.

Salary average: $76,000 (Data by Sokanu.com)

CONSUMER PACKAGED GOOD SALES

As a consumer packaged good seller, you’d be selling products to retailers and business clients. The range of products can range from foods to hygiene products – it’s any kind of consumer packaged good.

As well as selling the goods, you’d also need to manage your clientele, including finding new clients and managing their orders. You might also need to conduct product demonstrations.

The Positives

The Negatives

  • A growing industry with positive outlook.
  • Plenty of specialisation opportunities and options for career advancement.
  • Irregular work hours.
  • Job and income security depends on meeting goals and objectives.

Academic requirements

The requirements depend on the employer and the product you’re selling, as certain goods might require more specialist knowledge than others. Products in the scientific or technical field tend to require a Bachelor’s Degree for entry-level jobs, while other products and sectors may just require a high school diploma or similar.

The job tends to come with plenty of in-job training to ensure you know your product and sector inside out.

Salary average: $76,000 (Data by Monster.com)

LUXURY ITEM SALES PROFESSIONAL

One sales job will see you sell different luxury items, services and experiences to the ultra-wealthy. You might sell luxury holidays, expensive clothing or goods that have price tags most people can’t afford. This is not your average retail job – your clients would expect something special from the product and the service.

You will often have to go to your client and find a range of luxury goods to ensure their tastes are met. You might work with private clients or sell your products and services to corporations looking to offer something extra to their clients.

The Positives

The Negatives

  • Creative and independent role.
  • Opportunity to enjoy the luxurious products and services, in part.
  • Ability to meet new people and network in various industries.
  • Irregular work hours.
  • Job requires a lot of travel.
  • Job and income security are purely down to your performance.

Academic requirements

You don’t need a degree to make your mark in the luxury items industry. You can get started without a Bachelor’s Degree but you will need to know the right people and have a good network to launch your career in the industry.

Salary average: $55,000 (Data by Payscale.com)

THE HIGH EARNERS ARE OFTEN SENIOR LEVEL EXECUTIVES AND PRIVATE SALESPEOPLE

Now, it must be mentioned that whatever your industry is, the high-paying sales jobs are always those for senior-level employees. While the above eight jobs offer great entry-level compensation, you can always expect more the higher you climb the career ladder.

So, if you want a high-paying job, you need to be willing to work hard and to develop your expertise. The quickest way to the top is by proper networking and continuous development of your skills. As you gain experience, you want to start looking for the senior roles that will pay more.

Furthermore, it can help to act as an independent salesperson. You can get a much higher pay if you work on your own – whether you are selling cars or cosmetics. You’ll have more freedom in picking your clients and going after the more lucrative contracts.

However, the private route is not the easiest. You’ll need to be prepared for long hours and you won’t be making millions from the start. It’s not as a secure career path as working for someone else but could be rewarding depending on your personality and career goals.

SALES CAN GIVE YOU A GOOD SALARY – IF YOU ARE THE RIGHT TYPE OF PERSON

As you can see, there are plenty of high-paying sales jobs out there. You often don’t need an extensive academic background to get started. You just need to be willing to work hard and hone your charismatic communication skills to a tee.

If you’re the kind of person who likes a challenge, then the sales industry might just be the right one for you.

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