Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. They contact customers, explain the features of the products they are selling, negotiate prices, and answer any questions that their customers may have about the products.
Educational requirements vary with the type of product sold. If the products are not scientific or technical, a high school diploma is generally enough for entry into the occupation. If the products are scientific or technical, sales representatives typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. A degree in a field related to the product sold, such as chemistry, biology, or engineering, is sometimes required.
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives work under pressure because their income and job security depend on the amount of merchandise they sell. Some sales representatives travel frequently.
Overall employment of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth for sales representatives is expected to follow employment growth of the economy as a whole. Employment opportunities should be best in independent agencies, which operate on a fee basis and represent several manufacturers, instead of buying and holding the product they are selling.
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