Employment of sales and related occupations is projected to decline 2 percent, with a loss of about 303,400 jobs over the next ten years. Sales workers in the services and wholesale sectors will continue to be in demand because these occupations remain critical in building and maintaining customer bases for businesses. Rising levels of e-commerce will depress employment growth in some of these occupations in the retail sector.
The median annual wage for sales and related occupations is $29,630, which is lower than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810.
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.
Advertising sales agents sell advertising space to businesses and individuals. They contact potential clients, make sales presentations, and maintain client accounts.
Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.
Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance. Insurance sales agents explain various insurance policies and help clients choose plans that suit them.
Models pose for artists, photographers, and other clients to help advertise a variety of products, including clothing, cosmetics, food, and appliances. Models also work as fit or fitting models, enabling the manufacturer or fashion designer to achieve the best fit for new styles.
Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Although brokers and agents do similar work, brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Sales agents must work with a real estate broker.
Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process customers’ payments. There are two types of retail sales workers: retail salespersons, who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles; and parts salespersons, who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts.
Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and must understand the scientific processes that make these products work.
Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents connect buyers and sellers in financial markets. They sell securities to individuals, advise companies in search of investors, and conduct trades.
Travel agents sell transportation, lodging, and entertainment activities to individuals and groups planning trips. They offer advice on destinations, plan trip itineraries, and make travel arrangements for clients.
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.
Additional Sales Occupations
Counter and Rental Clerks receive orders, generally in person, for repairs, rentals, and services.
Demonstrators and Product Promoters demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product.
Door-to-Door Sales Workers, News and Street Vendors, and Related Workers sell goods or services door to door or on the street.
First-Line Supervisors of Nonretail Sales Workers directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. Their duties also may include budgeting, accounting, and personnel work.
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers directly supervise and coordinate activities of retail sales workers in an establishment or a department.
Gaming Change Persons and Booth Cashiers exchange coins, tokens, and chips for patrons' money.
All sales and related workers not listed separately.
All services sales representatives not listed separately.
Telemarketers solicit donations or orders for goods or services over the telephone.
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