Jobs in Demand: Sales Representatives, Wholesale & Manufacturing

Business professional

Even before COVID-19 struck, most Sales Representatives were becoming better at communicating with customers electronically and many were already working remotely. In the aftermath of COVID-19, which has prompted travel restrictions, social distancing, and less in-person interactions, salespeople have had to adapt to using online video, teleconferencing, social selling, and more.

Some industries – such as leisure and hospitality, real estate, and transportation – have experienced changes in market demand and other challenges that make it harder to sell, while others – including professional and technical services, finance and insurance, and wholesale trade – have seen a spike in demand and need qualified sales representatives to get their products to market as quickly and profitably as possible.

Despite the uncertainty, sales representatives remain in high demand in certain industries and are a great opportunity for job seekers with knowledge of sales and marketing and customer and personal service. People who are good at speaking and listening, critical thinking and problem solving, and negotiation and persuasion will likely make good salespeople. Communication skills are also vital – salespeople need to be able to read, write, and speak clearly to be successful.

Though it varies by industry and the complexity of what is being sold, most sales techniques and product knowledge can be learned on-the-job, and there typically are not any formal education requirements for current job postings. Most sales representatives can get started with a high school diploma and an eager attitude, though additional education can be helpful for more technical products and services.

In a typical day, sales representatives will make calls to customers to recommend products or services, explain technical information, answer questions, estimate or negotiate costs, and prepare contracts. They may also spend time monitoring market conditions and identifying potential new customers, often working with marketing or advertising to improve sales campaigns.

Sales Representatives can earn a lot of money – median wages are $32.83 per hour, with half earning hourly wages between $24.79 and $45.60. At the 90th percentile, sales representatives in Minnesota earn nearly $65 an hour, or the equivalent of nearly $135,000 for a full-time, year-round worker.   

Demand for sales representatives has been steady over time – in fact it is ranked 18th overall according to DEED’s Occupations in Demand data, and often shows high levels of hiring activity. In DEED’s most recent Job Vacancy Survey, there were 1,100 openings for sales representatives in Minnesota, with median wage offers ranging from $24 to $35 per hour, or $50,000 to almost $75,000 per year. 

If you are interested in more information about opportunities as a Sales Representative, check out Jobs in Demand here on the website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

Need help developing your job search strategy, updating your resume or preparing for interviews? Contact staff at a CareerForce location near you!