Sales Engineer Career

sales-engineer-500The term sales engineer might be a bit confusing for some of you, as a sales engineer is not an actual engineer but rather a highly specialized type of salesperson.

As a sales engineer, your job would involve selling highly complicated technical and scientific products and services.

In order to explain why a company needs these products or services, sales engineers must have a sound knowledge of what they’re selling and also the complex technical processes that make them work.

Sales Engineer Career Snapshot

Like any other career in sales, working as a sales engineer can be highly stressful and extremely competitive. In many cases, your job could depend on you being able to keep up make a minimum required number of sales. As well, salary is also often directly dependent on the number of sales made due to commission and bonus structures.

Further details on a career as a sales engineer are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual pay for sales engineers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 24% have an Associate’s degree.

Sales Engineer Education

Although you are not technically working as an engineer, the majority of sales engineer positions still require that you have a bachelor’s degree in a related engineering field. This way you’ll be able to understand and fully explain the engineering side of the products or services you’re selling. Still, approximately one-quarter of sales engineers only possess an associate’s degree, while around 20 percent of workers have a master’s. Strong sales and personal skills are also necessary to be a success, and most successful sales engineers have also taken some business, sales or marketing courses or certifications.

Sales Engineer Job Duties

Sales engineers technically travel around to meet their clients, even if much of the groundwork is done online nowadays. In addition to actually meeting with clients and completing sales, workers are expected to spend time fully studying and learning about the technical aspects of each product and service they sell.

Sales Engineer Salaries

Sales engineers are usually quite well rewarded for their efforts, and in 2015, the average yearly salary for sales engineers was right at $100,000 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, those with only an associate’s degree tend to earn considerably lower as the average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent of earners was only $57,000. On the other hand, sales engineers with a master’s degree could easily earn upwards of $150,000 to $160,000 or more.

Sales Engineer Job Outlook

Despite the huge increase in technology, the number of sales engineer positions is expected to only grow at about the average rate over the next 10 years. Although total sales engineer employment is predicted to grow by 7 percent between 2014 and 2024, the increasing number of technological products means that there will always be an extremely high demand for those with the required technical knowledge and inter-personal skills.

Sales Engineer Skills & Traits

Sales Engineer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Sales Engineers:Typical Work Activities:
• Persuasion
• Critical Thinking
• Reading Comprehension
• Social Perceptiveness
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Speech Recognition
• Written Comprehension
• Desktop computers
• Mainframe computers
• Notebook computers
• Personal computers
• Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
• Selling or Influencing Others
• Interacting With Computers
• Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships

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