Wholesale Manufacturers and Sale Representatives(sales representatives sometimes called manufacturers’ representatives or manufacturers’ agents) generally work for manufacturers, wholesalers, or technical companies. Manufacturing held about 1,830,000 jobs in 2010.
Wholesale Manufacturers - About 432,900 of these worked with technical and scientific products. Around 61 percent of all representatives worked for wholesale companies. Others were employed in manufacturing establishments, retail organizations, and professional, technical, and scientific firms. Because of the diversity of products and services sold, employment opportunities are available throughout the country. About 73,800 sales representatives were self-employed - Wholesale Manufacturers
Employment of Wholesale Manufacturers is expected to grow by 16 percent between 2010 and 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Given the size of this occupation, a large number of new jobs, about 143,200, will arise over the projection period. Job growth will result from the continued expansion in the variety and number of goods sold throughout the economy. Because they play an important role in the transfer of goods between organizations, sales representatives will be needed to accommodate this expansion. In addition, as technology continues to progress, sales representatives can help ensure that retailers offer the latest products to their customers and that businesses acquire the tools they need to increase their efficiency in operations. - Wholesale Manufacturers
Employment growth will be greatest in independent sales companies as manufacturers continue to outsource sales activities to independent agents rather than using in-house sales workers. Independent sales agents generally are more efficient, reducing the overhead cost to their clients. Also, by using agents who contract their services to more than one company, companies can share costs of the agents with each other. - Wholesale Manufacturers
EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS
There usually is no formal educational requirement for sales representatives. Some positions, especially those which deal with scientific and technical products, require a bachelor's degree. For other jobs, however, applicants can be fully qualified with a high school diploma or its equivalent. For these positions, previous sales experience may be desirable.
Job prospects will be best for those with a college degree, the appropriate technical expertise, and the personal traits necessary for successful selling. Opportunities will be better in independent sales companies than with manufacturers, who are expected to continue contracting out field sales duties.
EARNINGS IN MAY 2010
The median annual wage of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, technical and scientific products was $73,710 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half of the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,740, and the top 10 percent earned more than $144,420.
The median annual wage of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, except technical and scientific products was $52,440 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,970, and the top 10 percent earned more than $108,750.
Compensation methods for representatives vary significantly by the type of firm and the product sold. Most employers use a combination of salary and commissions or salary plus bonus. Commissions usually are based on the value of sales, whereas bonuses may depend on individual performance, on the performance of all sales workers in the group or district, or on the company's performance. Unlike those working directly for a manufacturer or wholesaler, sales representatives working for an independent sales company usually are not reimbursed for expenses. Depending on the type of product or products they are selling, their experience in the field, and the number of clients they have, they can earn significantly more or less than those working in direct sales for a manufacturer or wholesaler.
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