Sales Agent

We're looking for people who:

who enjoy working with customers to satisfy their needs.

What you will do:

You will sell products to businesses and individuals.

Some specific tasks you will be asked to complete include:

  • Communicate with customers, inform and advise them on products that meet their various needs, and answer questions about price, availability, product uses, and credit terms
  • Maintain contact with customers after the sale to make sure items they ordered meet their expectations and correct orders as needed
  • Monitor the marketplace for changes and product trends that affect your market
  • Attend trade shows and other professional gatherings to learn about the competition and display your product
  • Prepare sales reports to track performance, including sales volume and expenses; determine areas of growth and opportunity and areas that need improvement

Knowledge required for this job:

  • Understanding principles of selling, including display and promotion
  • Knowing how to provide good customer service and meeting your performance standards
  • Knowing business and management principles, including strategic planning and leadership skills
  • Understanding mathematical principles and how to apply them in business situations
  • Understanding and using appropriate written and oral language

Skills required for this job:

  • The ability to persuade customers to buy your product
  • Actively listening and responding to customers’ comments and questions
  • Ability to communicate with a range of people from different backgrounds and walks of life
  • Good time management skills

What education you need:

Most sales agents have at least some college experience, an associate's or master's degree, or higher. About one-half (49.6%) of people ages 25-44 who currently hold this kind of job have a bachelor's degree or higher. An additional 26.9% have had some college experience. About one-fifth (23.5%) have a high school degree or lower.


Nationally, people working in this job earn between $12.52 and $48.57 an hour.
In Maryland, the pay scale ranges from $12.93 - $49.95 an hour. (Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 2007)

Future job prospects

Nationally, sales agents' jobs are expected to increase from 1,453,600 positions in 2004 to 1,453,600 in 2014. (+ 13%) In Maryland, jobs numbers are expected to increase as well, with 23,560 positions in 2004 and 26,820 in 2014. (+14%)

According to the Maryland Commission on Higher Education, training for this career is available through these resources:

  • Keyword: CIP Code - 520202 - PURCHASING, PROCUREMENT/ACQUISITIONS AND CONTRACTS MANAGEMENT located 2- and 4-year programs

The Maryland Career Clusters help students prepare for their future education and careers while they are in high school. The job of Sales Agent is part of the Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology Career Cluster, in the core area of Manufacturing Sales and Service.

You can explore other careers in the Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology Career Cluster here.