Technical sales representatives promote and sell their company’s goods and services to prospective business clients and organisations.
Where technical sales representatives are employed
Sales representatives work in retail, wholesale, insurance and manufacturing organisations, which are usually located in large cities. They may be required to cover city, suburban or country areas, or in some cases, interstate or overseas territories.
When taking on a sales position, ensure that you understand the terms of employment. Some jobs are paid on a 'commission only' basis. Other jobs offer a 'guaranteed income', but this payment may be advanced against future commission earnings and could be reclaimed by the employer when you leave. If you are employed as a subcontractor, you will effectively be in business for yourself, without entitlements to sick pay, annual leave or other benefits.
Full-time technical sales representatives in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.
In 2011 there were 1,641 people employed full-time as technical sales representatives in South Australia compared with 1,264 in 2006.
How to become one
You can work as a sales representative without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have relevant sales qualifications. To work as a sales representative in a specialised or technical area, you will usually need to undertake post-secondary study in that area. For example, chemical sales representatives often need tertiary or technical qualifications, plus experience, in fields such as science or engineering to work in industrial chemical sales.
For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).
Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.
For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).
You can also become a sales representative through a traineeship in business to business sales, business sales or wholesale. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require you to gain your South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). For more information see traineeships. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
See courses related to this occupation.
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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.