Chemical company sales representatives primarily sell chemicals to industrial companies, such as paint, insecticide, plastic and drug manufacturers. They call on both existing and new clients, discussing the benefits and characteristics of their chemicals versus competitors. They also negotiate prices for clients to close sales. If you want to become a chemical company sales representative, you need to get a bachelor's degree. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging between $90,000 and $100,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary for a chemical company sales representative was $92,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. Chemical company sales reps are considered technical or scientific sales reps. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that technical or scientific sales reps earned average annual salaries of $85,690 as of May 2012. Technical or scientific sales reps, including those who sell chemicals, usually have at least bachelor's degrees: business, engineering or chemistry, for example. If you're interested in this sales career, you may train for up to a year, learning your company's product line and honing your sales skills. Many chemical companies prefer hiring sales representatives with three or more years of sales experience. Other essential qualifications for this job include self confidence and stamina and communication, closing and customer service skills.
Average annual salaries for chemical company sales representatives varied the most in the West, according to Indeed, where they earned the lowest salaries of $60,000 in Hawaii and highest of $100,000 in California. Those in South Dakota and Illinois made $68,000 to $102,000 per year -- the lowest and highest earnings in the Midwest. If you work in the South, you can expect to earn an average of $79,000 or $110,000 in Louisiana or Washington, D.C, respectively. In the Northeast, you'd make the most in New York or least in Maine -- $112,000 or $79,000, respectively.
Chemical company sales representatives earn more if they meet specific sales quotas, which may qualify them for commissions and bonuses. They may also earn more if they're employed with large chemical companies, which have more financial resources to pay the higher salaries. You'd earn more in New York or California because housing and living costs are typically higher in those states. For example, if you earned $90,000 in Des Moines, you'd have to make $225,508 in New York City to enjoy the same living standard, according to CNN Money's "Cost of Living" calculator. In San Francisco, you'd have to earn $163,767 to maintain your living standard.
The BLS projects a 16 percent increase in employment for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, including those who sell chemicals, from 2010 to 2020, which is about average. Employment for sales reps is largely contingent on the state of the economy. If the economy continues recovering during this decade, you may find more job opportunities as a chemical company sales representative.