Although a good salesperson can do well in a variety of sales jobs, there are a number of industries in which sales positions can be especially lucrative. Some of these top sales positions offer a mixed salary structure, allowing you to earn a base salary in addition to sales commissions or annual bonuses. While these positions can be competitive, many have the potential to earn you a six-figure salary.
Making Bank in Finance
With the operations of financial industries revolving around money, it's no surprise that a number of sales jobs in this field have high earning potential. Investment banking sales careers involve selling securities, bonds and financial services to individual investors, corporations, government or other financial institutions. According to Forbes, securities, commodities and financial services sales agents earn an average salary of $100,910. Investment-banking employees often earn base salaries in addition to commission or bonuses. To work as an investment banking salesperson, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics or business. Some positions may require a master's degree along with courses and experience related to the financial industry.
Combining Sales and Engineering
Another high-paying sales field that combines sales and engineering is the field of sales engineering. Sales engineers are responsible for selling products that are for technical or scientific use, such as machinery or other industrial products. Annual salaries for sales engineers average $99,290, according to Forbes. The salary structure can vary by organization, but typically involves a base salary plus commission or bonuses related to sales performance. To become a sales engineer, you should have a bachelor's degree in mechanical, electrical or civil engineering or a science-related field.
Selling Medical Products
Within the healthcare field, there are several potentially lucrative sales career paths. Pharmaceutical sales representatives sell medication to healthcare providers, earning an annual average salary of $105,000. You may also work as a contract research organization sales representative, in which you sell clinical testing services to pharmaceutical sales companies. Contract research sales representatives can earn between $150,000 and $500,000 per year. Similar in nature to pharmaceutical sales representatives, medical device sales representatives sell medical tools, equipment and other medical goods to healthcare providers. Medical device sales representatives can earn an average annual salary of $154,753. Although the salary structure may vary by position, healthcare sales typically receive a mix of base salaries and product commissions. Healthcare sales positions typically require a bachelor's degree in a medical or science-related field.
Providing IT Solutions
Due to the high cost of data breaches, many companies use IT security systems. IT security sales representatives sell IT security software and solutions to businesses. Positions can pay an average of $150,000 to $500,000 per year, with a pay structure including base pay and sales commission. As more healthcare organizations transition to electronic recordkeeping, electronic medical record sales representatives have also been growing in number. Electronic medical record sales representatives can earn upward of $200,000 per year. IT sales positions may require a bachelor's degree in information technology.
2016 Salary Information for Sales Engineers
Sales engineers earned a median annual salary of $100,000 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, sales engineers earned a 25th percentile salary of $74,400, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $132,080, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 74,900 people were employed in the U.S. as sales engineers.