What Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives Do
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have, and negotiate prices.
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives work under pressure because their income and job security depend on the amount of merchandise they sell. Some sales representatives travel frequently.
How to Become a Wholesale or Manufacturing Sales Representative
Educational requirements vary for sales representatives and depend on the type of product sold. If the products are not scientific or technical, a high school diploma is generally enough for entry into the occupation. If the products are scientific or technical, sales representatives typically need at least a bachelor's degree.
Employment of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth for sales representatives is expected to follow the economy as a whole. Employment opportunities should be best in independent agencies, which operate on a fee basis and represent several manufacturers, instead of buying and holding the product they are selling.
This occupation supported 1,863,000 jobs in 2012 and 1,800,899 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 3.3%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.1% in 2022 to 2,032,300 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 1,896,800, compared with an observed value of 1,800,899, 5.1% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.3% in 2024 to 1,918,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 2,066,100 jobs for 2024, 7.7% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.