Sales engineers specialize in technologically and scientifically advanced products and sell these products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the parts and products they sell. Sales engineers may have extensive travel and may work additional hours to meet client needs or sales goals.
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How to Become a Sales Engineer
A bachelor’s degree is usually required for a sales engineer. However, those with backgrounds in a related field or with previous sales experience may also gain employment as a sales engineer. Engineering programs at a university usually takes 4 years to complete. These degree programs usually require students to select a specialized area such as civil, electrical, mechanical, computer hardware, chemical, or biomedical engineering.
Information technology and advanced electronics are changing rapidly. Therefore it will be essential once one works in the engineering and sales career field to take continuing education courses and keep up to date on the latest trends throughout one’s career. Strong interpersonal skills are also necessary for a successful sales engineer.
Job Description of a Sales Engineer
Sales engineers jobs are very similar to a salesperson with the major difference of specialization of technologically and scientifically advanced products. They typically prepare and deliver technical presentations to existing and prospective clients that explain the services or products that they represent. They also meet with other engineers and customers to determine system requirements and assess equipment needs. They assist customers by planning and modifying products to meet their needs and help them solve problems with installed equipment. They demonstrate how the customer can lower costs or increase production by recommending improved materials or machinery. A sales engineer may even also help research and develop new products.
Sales engineers work full time and often work overtime to meet companies goals. They cover territories locally and across the country, therefore travel more frequently than not. This can very to overnight trips to several weeks at a time. This job can be stressful due to the competitive nature of the field in addition to the sales demands required by the business they work for. many of these jobs have salaries that are based on commission and customer service feedback.
Sales Engineer Career Video Transcript
Sales engineers sell a variety of complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses— including the latest information technology systems, manufacturing equipment, and scientific instruments, among others. Like most salespeople, sales engineers try to interest clients in their products or services, negotiate prices, and complete sales. But as trained engineers or scientists, they also have extensive technical knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and understand the scientific processes behind their products.
Sales engineers give technical presentations where they describe the benefits and competitive edge of their products and explain how their product will solve a customer’s problem. They may also work with clients to modify or customize a product to their needs. Some work for the manufacturer of a product while others work for independent sales firms. Most sales engineers travel, whether locally within a small region, for weeks at a time across several states, or even internationally.
The job can be stressful since income and job security often depend directly on successful deals. Engineers typically work full-time and many work over 40 hours a week to meet client needs and achieve sales goals. Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, though a science or business degree and technical knowledge may suffice. For some positions, sales experience along with technical experience or training may be sufficient.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Sales Engineers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 41-9031.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.