14 Sales Jobs That Pay Well (Plus Companies To Consider)

Updated September 26, 2023

Sales professionals are responsible for educating customers on products and services, building client relationships, closing deals, ensuring ongoing customer satisfaction and other duties that directly impact a company’s revenue. Working in this field can help you develop transferable skills like communication and relationship building.

In this article, we explore 14 career paths in sales that tend to have higher than average salaries.

Sales jobs that pay well

Here are 14 jobs in sales you could pursue, along with companies that hire for these sales positions:

1. Inside sales representative

National average salary: $58,226 per year

Primary duties: An inside sales representative is responsible for finding and cold calling new sales leads through directories, web tools or client referrals. They build relationships with prospects to earn new business and maintain relationships with existing customers. Most of an inside sales representative's job is done remotely rather than through face-to-face meetings.

Companies with this position: CUSO Financial Services, iHeartMediaJ.J. Taylor Companies

2. Account manager

National average salary: $58,903 per year

Primary duties: An account manager is responsible for maintaining relationships with existing clients or groups of clients to ensure the company is meeting their needs and goals. They schedule regular meetings and check-ins, suggest additional products or services, answer client questions and concerns, share performance reports and work to ensure ongoing client satisfaction.

Companies with this position: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Red Bull, Verizon

3. Sales assistant

National average salary: $58,906 per year

Primary duties: Sales assistants support sales teams by maintaining databases. This involves updating contact records and invoice data, communicating promotions and pricing changes, preparing sales tracking reports, placing product orders, arranging shipments, resolving inventory problems and organizing and scheduling sales education. They may also assist with administrative tasks such as filing and data entry.

Companies with this position: Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, B&M Retail

4. Territory sales professional

National average salary: $63,191 per year

Primary duties: Territory salespeople are responsible for all sales activity within a defined geographic territory. They identify potential opportunities, arrange face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers, educate customers on products and services and help them make a purchase decision. They are usually responsible for managing ongoing client relationships.

Companies with this position: Swedish Match North AmericaMarsDispatch

5. Sales manager

National average salary: $64,439 per year

Primary duties: A sales manager is someone who develops and implements strategic sales plans to help a company meet revenue goals. They set team objectives, monitor progress and report performance to senior management. They may also be responsible for hiring, training, coaching and supervising sales staff including sales representatives and account managers.

Companies with this position: Macy’sSunglass HutGenesis Acquisitions

6. Business development representative

National average salary: $68,148 per year

Primary duties: A business development representative helps seek out new business opportunities and leads as well as researches new leads and markets to determine whether the sales team should pursue them. They help build relationships with new prospects and clients to grow the business and increase the likelihood of future sales.

Companies with this position: Anheuser-Busch InBevPacific Office Automation

7. Account executive

National average salary: $68,684 per year

Primary duties: Account executives generally work for marketing and advertising agencies or media companies and act as the liaison between the company and its clients. They manage day-to-day communication, ensure campaigns are running according to plan, present performance and progress reports, and provide suggestions for improvement. They may also be responsible for selling additional services and ensuring contract renewals.

Companies with this position: Comcast, SpectrumT-Mobile

8. Car sales executive

National average salary: $68,868 per year

Primary duties: A car sales executive works for an auto dealership and is responsible for helping customers find and purchase new and used vehicles. They show and demo cars, and help customers make purchase decisions by discussing model types, features, warranties and financing options. They also negotiate pricing and may be responsible for up-selling additional products and services.

Companies with this position: Honda, Napa Auto Parts

9. Medical device sales representative

National average salary: $71,016 per year

Primary duties: Medical sales representatives work on behalf of medical device manufacturers to promote and educate health care professionals on a variety of medical products such as tongue depressors, stethoscopes, thermometers, gloves, medical implants and prosthetics. They answer questions, offer advice, provide samples and place orders on behalf of customers. They’re also responsible for maintaining ongoing relationships with physicians and other decision-makers at health care organizations.

Companies with this position: Artemis DNA, IQVIAZynex Medical

10. Pharmaceutical sales representative

National average salary: $76,170 per year

Primary duties: Pharmaceutical sales representatives work on behalf of drug manufacturers to meet with physicians and other primary decision-makers at health care organizations to educate them on products and treatments. They provide marketing materials and samples to increase awareness of pharmaceutical products and answer questions to ensure doctors have the information they need to prescribe those products.

Companies with this position: Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi

11. Outside sales representative

National average salary: $82,349 per year

Primary duties: An outside sales representative helps find new sales leads and sets up meetings to pitch products and services. They also educate customers and answer questions to help drive purchase decisions. They negotiate pricing and ensure customer satisfaction through regular communication. Unlike inside sales representatives, outside sales representatives work with customers face-to-face at their clients’ place of business.

Companies with this position: Sysco, National Federation of Independent Business, Gunton Corp.

12. Sales engineer

National average salary: $85,987 per year

Primary duties: Sales engineers use technical product knowledge to translate complicated information into easy-to-understand product pitches. They attend meetings with prospects and existing clients to answer questions, negotiate sales and make suggestions to improve results from product or service usage. They may also be responsible for representing their employer at trade shows, conferences and corporate events.

Companies with this position: DatadogZscaler, Splunk

13. Sales director

National average salary: $86,422 per year

Primary duties: A sales director generally works for larger organizations and is responsible for overseeing all sales efforts and ensuring the sales department is adhering to company objectives. They motivate sales teams, assist with the rollout of new processes, procedures and new product or service launches. Depending on the hierarchy of the organization, they may be responsible for supervising sales managers or directly managing all sales staff.

Companies with this position: PearsonS&P GlobalVerizon

14. Real estate agent

National average salary: $104,591 per year

Primary duties: A real estate agent is someone who helps people or businesses buy or sell properties, such as houses, apartments, condos, office space and more. They accompany clients on property tours, answer questions, communicate buyer concerns to sellers, discuss sale conditions, negotiate pricing on behalf of clients, schedule property inspections and draw up contracts.

Companies with this position: Keller Williams Realty, Coldwell Banker, 1st Class Real Estate

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the links provided.

Skills for sales jobs

Working in one of these sales jobs requires a variety of communication skills and personal strengths including:

  • Active listening

  • Conflict resolution

  • Nonverbal communication (i.e., body language and eye contact)

  • Negotiation skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Professionalism

  • Relationship-building

  • Teamwork

  • Time management

Some positions may also require industry-specific skills or knowledge as well as team leadership skills. Some high-paying sales jobs may also have educational requirements.

By choosing a career in sales, you will enjoy excellent income potential, upward mobility, and the opportunity to develop skills you can transfer to almost any job, no matter where your career takes you.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need a degree to become a salesperson?

You usually don't need a college degree to become a salesperson. A bachelor's degree in business can be helpful, but most employers don't require it for the role.

How can I earn more as a salesperson?

To earn more as a salesperson, you can raise your commission by increasing sales. Consider committing to more calls, researching sales techniques, finding more customers and selling in person to increase your sales numbers.

What's the job outlook like for salespeople?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salespeople may expect to maintain consistent employment levels from 2021 to 2031. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5%, so the sales field isn't growing as fast as all other occupations.

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