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Become A Field Representative

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Working As A Field Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $59,730

    Average Salary

What Does A Field Representative 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.

Duties

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives typically do the following:

  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, and attending trade shows and conferences
  • Contact new and existing customers to discuss their needs and explain how specific products and services can meet these needs
  • Help customers select products to meet customers' needs, product specifications, and regulations
  • Emphasize product features that will meet customers' needs and exhibit product capabilities and limitations
  • Answer customers' questions about prices, availability, and product uses
  • Negotiate prices and terms of sale and service agreements
  • Prepare sales contracts and submit orders for processing
  • Collaborate with colleagues to exchange information, such as selling strategies and marketing information
  • Follow up with customers to make sure they are satisfied with their purchases and to answer any questions or concerns

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives—sometimes called manufacturers’ representatives or manufacturers’ agents—generally work for manufacturers or wholesalers. Some work for a single organization, while others represent several companies and sell a range of products.

Rather than selling goods directly to consumers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives deal with businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. For more information about people who sell directly to consumers, see the profile on retail sales workers.

Some wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives deal with nonscientific products such as food, office supplies, and clothing. Other representatives specialize in technical and scientific products, ranging from agricultural and mechanical equipment to computer and pharmaceutical goods. For more information about people who specialize in sales of technical products and services, see the profile on sales engineers.

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives who lack expertise about a given product frequently team with a technical expert. In this arrangement, the technical expert—sometimes a sales engineer—attends the sales presentation to explain the product and answer questions or concerns. The sales representative makes the initial contact with customers, introduces the company's product, and obtains final agreement from the potential buyer.

By working with a technical expert, the representative is able to spend more time maintaining and soliciting accounts and less time needing to gain technical knowledge.

After the sale, representatives may make follow-up visits to ensure that equipment is functioning properly and may even help train customers' employees to operate and maintain new equipment.

Those selling consumer goods often suggest how and where merchandise should be displayed. When working with retailers, they may help arrange promotional programs, store displays, and advertising.

In addition to selling products, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives analyze sales statistics, prepare reports, and handle administrative duties such as filing expense accounts, scheduling appointments, and making travel plans.

Staying up-to-date on new products and the changing needs of customers is important. Sales representatives accomplish this in a variety of ways, including attending trade shows at which new products and technologies are showcased. They attend conferences and conventions to meet other sales representatives and clients and to discuss new product developments. They also read about new and existing products and monitor the sales, prices, and products of their competitors.

The following are examples of types of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives:

Inside sales representatives work mostly in offices while making sales. Frequently, they are responsible for getting new clients by “cold calling” various organizations, which means they call potential customers who are not expecting to be contacted in order to establish an initial contact. They also take incoming calls from customers who are interested in their product, and process paperwork to complete the sale.

Outside sales representatives spend much of their time traveling to and visiting with current clients and prospective buyers. During a sales call, they discuss the client's needs and suggest how they can meet those needs with merchandise or services. They may show samples or catalogs that describe items their company provides, and they may inform customers about prices, availability, and ways in which their products can save money and boost productivity. Because many sales representatives sell several complementary products made by different manufacturers, they may take a broad approach to their customers' businesses. For example, sales representatives may help install new equipment and train employees in its use.

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How To Become A Field Representative

Educational requirements vary, depending 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.

Education

A high school diploma is sufficient for many positions, primarily for selling nontechnical or scientific products. However, those selling scientific and technical products typically must have a bachelor's degree. Scientific and technical products include pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, and industrial equipment. A degree in a field related to the product sold, such as chemistry, biology, or engineering, is often required.

Many sales representatives attend seminars in sales techniques or take courses in marketing, economics, communication, or even a foreign language to improve their ability to make sales.

Training

Many companies have formal training programs for beginning wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives that last up to 1 year. In some programs, trainees rotate among jobs in plants and offices to learn all phases of producing, installing, and distributing the product. In others, trainees receive formal technical instruction at the plant, followed by on-the-job training under the supervision of a field sales manager.

New employees may be trained by going along with experienced workers on their sales calls. As they gain familiarity with the firm's products and clients, the new workers gain more responsibility until they eventually get their own territory.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many in this occupation have either the Certified Professional Manufacturers' Representative (CPMR) certification or the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification, both offered by the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF). Certification typically involves completing formal technical training and passing an exam. In addition, the CPMR requires 10 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification.

Other Experience

Although not required, sales experience can be helpful, particularly for nontechnical positions.

Advancement

Frequently, promotion takes the form of an assignment to a larger account or territory, where commissions are likely to be greater. Those who have good sales records and leadership ability may advance to higher level positions, such as sales supervisor, district manager, or vice president of sales. For more information on these positions, see the profile on sales managers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Sales representatives must be able to listen to the customer’s needs and concerns before and after the sale.

Interpersonal skills. Sales representatives must be able to work well with many types of people. They must be able to build good relationships with clients and with other members of the sales team.

Self-confidence. Sales representatives must be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. In addition, making a call to a potential customer who is not expecting to be contacted, or “cold calling,” requires confidence and composure.

Stamina. Sales representatives are often on their feet for long periods of time and may carry heavy sample products.

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Field Representative Videos

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Field Representative Jobs

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Field Representative Career Paths

Field Representative
Service Representative Territory Manager Key Account Manager
Account Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Sales Manager Sales Account Manager
Business Development Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Inspector Sales Consultant Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Security Officer Account Manager
Corporate Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Brand Ambassador Sales Professional Internet Sales Manager
Customer Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Area Manager Outside Sales Representative
Director, Inside Sales
6 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Loan Officer Inside Sales Representative
Inside Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Service Representative Inside Sales Representative
Inside Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Inside Sales Representative Director, Inside Sales
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Campaign Manager Project Manager Product Manager
Market Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Campaign Manager Marketing Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Operations Manager General Manager
Regional Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Operations Manager Outside Sales Representative
Sales Representative And Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Territory Manager
Senior Territory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Representative 2.1 years
Field Associate 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Field Representative
Internship 7.2%
Manager 4.8%
Cashier 4.7%
Owner 4.3%
Supervisor 4.0%
Teacher 2.7%
Top Careers After Field Representative
Manager 4.9%
Consultant 4.8%
Owner 4.7%
Internship 4.7%
Director 3.5%

Do you work as a Field Representative?

Field Representative Demographics

Gender

Male

59.0%

Female

39.1%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.9%

French

8.3%

German

5.4%

Italian

3.8%

Arabic

2.6%

Mandarin

2.2%

Portuguese

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Chinese

1.9%

Korean

1.6%

Dakota

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Hebrew

0.6%

Russian

0.6%

Tagalog

0.6%

Cantonese

0.6%

Icelandic

0.3%

Cherokee

0.3%
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Field Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.8%

University of Maryland - University College

7.2%

Liberty University

6.1%

West Virginia University

5.4%

Arizona State University

5.2%

Michigan State University

5.0%

Ashford University

4.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.4%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.1%

Temple University

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

University of Iowa

3.7%

Florida State University

3.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.3%

University of Oklahoma

3.3%

University of Central Oklahoma

3.3%

University of South Florida

3.3%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

Purdue University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

29.4%

Political Science

8.3%

Psychology

5.7%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Management

5.0%

Marketing

5.0%

Communication

5.0%

Accounting

4.2%

Education

3.5%

General Studies

3.2%

Finance

3.1%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Human Resources Management

2.4%

Nursing

2.4%

English

2.4%

Public Administration

2.3%

History

2.3%

Computer Science

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.5%

Other

24.6%

Masters

15.0%

Associate

10.5%

Certificate

4.9%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.7%
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Field Representative Videos

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A Day in the Life of a Sales Rep

Top 5 High Paying Medical Careers in 2014.

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Real Field Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Enterprise Field Representative Consultant Dell Marketing, LP Orlando, FL Sep 03, 2013 $125,000
SR. Field Representative HNTB Corporation Tipton, CA Jan 23, 2015 $110,323
SR. Field Representative HNTB Corporation Santa Ana, CA Apr 28, 2014 $110,240
Field Clinical Representative II Boston Scientific Corporation Oakland, CA Dec 17, 2012 $104,350
Senior Field Clinical Representative/Specialist Guidant Corporation Pittsburgh, PA Feb 03, 2010 $98,606
Field Representative Caterpillar Inc. Houston, TX Sep 01, 2010 $95,148
Offshore Chemical Field Representative Baker Hughes Incorporated New Orleans, LA Sep 30, 2013 $89,285
Senior Clinical Field Representative Boston Scientific Corporation Oakland, CA May 20, 2013 $78,000 -
$90,000
Field Representative Giffels America Inc. Southfield, MI Dec 10, 2009 $55,243
Field Representative Interbase Consultants Ltd. Southfield, MI Dec 28, 2009 $55,243
Field Representative L2 Giffels LLC/IBI Group Southfield, MI Aug 11, 2009 $55,243
Field Representative L2 Giffels Inc./IBI Group Southfield, MI Aug 17, 2009 $55,243
Field Representative L2 Giffels, Inc. Southfield, MI Aug 20, 2009 $55,243
Field Representative, L2 Giffels, Inc. Southfield, MI Sep 04, 2009 $55,243
Field Representative, L2 Giffels, Inc. Southfield, MI Sep 22, 2009 $55,243

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Top Skills for A Field Representative

  1. Customer Service
  2. Territory
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Demonstrated great customer service while introducing new and upcoming product demos.
  • Manage territory by developing and building rapport within the business and educational community and creating a comprehensive recruitment plan.
  • Participated as a member of the safety supervisory team for helicopter equipment air lift operations.
  • Perform interior and exterior home inspections for insurance companies to estimate replacement cost for property loss and identify potential hazards.
  • Seek out new clients and develop clientele by networking to find new customers and generate lists of prospective clients.

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Top 10 Best States for Field Representatives

  1. Rhode Island
  2. South Dakota
  3. Minnesota
  4. Colorado
  5. North Dakota
  6. Michigan
  7. Indiana
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Massachusetts
  10. New Jersey
  • (141 jobs)
  • (204 jobs)
  • (992 jobs)
  • (964 jobs)
  • (213 jobs)
  • (807 jobs)
  • (671 jobs)
  • (740 jobs)
  • (852 jobs)
  • (901 jobs)

Top Field Representative Employers

Jobs From Top Field Representative Employers

Field Representative Videos

How to become a game designer

A Day in the Life of a Sales Rep

Top 5 High Paying Medical Careers in 2014.

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