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Become A Field Sales Engineer

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Working As A Field Sales Engineer

  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $124,090

    Average Salary

What Does A Field Sales Engineer Do

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and must understand the scientific processes that make these products work.

Duties

Sales engineers typically do the following:

  • Prepare and deliver technical presentations explaining products or services to existing and prospective customers
  • Confer with customers and engineers to assess equipment needs and to determine system requirements
  • Collaborate with sales teams to understand customer requirements and provide sales support
  • Secure and renew orders and arrange delivery
  • Plan and modify products to meet customer needs
  • Help clients solve problems with installed equipment
  • Recommend improved materials or machinery to customers, showing how changes will lower costs or increase production
  • Help in researching and developing new products

Sales engineers specialize in technologically and scientifically advanced products. They use their technical skills to explain the benefits of their products or services to potential customers and to show how their products or services are better than their competitors'. Some sales engineers work for the companies that design and build technical products. Others work for independent sales firms.

Many of the duties of sales engineers are similar to those of other salespersons. They must interest the client in buying their products or services, negotiate a price, and complete the sale. To do this, sales engineers give technical presentations during which they explain the technical aspects of the product and how it will solve a specific customer problem.

Some sales engineers, however, team with salespersons who concentrate on marketing and selling the product, which lets the sales engineer concentrate on the technical aspects of the job. By working as part of a sales team, each member is able to focus on his or her strengths and expertise. For more information on other sales occupations, see the profile on wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.

In addition to giving technical presentations, sales engineers are increasingly doing other tasks related to sales, such as market research. They also may ask for technical requirements from customers and modify and adjust products to meet customers’ specific needs. Some sales engineers work with research and development (R&D) departments to help identify and develop new products.

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How To Become A Field Sales Engineer

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a sales engineer. Successful sales engineers combine technical knowledge of the products or services they are selling with strong interpersonal skills.

Education

Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. However, a worker without a degree, but with previous sales experience as well as technical experience or training, sometimes holds the title of sales engineer. Workers who have a degree in a science, such as chemistry, or in business with little or no previous sales experience, also may be called sales engineers.

University engineering programs generally require 4 years of study. They vary in content, but all programs include courses in math and the physical sciences. In addition, most programs require developing strong computer skills.

Most engineering programs require students to choose an area of specialization. The most common majors are electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering, but some engineering departments offer additional majors, such as chemical, biomedical, or computer hardware engineering. However, some undergraduate programs offer a general engineering curriculum; students then specialize in a particular area either on the job or in graduate school.

Training

New graduates with engineering degrees typically need sales experience and training before they can work independently as sales engineers. Training covers general sales techniques and may involve teaming with a sales mentor who is familiar with the employer's business practices, customers, procedures, and company culture. After the training period, sales engineers may continue to partner with someone who lacks technical skills yet excels in the art of sales.

It is important for sales engineers to continue their engineering and sales education throughout their careers. Much of their value to their employers depends on their knowledge of, and ability to sell, the latest technologies. Sales engineers in high-technology fields, such as information technology and advanced electronics, may find that their technical knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, requiring frequent retraining.

Advancement

Promotions may include a higher commission rate, a larger sales territory, or elevation to the position of supervisor or sales manager.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are a valuable characteristic for sales engineers, both for building relationships with clients and effectively communicating with other members of the sales team.

Problem-solving skills. Sales engineers must be able to listen to the customer’s desires and concerns, and then recommend solutions, possibly including customizing a product.

Self-confidence. Sales engineers should be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. 

Technological skills. Sales engineers must have extensive knowledge of the technologically sophisticated products they sell in order to explain their advantages and answer questions.

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Field Sales Engineer jobs

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Field Sales Engineer Career Paths

Field Sales Engineer
Regional Sales Manager National Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive District Sales Manager Global Account Manager
Global Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive National Sales Manager
International Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Sales And Marketing Manager Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager General Manager Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Marketing Manager Regional Sales Manager
North American Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales New Business Development Regional Sales Manager
Northeast Regional Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Sales Consultant District Sales Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Director Of Sales
Senior Sales Director
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager General Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Marketing Consultant Product Marketing Manager
Strategic Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales Recruiter Inside Sales Representative
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Field Sales Engineer Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    86.0%
  • Female

    12.5%
  • Unknown

    1.5%

Ethnicity

  • White

    81.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    8.8%
  • Asian

    6.9%
  • Unknown

    2.1%
  • Black or African American

    0.6%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    73.9%
  • French

    8.7%
  • Portuguese

    4.3%
  • Chinese

    4.3%
  • Dakota

    4.3%
  • Mandarin

    4.3%
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Field Sales Engineer

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Field Sales Engineer Education

Field Sales Engineer

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Real Field Sales Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Field Sales Enablement Americas, Spotfire Tibco Software, Inc. Boston, MA Aug 01, 2014 $145,000
Field Sales Engineer NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc. Cedar Park, TX Aug 06, 2015 $133,770
Field Sales Engineer NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 13, 2015 $130,000
Manager, Field Sales Engineering Newnet Communication Technologies, LLC Sunrise, FL Oct 01, 2010 $126,000
Field Sales Engineer Cavium, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 16, 2013 $125,278 -
$143,000
Field Sales Engineer NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc. Round Rock, TX Aug 06, 2012 $123,282 -
$174,400
Field Sales Engineer Blackberry Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Apr 21, 2016 $106,766 -
$116,000
Field Sales Engineer Intel America's Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 20, 2015 $105,000 -
$145,300
Field Sales Engineer 3VR Security, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 25, 2014 $100,000 -
$110,000
Field Sales Engineer Intel Corporation San Francisco, CA Feb 03, 2014 $94,500 -
$129,500
Field Sales Engineer Intel America's San Francisco, CA Feb 03, 2014 $88,552 -
$129,500
Field Sales Engineer Amphenol TCS Milpitas, CA Aug 20, 2015 $82,938
Field Sales Engineer National Instruments Corporation Portland, OR Sep 15, 2013 $77,500
Field Sales Engineer Plant Automation Services, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 11, 2010 $75,000
Field Sales Engineer National Instruments Corporation Mountain View, CA Dec 07, 2009 $74,241
Field Sales Engineer On Semiconductor Seattle, WA Apr 06, 2015 $73,070 -
$80,000
Field Sales Engineer National Instruments Corporation Portland, OR Mar 04, 2011 $72,000
Academic Field Sales Engineer National Instruments Austin, TX Feb 09, 2016 $71,552
Academic Field Sales Engineer National Instruments Corporation Berkeley, CA Jul 01, 2012 $71,424
Academic Field Sales Engineer National Instruments Corporation Alexandria, VA Sep 06, 2014 $71,100

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Top Skills for A Field Sales Engineer

ProductLineTerritorySalesOEMDistributionChannelSalesGrowthSemiconductorTechnicalSupportSalesQuotaTechnicalSalesCustomerBaseKeyAccountsRFMarketShareTradeShowsElectronicComponentsAnnualSalesCustomerServiceTelecomAerospaceBusinessDevelopment

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Top Field Sales Engineer Skills

  1. Product Line
  2. Territory Sales
  3. OEM
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed two new product lines for the Narrow Web printing and processing market from concept to completed machine.
  • Assisted sales team with territory sales goal setting and alignment.
  • Assured competitive pricing combined with OEM quality advantage.
  • Delivered technical radio frequency and microwave product training to distribution channel partners.
  • Managed sales for key accounts and became a revenue leader, sustaining sales growth for five consecutive years.

Top Field Sales Engineer Employers

Field Sales Engineer Videos

SEU 001 What Is Sales Engineering?

A Day in The Life - Technical Sales Engineer

A Day in the Life of Inside Sales at SAP

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