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Working As a 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

  • $86,000

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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Sales Engineer Jobs

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Sales Engineer Career Paths

Sales Engineer
Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Senior Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager General Manager Account Manager
Global Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Project Manager Product Manager
Group Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Store Manager District Sales Manager
Division Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager General Manager Director Of Sales
Vice President Of Sales & Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Account Manager District Sales Manager
Eastern Regional Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Global Sales
13 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Store Manager District Sales Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Customer Service Manager Inside Sales Manager
Outside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Business Development Manager
Global Business Development Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Account Executive National Sales Manager
International Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Regional Manager National Account Manager
Director, Strategic Accounts
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Engineer Sales Engineering Manager
Director Of Sales Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Program Manager
Sales Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Customer Service Manager Inside Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager, Mid Atlantic Region
9 Yearsyrs
General Manager Territory Sales Manager Eastern Regional Sales Manager
Central Region Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager National Account Manager Global Account Manager
Global Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Sales Engineer Sales Engineering Manager
OEM Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Territory Sales Manager Eastern Regional Sales Manager
North America Sales Manager
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Sales Engineer 4.0 years
Pre Sales Engineer 2.9 years
Marketing Engineer 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Sales Engineer
Engineer 4.0%
Internship 3.2%
Owner 3.1%
Manager 2.7%
Top Careers After Sales Engineer
Owner 4.2%
Consultant 3.9%
President 2.7%

Do you work as a Sales Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$86,000
Show Salaries
$62,000
Min 10%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Sales Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Sales Engineer in the United States is $87,025 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $62,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $121,000.

Real Sales Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief Sales Engineer Acendre Inc. Arlington, VA Jan 04, 2016 $250,000
Sales Engineer, Emerging Markets Finance JP Morgan Chase & Co New York, NY Apr 10, 2016 $225,000
Sales Engineer Softline International USA, Inc. Miami, FL Jan 09, 2016 $220,000
Staff Sales Engineer Vmware, Inc. San Mateo, CA Mar 10, 2016 $187,000
Staff Sales Engineer Vmware, Inc. Burlingame, CA Oct 10, 2016 $187,000
Sales Engineer Beltway Industries LLC Houston, TX May 25, 2016 $180,000
Sales Engineer IV Dell Marketing L.P. Laguna Niguel, CA May 01, 2015 $171,095
Sales Engineer Preco, Inc. Winter Springs, FL May 28, 2015 $170,000
Sales Engineer Google Inc. New York, NY Aug 09, 2015 $165,200
Sales Engineer Google Inc. New York, NY Jul 12, 2015 $165,000
Sales Engineer Moose Boats Inc. Vallejo, CA Dec 20, 2016 $165,000
Sales Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 27, 2016 $164,900
Sales Engineers-IV HCL America, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 08, 2016 $164,653 -
$230,000
Sales Engineer Guardian Analytics Mountain View, CA Apr 15, 2015 $162,500
Sales Engineer Airwatch LLC Atlanta, GA Apr 08, 2016 $106,704
Sales Engineers-III HCL America, Inc. Atlanta, GA Oct 12, 2015 $106,704 -
$155,000
Sales Engineer III SUSE LLC New York, NY Oct 09, 2016 $106,313
Sales Engineer Adroix Corp Alpharetta, GA Feb 19, 2016 $106,000
Sales Engineer Airwatch LLC Miami, FL Apr 20, 2015 $105,900
Sales Engineer Saviynt Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 27, 2016 $105,414 -
$140,000
Sales Engineers-III HCL America, Inc. Irvine, CA Aug 25, 2015 $105,019 -
$150,000
Sales Engineer Royal Holdings Inc. Peabody, MA Sep 05, 2015 $105,000
Sales Engineers-II HCL America, Inc. West Norriton, PA Aug 01, 2015 $84,302 -
$104,000
Sales Engineer Trimble Navigation Limited Westminster, CO Mar 05, 2016 $84,282 -
$111,634
Sales Engineer TXC Technology Brea, CA Nov 07, 2016 $84,157
Sales Engineer Phunware, Inc. Newport Beach, CA Sep 03, 2016 $84,157
Sales Engineer Comsol, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Apr 18, 2015 $84,090 -
$87,277
Sales Engineers-II HCL America, Inc. Melville, NY Jan 08, 2016 $84,053
Sales Engineer Flack Steel Ltd. Scottsdale, AZ Oct 02, 2015 $84,000

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Top Skills for A Sales Engineer

  1. New Product Development
  2. Sales Territory
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Engineer new product development and customize improvements of existing standard products through the evaluation of customer applications/specifications.
  • Developed sales strategy for high performing sales territory through engineering specifications, contractor direct sales and dealer distribution.
  • Coordinated and verified information on purchase orders; coordinated product shipments; organized project schedules and provided technical support to customers.
  • Engaged in arranging and implementing executive-level meetings at various customers helping to cultivate visibility and relationships for both OEM and Customer.
  • Developed new accounts and expanded existing accounts representing process control instrumentation and test equipment, including calibration and repair services.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Sales Engineers

  1. Idaho
  2. Colorado
  3. Utah
  4. Washington
  5. Virginia
  6. Arkansas
  7. Texas
  8. Nevada
  9. New Mexico
  10. Nebraska
  • (427 jobs)
  • (1,627 jobs)
  • (556 jobs)
  • (1,126 jobs)
  • (1,675 jobs)
  • (846 jobs)
  • (3,555 jobs)
  • (312 jobs)
  • (285 jobs)
  • (425 jobs)

Sales Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 16,455 Sales Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Sales Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

Sales Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.8%

Female

9.7%

Unknown

7.4%
Ethnicity

White

61.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

9.7%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.6%

French

7.7%

Portuguese

7.4%

German

7.2%

Chinese

6.9%

Carrier

5.8%

Mandarin

5.5%

Japanese

5.1%

Arabic

3.4%

Korean

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Italian

1.9%

Hindi

1.8%

Cantonese

1.3%

Thai

1.1%

Turkish

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Swedish

0.6%

Persian

0.6%

Dakota

0.6%
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Sales Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.1%

Purdue University

9.7%

Texas A&M University

7.2%

Michigan State University

7.0%

Pennsylvania State University

6.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.2%

Northeastern University

4.8%

Ohio State University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.0%

San Jose State University

4.0%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.8%

Western Michigan University

3.8%

University of Akron

3.7%

University of Houston

3.5%

University of Texas at Austin

3.5%

Ohio University -

3.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.4%

Northern Illinois University

3.4%

More Tech Institute

3.4%

Auburn University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

26.1%

Mechanical Engineering

14.1%

Electrical Engineering

12.6%

Marketing

6.1%

Computer Science

4.6%

Management

4.4%

Finance

2.9%

Engineering

2.9%

Industrial Technology

2.8%

Industrial Engineering

2.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Chemical Engineering

2.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.2%

Civil Engineering

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

2.1%

General Sales

1.8%

Information Technology

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.3%

Masters

21.2%

Other

16.4%

Associate

6.6%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.1%
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What Is It Like To Work As A Sales Engineer

5.0

why its fun to be a sales engineer

February 27, 2020 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Sales Engineer.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Sales Engineer?

IF you have enough experience you get to walk around different manufacturing plants and tell them how you solution will impact their bottom line. every day is different... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Cold Call is pretty bad because your success rate is 1-2%. Surprises when a competitor sells to a company you did not know about and your marketing folks cant help find them... Show More

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