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Become A Sales Engineer

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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

  • $88,379

    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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Do you work as a Sales Engineer?

Sales Engineer Jobs

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Sales Engineer Career Paths

Sales Engineer
Operations Manager Outside Sales Representative Regional Sales Representative
Central Region Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Director Of Marketing And Product Management
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales, Americas
13 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Sales And Marketing Manager Account Manager
Global Account Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Regional Manager Regional Sales Manager
North American Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
Northeast Regional Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager District Sales Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager General Manager Account Executive
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Marketing Director Director Of Sales
Senior Sales Director
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager National Account Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Territory Manager Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Product Manager Product Marketing Manager
Strategic Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Sales Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Engineer 4.0 years
Pre Sales Engineer 2.9 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 3.4%
Owner 3.2%
Internship 2.9%
Manager 2.7%
Top Employers After
Owner 4.0%
Consultant 4.0%
President 2.6%

Do you work as a Sales Engineer?

Sales Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

87.0%

Female

10.4%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

77.9%

Asian

9.9%

Hispanic or Latino

8.9%

Unknown

2.6%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.0%

Portuguese

7.3%

German

7.3%

Chinese

7.1%

French

6.9%

Carrier

6.3%

Mandarin

6.0%

Japanese

5.0%

Arabic

4.0%

Russian

2.5%

Hindi

2.1%

Korean

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Thai

1.3%

Cantonese

1.0%

Swedish

0.8%

Turkish

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Persian

0.8%

Dakota

0.8%
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Sales Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.7%

Purdue University

9.4%

Michigan State University

7.4%

Pennsylvania State University

6.3%

Texas A&M University

6.2%

Northeastern University

5.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.3%

Auburn University

4.3%

Iowa State University

4.2%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

San Jose State University

3.6%

Ohio State University

3.6%

Northern Illinois University

3.5%

Western Michigan University

3.4%

University of Houston

3.3%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.2%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.1%

University of Texas at Austin

3.1%
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Majors

Business

26.3%

Mechanical Engineering

13.2%

Electrical Engineering

12.8%

Marketing

6.4%

Computer Science

5.0%

Management

4.4%

Industrial Technology

3.0%

Engineering

2.8%

Finance

2.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Industrial Engineering

2.6%

Chemical Engineering

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Civil Engineering

2.1%

Communication

2.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.0%

Information Technology

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

Computer Networking

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.5%

Masters

21.3%

Other

17.3%

Associate

6.1%

Certificate

2.9%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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. Burlingame, CA Oct 10, 2016 $187,000
Staff Sales Engineer Vmware, Inc. San Mateo, CA Mar 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 Bakersfield, CA Apr 24, 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 Engineers Citiustech Inc. Lone Tree, CO Oct 01, 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 Phunware, Inc. Newport Beach, CA Sep 03, 2016 $84,157
Sales Engineer TXC Technology Brea, CA Nov 07, 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 Tobila Systems USA, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 09, 2016 $84,000

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Top Skills for A Sales Engineer

ProductLineTerritorySalesOEMTechnicalSupportMechanicalContractorsCustomerBaseTradeShowsCustomerServicePost-SalesSupportProjectManagementTechnicalSalesRFPHvacAnnualSalesCustomerRelationsNewCustomersNewAccountsInternetBusinessDevelopmentCustomerRequirements

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  1. Product Line
  2. Territory Sales
  3. OEM
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Functioned as supplier advocate for industrial systems and component product lines.
  • Accelerated total territory sales volume by 25% within first-year.
  • Worked with Application Engineering to develop and suggest products for specific applications, collaborated with OEM accounts and authorized distributors.
  • Provided customers with engineering and technical support and implemented product presentations for existing and new clients.
  • Promoted products throughout North America via presentations to customers, professional organizations, mechanical contractors, and engineering consultants

How Would You Rate Working As a Sales Engineer?

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Top Sales Engineer Employers

Sales Engineer Videos

SEU 001 What Is Sales Engineering?

A Day in The Life - Technical Sales Engineer

What I Do - Simon - Sales Engineer