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Working As a Sales Support 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

  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Sales Support 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 Support 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 Support Engineer Career Paths

Sales Support Engineer
Sales Engineer Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Sales Manager Account Manager
Director, Inside Sales
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Project Manager Product Manager
Senior Product Marketing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Consultant Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales, Americas
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Manager, Product Management
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Team Leader Customer Service Manager
Inside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Product Manager National Account Manager
Global Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Account Executive National Sales Manager
International Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Information Technology Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Senior Product Line Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Sales Manager Regional Accounts Manager
Corporate Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Production Manager Processing Manager
Sales Support Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Senior Sales Engineer
Technical Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer District Sales Manager Key Account Manager
Account Development Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Customer Service Manager Inside Sales Manager
Inside Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Sales Engineer 3.7 years
Pre Sales Engineer 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Sales Support Engineer
Engineer 5.6%
Internship 3.6%
Top Careers After Sales Support Engineer
Consultant 7.6%
Manager 5.1%

Do you work as a Sales Support Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$83,000
Show Salaries
$65,000
Min 10%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Colorado Springs, CO
Highest Paying State
Virginia
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does a Sales Support Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Sales Support Engineer in the United States is $83,934 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $65,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $107,000.

Real Sales Support Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Sales Support Engineer Ericsson Television, Inc. Duluth, GA May 02, 2012 $147,960
Structures Sales and Support Engineer Tekla, Inc. Kennesaw, GA Oct 01, 2010 $130,000
Cisco Sales Support Engineer VOX Network Solutions, Inc. Brisbane, CA Jan 11, 2015 $120,000
Sales Support Engineer Wartsila North America, Inc. Long Beach, CA Aug 31, 2014 $112,069
Sales Support Engineer-Compressors UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Oct 01, 2014 $103,666
Technical Sales Support Engineer M-I LLC Aka M-I Swaco Houston, TX May 22, 2012 $103,248
Sales Support Engineer, Associate Manager SONY Latin America, Inc. Miami, FL Apr 11, 2015 $100,879
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Garden Grove, CA Jan 02, 2016 $98,750
Sales Support Engineer, Associate Manager SONY Latin America, Inc. Miami, FL Jan 03, 2014 $95,454
Technical Sales Support Engineer M-I LLC Aka M-I Swaco Houston, TX May 07, 2012 $91,080
Sales Support Engineer Salesforce.com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 29, 2013 $90,376
Senior Sales Support Engineer Salesforce.com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 01, 2014 $90,000
Sales Support Engineer, Services Wartsila North America, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 22, 2012 $90,000
Pre-Sales Support Engineer Informatica Corporation Austin, TX Jul 25, 2015 $88,899
Sales Support Engineer-Transformers Siemens Industry, Inc. Cary, NC Mar 24, 2016 $85,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Canonsburg, PA Oct 17, 2016 $84,000
Tech Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation CA Aug 08, 2013 $84,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Frisco, TX Aug 27, 2014 $84,000
Pre-Sales and Support Engineer Entriq, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 12, 2010 $82,000 -
$96,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Addison, TX Oct 01, 2010 $81,996
Sales Support Engineer SONY Latin America, Inc. Miami, FL Jan 03, 2011 $81,727
Sales Support Engineer Arkadin, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $72,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Smith International, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 22, 2013 $71,400
Sales Support Engineer ECO Engineering, LLC Cincinnati, OH Oct 01, 2012 $71,100
Sales Support Engineer (South East & South West Co Wartsila North America, Inc. Long Beach, CA Oct 01, 2011 $70,886
Sales Support Engineer Siemens Industry, Inc. Waukesha, WI Sep 01, 2013 $70,700
Sales Support Engineer ATR North America Inc. Dulles Town Center, VA May 01, 2010 $70,242 -
$102,000
Sales Support Engineer GMAT Enterprises, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Mar 19, 2010 $70,000

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Top Skills for A Sales Support Engineer

  1. New Product Development
  2. Technical Sales Support
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted with developing business opportunities including new product development and increasing market share for training and professional services lines of business.
  • Provided technical sales support to national account managers.
  • Coordinated various operational functions to ensure the highest level of customer service.
  • Provided high-quality, dedicated after-sales technical support to all projects and products.
  • Provide engineering support and instructions to offshore manufacturing facility.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Sales Support Engineers

  1. Virginia
  2. Washington
  3. Maryland
  4. Texas
  5. Colorado
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Maine
  8. New York
  9. Georgia
  10. Utah
  • (1,982 jobs)
  • (1,012 jobs)
  • (1,196 jobs)
  • (2,314 jobs)
  • (959 jobs)
  • (259 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (1,550 jobs)
  • (992 jobs)
  • (364 jobs)

Sales Support Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

75.2%

Female

14.6%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

58.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

10.8%

Unknown

5.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.0%

German

12.5%

Japanese

7.5%

French

7.5%

Portuguese

5.0%

Hindi

5.0%

Mandarin

5.0%

Italian

5.0%

Swedish

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

Turkish

2.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Cherokee

2.5%

Greek

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%
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Sales Support Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.7%

Texas A&M University

6.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.9%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

5.9%

Colorado State University

5.9%

University of Wisconsin Extension

4.9%

Northeastern University

4.9%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.9%

Webster University

4.9%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.9%

Iowa State University

3.9%

San Jose State University

3.9%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.9%

University of Miami

3.9%

Old Dominion University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

More Tech Institute

3.9%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

3.9%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

2.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

20.4%

Business

19.5%

Computer Science

10.7%

Mechanical Engineering

7.4%

Computer Information Systems

4.6%

Computer Engineering

4.4%

Engineering

4.4%

Management

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Information Technology

3.1%

Marketing

2.6%

Chemical Engineering

2.4%

Finance

2.2%

Computer Networking

2.0%

Management Information Systems

1.8%

Information Systems

1.8%

Education

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%

Physics

1.5%

Computer Technical Support

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.9%

Masters

22.8%

Other

17.4%

Associate

7.8%

Certificate

4.5%

Diploma

1.6%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.1%
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