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Become A Technical Sales Engineer

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Working As A Technical 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

  • $91,573

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical 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 Technical 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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Technical Sales Engineer Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Sales Engineer 3.7 years
Marketing Engineer 2.9 years
Pre Sales Engineer 2.9 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 5.1%
Engineer 4.9%
Owner 2.7%
Top Employers After
Owner 4.3%
Engineer 4.1%

Do you work as a Technical Sales Engineer?

Technical Sales Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

85.9%

Female

12.6%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

56.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Asian

11.9%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

5.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.5%

French

16.1%

Arabic

9.2%

Portuguese

5.7%

German

4.6%

Carrier

4.6%

Italian

4.6%

Chinese

2.3%

Persian

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Mandarin

2.3%

Korean

2.3%

Zulu

1.1%

Hebrew

1.1%

Yoruba

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Cherokee

1.1%

Serer

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%
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Technical Sales Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.8%

Purdue University

6.8%

Pennsylvania State University

6.0%

University of Houston

6.0%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Arizona State University

5.3%

Ohio University -

4.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

Texas A&M University

4.5%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.5%

Syracuse University

3.8%

New York University

3.8%

National University

3.8%

Florida International University

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%

Texas Tech University

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

18.7%

Business

18.5%

Mechanical Engineering

14.1%

Chemical Engineering

5.6%

Computer Science

5.3%

Management

4.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.4%

Finance

3.2%

Computer Information Systems

3.1%

Industrial Engineering

2.9%

Marketing

2.9%

Computer Engineering

2.8%

Project Management

2.5%

Computer Networking

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.1%

Industrial Technology

1.9%

Civil Engineering

1.8%

Information Technology

1.8%

Drafting And Design

1.6%

Engineering

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.0%

Masters

23.4%

Other

14.9%

Associate

7.6%

Certificate

3.6%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

1.0%

License

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

Real Technical Sales Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
IT Sales Engineer Estuate Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 28, 2015 $141,960
Senior Principal: Technical Sales Engineer Computer Sciences Corporation Fremont, CA Mar 02, 2015 $135,637
Technical Sales Engineer Dassault Systemes Americas Corp Auburn Hills, MI Feb 09, 2016 $132,000
Technical Sales Engineer U.S. Tech Solutions Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 24, 2016 $130,500
IT Sales Engineer Estuate, Inc. Quincy, MA May 19, 2016 $130,000
Tech Sales & ENG Director-Auto Parts & ADV Material/Resins Robert D. Stewart Corp, D/B/A The Stewart Company Erlanger, KY Sep 15, 2015 $128,960
Technical Sales Engineer Weatherford International, LLC Magnolia, TX Jun 26, 2015 $127,504
Technical Sales Engineer Dassault Systemes Americas Corp. Waltham, MA Aug 26, 2016 $126,174
Technical Sales Engineer Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp. Auburn Hills, MI Dec 16, 2016 $125,763
Senior Technical Sales Engineer S.W.I.F.T. Pan-Americas, Inc. Miami, FL May 10, 2015 $124,542
Technical Sales Engineer Seiko Instruments U.S.A., Inc. Torrance, CA Dec 02, 2016 $123,427
Technical Sales Engineer Seiko Instruments U.S.A., Inc. Torrance, CA Jun 14, 2016 $123,427
Sales Engineer/IT Solutions Westbridge Technologies Inc. Bethesda, MD May 25, 2015 $120,000
Technical Sales Engineer Lydall Thermal/Acoustical, Inc. Novi, MI Aug 19, 2016 $120,000 -
$142,800
Telecommunications Technical Sales Engineer Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. Miramar, FL Sep 15, 2015 $103,087
Asia Technical Applications & Sales Engineer Intricon, Inc. Longmeadow, MA Mar 08, 2016 $102,986
Technical Sales Engineer Quadrant Distribution LLC San Antonio, TX Mar 31, 2016 $102,461
Technical Sales Engineer Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp. Dearborn, MI May 09, 2016 $100,062
Technical Sales Engineer Applied MacHinery Corporation Spring, TX Feb 18, 2015 $100,000
Simulia Technical Sales Engineer Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp. Mayfield Heights, OH Aug 26, 2016 $100,000
Telecommunications Technical Sales Engineer Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Miramar, FL Jun 12, 2015 $100,000 -
$131,250
Technical Sales Engineer Deepflex, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 03, 2015 $100,000
Technical Sales Engineer Dassault Systemes Simulia Johnston, RI Nov 19, 2015 $87,256
Technical Sales Engineer Applied MacHinery Corporation Houston, TX Jul 30, 2015 $85,093
IT Sales Engineer Estuate, Inc. Princeton, NJ Aug 23, 2016 $85,000
IT Sales Engineer Estuate, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Mar 22, 2015 $85,000
Technical Sales Engineer Rosemount, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 26, 2016 $85,000
Technical Sales Engineer Permasense Americas Inc. Houston, TX Sep 15, 2015 $85,000
Technical Sales Engineer Sacramento Computer Power, Inc. Sacramento, CA Sep 09, 2015 $84,989
Sales Engineer, Conveyor Technologies Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (USA), Inc. Greenwood Village, CO Jan 09, 2016 $84,000

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Top Skills for A Technical Sales Engineer

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  1. Product Line
  2. Technical Sales Support
  3. Proposals
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Promoted to two additional product lines with responsibilities to revamp presentation of subject matter.
  • Provide technical sales support to the seven state, $3 million, Midwest territory.
  • Generated preliminary proposals, including accurately-scaled solar array layout drawings that balance aesthetics with optimal performance.
  • Managed six state sales territory, grew territory from $3.5 million to $13.5 million in three years.
  • Secure and maintain new accounts, including the largest new customer accounting for 16% of 2012 total corporate sales.

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Top Technical Sales Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Technical Sales Engineer Employers

Technical Sales Engineer Videos

Technical Sales Engineer Program Overview

Schlumberger Career Profile: Margarita, Artificial Lift Technical Sales Engineer

A Day in The Life - Technical Sales Engineer

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