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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

  • $89,000

    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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Technical Sales Engineer Career Paths

Technical Sales Engineer
Sales Engineer Sales Manager Account Manager
Global Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales & Business Development
12 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Account Manager Product Manager
Group Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales, Americas
13 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Senior Product Line Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Sales And Marketing Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Engineer Product Manager District Sales Manager
Eastern Regional Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Engineer Sales Manager Business Development Manager
Global Business Development Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Engineer Sales Manager National Sales Manager
International Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Regional Business Manager National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineering Manager Sales Engineering Manager
Director Of Sales Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator Technical Support Manager
Technical Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Program Manager
Sales Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Customer Service Manager Inside Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager, Mid Atlantic Region
9 Yearsyrs
Product Manager District Sales Manager Eastern Regional Sales Manager
Central Region Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Account Executive National Account Manager Global Account Manager
Global Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Engineering Manager Sales Engineering Manager
OEM Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive District Sales Manager Eastern Regional Sales Manager
North America Sales Manager
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Sales Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Engineer 3.7 years
Pre Sales Engineer 2.9 years
Marketing Engineer 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Technical Sales Engineer
Internship 5.1%
Engineer 4.7%
Owner 3.4%
Top Careers After Technical Sales Engineer
Owner 4.4%
Engineer 4.0%

Do you work as a Technical Sales Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$89,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$62,000
Min 10%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$128,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Google
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Texas
Avg Experience Level
3.4 years
How much does a Technical Sales Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Technical Sales Engineer in the United States is $89,618 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $62,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $128,000.

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
Technical Sales Engineer Lydall Thermal/Acoustical, Inc. Novi, MI Aug 19, 2016 $120,000 -
$142,800
Sales Engineer/IT Solutions Westbridge Technologies Inc. Bethesda, MD May 25, 2015 $120,000
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
IT Sales Engineer Estuate, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 15, 2015 $100,000
Technical Sales Engineer Applied MacHinery Corporation Spring, TX Feb 18, 2015 $100,000
Technical Sales Engineer EZEN Computer Services Inc. Plano, TX Nov 15, 2016 $100,000
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
Technical Sales Engineer Permasense Americas Inc. Houston, TX Sep 15, 2015 $85,000
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 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

  1. New Product Development
  2. Technical Sales Support
  3. Sales Territory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed gated and metric based procedures for new product development, and managed the technical aspects of this process.
  • Provide technical sales support to the seven state, $3 million, Midwest territory.
  • Meet regularly with customers in sales territory to understand their electronic component needs.
  • Expected to meet or exceed sales forecasts and profitability by ensuring effective customer service and in-depth coverage of assigned accounts.
  • Secure and maintain new accounts, including the largest new customer accounting for 16% of 2012 total corporate sales.

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Top 10 Best States for Technical Sales Engineers

  1. Colorado
  2. Texas
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Washington
  5. Michigan
  6. South Dakota
  7. Virginia
  8. Delaware
  9. Maryland
  10. Utah
  • (550 jobs)
  • (1,378 jobs)
  • (161 jobs)
  • (586 jobs)
  • (515 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (1,059 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (462 jobs)
  • (222 jobs)

Technical Sales Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.9%

Female

12.0%

Unknown

7.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Asian

11.2%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

5.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.8%

French

15.1%

Arabic

8.5%

Portuguese

6.6%

German

4.7%

Carrier

3.8%

Italian

3.8%

Chinese

2.8%

Japanese

2.8%

Mandarin

2.8%

Korean

2.8%

Persian

1.9%

Zulu

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Yoruba

0.9%

Cantonese

0.9%

Cherokee

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Serer

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%
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Technical Sales Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.0%

Purdue University

8.8%

Pennsylvania State University

6.9%

Ohio State University

6.5%

Arizona State University

5.6%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

University of Houston

5.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.2%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.2%

University of Texas at Austin

4.2%

Ohio University -

3.7%

University of Cincinnati

3.7%

University of California - Irvine

3.7%

Texas Tech University

3.7%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.7%

National University

3.2%

University of Connecticut

3.2%

Western Michigan University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

19.0%

Electrical Engineering

17.3%

Mechanical Engineering

15.1%

Chemical Engineering

6.4%

Computer Science

5.4%

Management

3.9%

Marketing

3.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Industrial Engineering

3.3%

Finance

2.7%

Computer Engineering

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Information Technology

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Project Management

2.0%

Engineering

1.9%

Computer Networking

1.8%

Industrial Technology

1.7%

Petroleum Engineering

1.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.1%

Masters

23.2%

Other

14.1%

Associate

7.0%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.1%
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