Route Sales Representative Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

Route sales representatives require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Since the main job of a route sales representative is to sell and deliver a product, excellent communication skills and sales experience are a requirement for those who pursue this career opportunity. While many applicants can get a job with only a high school diploma, a bachelor's degree is preferred by many employers in this field.

Essential Information

A route sales job involves the selling and delivery of goods based on a regular schedule within a specified area. Route sales representatives need at least a high school diploma or the equivalent, and some companies want someone with a college degree. They usually are required to have some sales experience. People who perform this job often have good interpersonal skills, which can lead to advancement into many other sales positions.

Required Education High school diploma or GED certificate at minimum; degree preferred by some employers
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 4% for driver/sales workers
Median Salary (2015)* $22,450 for driver/sales workers

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Route Sales Representative: Career Options and Requirements

Career Options

A route sales representative services the same business accounts on a regular basis. This position has two aspects. First, workers take on the role of salesperson, presenting the attributes of their product and offering it for sale. Second, they assume responsibility for the regular delivery of their product to customers.

Individuals who have training or experience as a route sales representative will find many other job opportunities available to them. With their existing skills and some additional training, they can advance to other positions, such as sales engineer, advertising or insurance sales agent, retail salesperson, sales supervisor, purchasing manager and real estate agent. They may also branch out into sales of commodities and financial services. The reason for this range of careers is due to the individual's ability to sell a product, which is a key component of these positions.

Requirements

One of the most crucial qualities that a route sales representative must possess is the ability to communicate effectively. Good communication and customer service skills are beneficial to building and preserving relationships with customers. Listening skills are also a requisite for sales professionals.

Route sales representatives must enjoy working with others as much as they enjoy selling. Representatives should have extensive knowledge of the products they sell. They must be able to work well independently. Potential applicants should be energetic and ambitious, and possess the ability to acquire new accounts

Also, route sales representatives must keep their customers informed as new products or services become available. Another requirement for this job is the ability to resolve customer complaints or dissatisfaction with products.

Some prior sales experience in the industry in question is helpful in obtaining work as a route sales representative. Most jobs of this type require a minimum of a high school education. Some companies may prefer that applicants also have a college degree.

Salary and Job Outlook

Employment of route sales representatives, who are part of the drivers and sales workers jobs category, is expected to increase by 4% from 2014 to 2024, which is about average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These workers made a median annual salary of $22,450 in May 2015, according to the BLS.

Sales experience is one of the best ways to stand out from other job candidates, as those with a higher level of knowledge will have more qualifications for the position. Job growth for route sales representatives is projected at a slower than average rate through 2024, and applicants could expect to earn a little more than $22,000 annually in 2015.

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