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Parts Salesperson: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 15, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a parts salesperson. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and training necessary to find out if this is the career for you.

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Parts salespeople work to identify and procure spare parts for cars and other mechanical equipment. These positions require only a high school diploma or GED. Candidates need to have basic reading, customer service and computer skills.

Essential Information

Parts salespersons identify, locate and provide replacement or spare parts for automobiles, mechanical equipment, electronics and other consumer products. Entry-level work is available to individuals who have acquired a high school diploma or equivalent. The ability to read at a basic level is typically necessary. Computer and customer service skills are also generally required.

Required Education High school diploma or GED; additional on-the-job training usually necessary
Other Requirements Basic reading ability, computer and customer service skills
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -2%
Mean Salary (2018)* $34,080 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description of a Parts Salesperson

Parts salespersons provide spare and replacement parts for consumer products, including motor vehicles, industrial equipment and electronics. They may have to identify the correct part or a suitable substitute based on an examination of the damaged part or the customer's description of the problem. They also maintain inventory and track down rare parts for older machines and equipment.

Duties of a Parts Salesperson

A parts salesperson determines the correct replacement or spare part for a customer by inspecting the old part, having the customer describe the problem and searching catalogs for stock numbers and prices. A salesperson can explain how a part functions, demonstrate proper use of equipment and provide advice and installation instruction to customers.

Salespersons also process sales payments, examine exchanged parts, stock shelves, order parts from manufacturers and keep stockrooms organized. In some settings, a salesperson will provide services over the telephone or via their company's website.

Requirements to Become a Parts Salesperson

Generally, employers provide on-the-job training and do not require individuals complete a postsecondary education prior to work as a salesperson. In 2012, O*NET reported 76% of surveyed parts salespersons had a high school diploma or the equivalent and 23% had completed some college or a postsecondary certificate program (online.onetcenter.org). Completion of a degree program can increase chances for advancement into management positions at larger establishments.

Job duties require basic reading and computer proficiency, as well as the ability to deal with customers. Customer service or shipping experience plus field-specific high school electives may increase employment opportunities. For example, a student pursuing work at an automobile dealership or repair shop may find automotive or mechanics courses to be beneficial. A salesperson must also keep current with technological innovation to anticipate new customer demands.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Jobs for parts salespersons were predicted to decrease 2% during the 2018-2028 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is about average. In May 2018, the BLS reported that the annual average salary of parts salespersons was $34,080.

Parts salespeople generally receive on-the-job training and require only a high school diploma or GED. Certification is available and may be useful for job advancement. These positions have an annual mean salary of about $34,000.

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