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Sales Counselor: Job Description and Education Requirements

Working as a sales counselor often requires some formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and credentials to see if this is the right career for you.

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Sales counselors make long-term commitments to selling products and services, often working with other industries such as real estate. They need some form of undergraduate education, preferably in marketing or a related field.

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Essential Information

Sales counselors typically sell products that require a significant investment of time and money from their buyers, such as prefabricated homes, senior living condominiums or death care. Therefore, sales counselors must build and maintain long-term relationships with their clients. Education requirements vary significantly between employers, but some formal education is typically required. Depending on the industry in which a sales counselor works, such as real estate, additional credentials, such as a broker's license, may be needed.

Required Education Varies by employer; an undergraduate degree in sales, marketing or a related field is common
Other Requirements Professional credentials needed vary by industry; may include licensing
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% for sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing*
Median Salary (2015) $76,190 for sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Requirements

Sale counselors should have exceptional communication, service and interpersonal skills. In addition, sales counselors typically work holidays, weekends and evenings. They are also typically required to travel to meet with customers.

Education Requirements for a Sales Counselor

A March 2011 search of available jobs on the website Monster.com indicated that education requirements for sales counselors vary greatly across employers. Many employers seek some formal education including certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree programs. Although any kind of undergraduate education is typically sufficient to find employment, some employers look for sales counselors with a background in marketing or real estate. Marketing and real estate programs train students to understand a customer base and to create and sell a product which appeals to that base.

Additional Requirements

Depending on the type of sales in which a counselor deals, other professional qualifications may be required. For instance, counselors in the prefabricated home industry need real estate credentials such as a broker's license. This requires passing a test sanctioned by the state in which one operates, as well as some amount of classroom education in the real estate business. Requirements like these vary between jobs and states, but sales counselors should be prepared to undergo additional education for their job if necessary.

Sales counselors need to be able to create and maintain business relationships with potential buyers, and be able to make long-term commitments to whatever they are selling. They need an educational background in sales or marketing in order to be successful, and may also need to pass state-sanctioned examinations depending on what industry they work in.

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