Alternative Careers for Salespeople

Jan 16, 2020

Salespeople can easily provide consumers with information about a particular product and influence the consumer in a positive way concerning the product. Learn about a few of the alternative jobs in which these skills can be applied.

Alternative Career Options for Salespeople

Salespeople looking for a new career may enjoy a job in which they can interact with people, promote particular products or services, or manage other salespeople. The people skills that salespeople often have can easily be applied to multiple careers across various fields. We look at a handful of these alternative career options below.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Sales Engineers $101,420 6%
Cashiers $22,430 -4% (decline)
Customer Service Representatives $33,750 -2% (decline)
Sales Managers $124,220 5%
Buyers and Purchasing Agents $62,750 -7% (decline)
Public Relations Specialists $60,000 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Alternative Careers for Salespeople

Sales Engineers

Salespeople interested in technical and scientific products may enjoy a career as a sales engineer. These professionals explain and sell these products to businesses and help them find the right products to meet their needs. Sales engineers also provide sales support with the products and help with any installation problems, as well as develop new products if needed. Sales engineers must know their products and have at least a bachelor's degree.


Cashiers interact with customers on a daily basis and may help answer questions that customers have about products or the store, which salespeople may like doing. Cashiers handle all of the financial transactions from customers for their products and may be responsible for processing exchanges or returns. They are usually friendly as they greet customers and interact while scanning and bagging products. Cashiers do not need formal education and learn on the job.

Customer Service Representatives

Another alternative career for salespeople who want to interact with and help customers is that of a customer service representative. These representatives calmly answer questions, handle customer complaints and refer customers to managers if needed. They are also responsible for adjusting customers' accounts, processing orders and accepting returns. Customer service representatives learn on the job and have a high school diploma.

Sales Managers

Salespeople who have excelled in their career may consider a position as a sales manager. These managers' primary task is to oversee the various activities of an organization's sales teams, such as setting sales quotas, determining sales territories and training their staff. Sales managers oversee budgets, examine sales reports, handle customer complaints and may help set discounts or special sales. In addition to experience in sales, these managers have a bachelor's degree.

Buyers and Purchasing Agents

Buyers and purchasing agents are related to salespeople in that they buy and acquire products for their organization to resell. They need knowledge of sales as they try to find products that can be resold easily and compare suppliers and vendors to find those with the best prices, products and service. These agents also negotiate contracts, manage any problems or complications with the vendors and keep detailed records of inventory and cost. Most of these agents have a bachelor's degree and on-the-job training, but some may find jobs with only a high school diploma.

Public Relations Specialists

Salespeople may make good public relations specialists as they work to sell a particular positive image of their organization instead of a product. Public relations specialists release information to the media and monitor social media to maintain a positive public image for their organization or client. They may need to write speeches and train their clients to effectively communicate with the public and media, as well as ensure that marketing strategies stay in line with the desired public image. Public relations specialists need a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, business or a related field.

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