Best Entry-Level Sales Jobs

Entry-level sales positions can be found in a multitude of organizations, and positions can be found for both high school and college graduates. This article is going to explore some of the best entry-level options available.

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Options for the Best Entry-Level Sales Jobs

Sales positions can offer unlimited earning potential, and many companies are continuously hiring entry-level sales associates, both degreed and non-degreed. Some positions are strictly commission-based, while others may be salary only or a combination of commission and salary. If you are an extrovert with an outgoing personality and a can-do attitude and want to use your communication and persuasion skills on a daily basis in your job, then you may want to consider one of the following entry-level sales positions.

Job Title Median Annual Salary* Job Growth (2016 - 2026)*
Insurance Sales Agent $49,710 10%
Financial Services Sales Agent $63,780 (for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents) 6% (for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents)
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative $74,803** 5% (for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, technical and scientific products)
Automotive Retail Salesperson $41,915** 2% (for retail sales workers)
Real Estate Sales Agent $45,990 6%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS - May 2017); **PayScale.com (April 2018)

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Information on the Best Entry-Level Sales Jobs

Insurance Sales Agent

The insurance industry is highly competitive, relying heavily on sales agents for its success, and these agents have a greater than average job growth outlook through 2026. Many insurance companies utilize their entry-level sales agents in call center environments, providing complete training on the insurance knowledge and persuasive selling skills needed to be successful in their job and obtain the necessary state licensing. These positions are typically salary-based with bonuses for reaching certain sales and retention numbers. A median annual salary of almost $50,000 is notable for any entry-level position, particularly one in which only a high school degree is required; however, top insurance sales agents can earn over $100,000 a year.

Financial Services Sales Agent

Financial services sales agents sell a variety of financial products, depending upon the organization that they work for. These include investment products such as IRAs, stocks and bonds, and CDs, as well as other products such as life insurance. While they may initially be salary-based as they are training and just starting out, many of these positions become commission-based, allowing for unlimited earnings potential, and many sales agents ultimately open their own independently operated office.

Entry-level financial services sales agents will initially devote a lot of time in pursuing clients, but as they solidify their client base, more time may be spent on increasing the products sold to existing clients. As always, some portion of time is devoted to acquiring new clients, as each new product and new client adds to the commission earned. A bachelor's degree is required, and most agents will need to attain and maintain specific licenses depending upon the products and services that they sell.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

As the healthcare industry continues to grow, another entry-level sales position that allows you to turn your outgoing personality and sales skills into a good paycheck (median annual salary of almost $75,000) is that of a pharmaceutical sales representative. As a pharmaceutical sales representative, you will be responsible for developing a sales territory and a clientele that includes physicians, clinics and hospitals to which you will market your company's pharmaceutical products, looking to create brand loyalty. Although this position does not require prior medical knowledge, you will need to learn, fully understand, and be able to communicate scientific and technical information on the products offered. A bachelor's degree in marketing or a scientific field will be relevant.

Automotive Retail Salesperson

The advent of a more information-based society with more knowledgeable buyers who have greater purchase choices has changed the car buying experience, including the automotive retail salesperson. No college education is necessary for this position, and as with many entry-level sales positions, an automotive retail salesperson may initially be on a salary or hybrid pay scale during training, while becoming commission-based after a probationary period. As such, the income potential is driven by an individual's drive and desire - the greater the effort, the greater the paycheck. A professional appearance and attitude, the ability to really communicate with and listen to others, and the ability to build a rapport with potential customers are the necessary skills for success in this position.

Real Estate Sales Agent

Although real estate sales agents will need to successfully pass a licensing exam, a college education is not necessary for this position, making it a great entry-level job with opportunities for advancement to become a real estate broker. Real estate sales agents cannot work independently; rather, they work for a broker who has completed certain real estate education classes, taken several licensing exams, and has prior sales agent experience, and is thus allowed to operate independently.

So, while both sales agents and brokers represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions, the sales agent will receive only a portion (maybe 30% - 40%) of the commission paid to the broker (typically 3% - 6% of the sale price of the house). While the median annual salary of a real estate sales agent is around $46,000, a sales agent can eventually, with broker-licensing classes and experience, become a broker. Brokers have a median annual salary of $56,730, although top brokers can earn $150,000 or more annually.

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