Jobs That Require Negotiation Skills

Having negotiation skills is useful. Sometimes you need to ensure a contract is suitable, and sometimes you don't want to pay too much money. Whatever the reason for negotiating, having skills in this discipline is useful on the job market.

Career Options Requiring Negotiation Skills

Being able to negotiate is often an important skill to have in the working world. You may need to negotiate prices or services, among other things. Below you will find some options for jobs that require negotiation skills.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Lawyer $118,160 6%
Sales Representative $60,530 (for all wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives) 7% (for all wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives)
Purchasing Agent $60,700 (for all buyers and purchasing agents) 2% (for all buyers and purchasing agents)
Event Planner $47,350 (for all meeting, convention, and event planners) 10% (for all meeting, convention, and event planners)
CEO $181,210 (for all chief executives) -1% (for all chief executives)
Recruitment Specialist $59,180 (for all human resources specialists) 5% (for all human resources specialists)
Real Estate Broker $56,790 2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs that Require Negotiation Skills


Lawyers perform many tasks involving both representing clients in court and advising them on law issues. Being able to negotiate is useful when representing clients, such as when handling client contracts. Lawyers usually have a staff of paralegals and legal assistants to help them maintain all the paperwork and other tasks they must perform. Lawyers need a professional law degree and must pass the bar exam in the state they practice in.

Sales Representative

Sales representatives who work for product manufacturers or wholesalers go from business to business to sell their employers' goods. They often attend industry conferences and trade shows as well. Negotiation skills are useful in this job because sales representatives need to be able to change their price in order to make a sale, but they don't want that price to be too low. Those who sell technical and scientific products usually need a bachelor's degree, and purveyors of all other types of products may only need a high school diploma.

Purchasing Agent

Purchasing agents are skilled at finding products for a good deal for their companies. In order to accomplish this, they study product manufacturers, visit trade shows, conduct meetings with sales representatives, and so on. Having negotiation skills is helpful in this profession so that a reasonable price is maintained and agents don't spend too much of their employers' money. Purchasing agents often need a bachelor's degree, although some entry-level jobs only require a high school diploma.

Event Planner

Event planners are hired by individuals or companies to plan out and conduct events such as meetings, weddings, or conventions. They perform many tasks, ranging from discussing client vision and deciding venues to ensuring services like transportation are coordinated. Being able to negotiate is very needed in this job to keep the costs for hiring services and renting venues down. Event planners typically need a bachelor's degree and some relevant experience.


CEOs, a type of top executive, run large companies and corporations. They ensure that the vision they have for their business is carried out by staff and employees by managing tasks, keeping up with finances, and meeting with other CEOs. They need negotiation skills in order to reach agreements on contracts with other companies as well as to negotiate with their employees and managers. CEOs typically need at least a bachelor's degree and a lot of experience, though many have a master's degree in business administration.

Recruitment Specialist

Recruitment specialists work in the human resources departments and locate candidates for open positions at their company. Their tasks involve finding candidates through job postings or job fairs and then interviewing them. They might test them and work on contacting references. Recruitment specialists need to be able to negotiate with potential hires about their salary or contract. Recruitment specialists usually need a bachelor's degree in this field.

Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers work with clients to help them purchase or sell their home or property. They handle many aspects of a sale, including showing properties, giving advice to clients, and getting all the paperwork ready. Real estate brokers need negotiation skills to help buyers and sellers come to an agreement on price and other elements of a sale. They usually need a high school diploma and a state license, which may require taking a certain number of hours of real estate courses.

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