Military veterans looking for good-paying careers may want to look at developing their sales skills. This field offers some great opportunities. We'll explore several options, highlighting salary, required education, and common job responsibilities.
|Job Title||Median Wage (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Insurance Sales Agents||$49,990||10%||Veterans' focus on values, particularly family security|
|Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives||$60,530||5%||Ability to work in a team/unit teams|
|Sales Representatives, All Other Services||$52,940||10%||Ability to work independently and follow through|
|Sales Engineers||$100,000||7%||Good problem-solving skills|
|Sales Managers||$117,960||7%||Leadership, accountability|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Sales Careers for Military Veterans
Military veterans may do well in sales. There are a number of different fields that veterans may find suitable, from insurance agents to management. Sales careers can yield high incomes, with relatively little postsecondary education.
Insurance Sales Agents
Veterans may do well in this career because the focus on family security tends to dovetail well with their personal values and civilian perceptions of the military. They may be regarded by employers as worthy of training and promotion.
Insurance sales agents sell insurance of various types. They may sell life insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, business insurance, or combined plans. They generally visit with clients to explain policies and help them select appropriate plans. This position requires a high school diploma and state license. Although a degree is not necessary, many agents do have one.
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives
This can be a good career choice for veterans, particularly when working for defense contractors and companies with similar products. Veterans military experience may convey authority and help them to be successful in sales.
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell a particular line of products or products from a particular company, often to businesses, retail stores, or government agencies. They identify and contact prospective clients, present their sales pitch, and often stay in touch for repeat business. This career requires a high school diploma for many products, but in the case of products related to science or technology, a bachelor's degree is usually required. Larger companies generally have a training program for their sales staff that may take a year or more to complete.
Sale Representatives, All Other Services
Veterans may do well as sales representatives for a variety of products and services. Their ability to work in teams, follow instructions, and work through problems and challenges may serve them well in this career and lead to success.
The category of sales representatives includes a wide array of working environments and sales products. It can range from special offers on cruise ships, to promotional opportunities, phone and internet systems, business services, and more. Sales representatives work with a team that participates in structuring the sales pitch and coaches representatives in how to sell products. This position requires a high school diploma.
When it comes to the sale of high-tech products, it may take a sales force with engineering skills to fully convey the benefits and outstanding characteristics. Veterans with education and experience with highly advanced technology may stand out in this field.
Sales engineers work with products that are technical in nature. They must understand and be able to reliably discuss and present their products, often to other highly sophisticated staff. In the process of arranging the sale, there may be technical modifications that the sales engineer must understand and convey back to his/her own company. A bachelor's degree is required to enter into this position.
Veterans with leadership skills may be right at home leading a sales team. Skills learned during active duty regarding organization and motivation may help veterans stand out and excel in this career.
Sales managers are responsible for managing their sales team and encouraging them to get results. They often participate in crafting the sales message. They help the sales team fully understand and convey that message to customers and clients. This is a results-driven position that may suit veterans' skill sets and traits. Sales managers usually have a bachelor's degree and sales experience.