Sales engineers sell a variety of complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses— including the latest information technology systems… manufacturing equipment… and scientific instruments, among others. Like most salespeople, sales engineers try to interest clients in their products or services, negotiate prices, and complete sales. But as trained engineers or scientists, they also have extensive technical knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and understand the scientific processes behind their products. Sales engineers give technical presentations where they describe the benefits and competitive edge of their products, and explain how their product will solve a customer’s problem. They may also work with clients to modify or customize a product to their needs. Some work for the manufacturer of a product… while others work for independent sales firms. Most sales engineers travel… whether locally within a small region… for weeks at a time across several states… or even internationally. The job can be stressful since income and job security often depend directly on successful deals. Engineers typically work full time and many work over 40 hours a week to meet client needs and achieve sales goals. Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, though a science or business degree and technical knowledge may suffice. For some positions, sales experience along with technical experience or training may be sufficient.
What they do:
Sell business goods or services, the selling of which requires a technical background equivalent to a baccalaureate degree in engineering.
On the job, you would:
Collaborate with sales teams to understand customer requirements, to promote the sale of company products, and to provide sales support.
Sell products requiring extensive technical expertise and support for installation and use, such as material handling equipment, numerical-control machinery, or computer systems.
Plan and modify product configurations to meet customer needs.
sales and marketing
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
product and service development
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
reading work related information
talking to others
talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
understanding people's reactions
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
use rules to solve problems
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
remember words, numbers, pictures, or steps
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
WebEx Sales Center
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft SQL Server
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed