How to Become a Car Salesman
Car Salesman Careers & Degrees

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A Car Salesman is the point of contact for consumers who are in the market to purchase a new or used car, truck or other types of vehicles.

These professionals may work for a specific auto dealership or for used auto dealerships selling a variety of makes and models.

Individuals who want to become to Car Salesman will need a combination of selling skills as well as have a full understanding of the products they are selling to their clients.

These professionals will also have a basic understanding of automobiles, such as auto engines, gas mileage and any warranties given to autos.

Continue reading below to learn more information on how to enter this profession.

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Education Requirements to Become to Car Salesman

Individuals who want to become a Car Salesman don’t need to be formally educated.

However, many automobile dealerships prefer to hire candidates with a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

In addition, individuals who want to become a Car Salesman will need to possess some important characteristics and receive training in order to enter this profession.

Because Car Salespersons are involved in selling high ticket items, they must have certain characteristics to be successful in this profession.

Important characteristics and qualities to have include the following: customer service skills, interpersonal skills, persistence and be persuasive to sell autos to shoppers.

Individuals must be able to consistently speak to several clients, be responsive to their needs and explain the types of autos an inventory available to choose from.

Individuals must also undergo training that can last several days to several weeks to fully understand the inventory available, the technical aspects of automobiles and those of competing similar models being produced.

Training also provides individuals with important information regarding the company they work for and additional information on providing high quality customer service skills.

Car Salesman Job Description

A Car Salesman is responsible for selling a variety of new or used automobiles and vehicles for an auto dealership.

The most important skill to have in this profession is the ability to service clients and work on customer service skills.

These professionals will also need to use their listening skills in order to fully understand what clients want and need in their future vehicle.

Based on what customers need out of a car, a Car Salesman will make recommendations and suggestions based on the vehicles currently located on their lot.

A Car Salesman will also explain the use of a car, especially newer models that are loaded with new technological features such as Bluetooth or GPS devices.

They will also fully explain the complete features and describe the difference between a basic and a fully loaded model.

A Car Salesman will need to be open to answering questions such as how certain features work on the model they are reviewing.

A Car Salesman will also allow clients to test drive a car and explain any features during the drive.

In addition, Car Salesmen need to be fully aware of any promotions or specials and any financing options to complete a purchase.

Car Salesman Salary and Career Path

The median wage for professionals in Motor vehicle and parts dealerships, which includes Car Salesmen, was approximately $14.73 per hour in 2012.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including the type of company an individual works in.

For example, some companies pay bonuses and commission for individuals whose sales quota exceeds a certain amount.

This type of income will increase an individual’s total pay.

The job outlook for Retail Sales Workers is expected to grow at an average rate of 10 percent through the year 2022.

This rate is cause by the increase of an e-commerce marketplace reducing the need for in store retail store employees.

However, job growth for Car Salesmen should be higher than 10 percent because of the need to meet with these professionals in person.

Individuals who have a passion for the automobile industry and working with a variety of vehicles and clients will enjoy entering this profession.

In addition, individuals who want to become a Car Salesman can expect a healthy job market, wages that reflect the effort they put in to selling cars and the ability to work with people.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$36,520
New Hampshire$29,620
New Jersey$29,660
New Mexico$27,310
New York$32,310
North Carolina$27,450
North Dakota$33,520
Rhode Island$32,660
South Carolina$27,180
South Dakota$30,620
West Virginia$26,600
Puerto Rico$19,940
Virgin Islands$29,850

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $36,520.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $36,520
Washington - $35,520
Connecticut - $34,230
North Dakota - $33,520
Hawaii - $33,130
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Retail Salespersons, OCC Code 41-2031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a car salesman do?

A car salesman literally does what the name suggests – and that is selling cars.

The specialist is responsible for showing and selling different types of automobiles to the customers that visit a car dealership.

Various dealerships can specialize in certain models and brands of cars.

In a nutshell, a car salesman is a customer service representative and his or her main responsibilities typically include greeting the customers and answering any questions that they might have; explaining the various features of a certain model of a car; explaining financial options and warranties, and so on.

Of course, a car salesman has to be persuasive in order to succeed and have profound knowledge about every automobile presented in the dealership.

Car salesmen often take potential customers for a test drive.

QuestionHow much do car salesmen make?

On average, a car salesman can make a little more than $35.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $28.000 and $65.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your experience level, the employer, the number of successful deals, the location, and so on.

The professionals that work in New York, North Carolina, and California, for example, have the highest average salaries.

An entry-level car salesman can earn around $13.50 per hour, while a top-level specialist with plenty of experience can make $31 and more per hour.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a car salesman?

You can easily become a car salesman, in case you have only a high school diploma.

However, you should consider gaining practical experience and attending a few classes in marketing, public speaking or sales, for example.

Aspiring car salesmen would typically go for a course administered by the Automotive Training Academy or by the National Auto Academy.

A one-week Advanced Service Management course can cost you around $2.000.

QuestionWhat is the demand for car salesmen?

The car salesman job market is expected to remain pretty much the same in the United States.

However, the industry will be providing good employment opportunities, as various dealerships would always need car salesmen.

Of course, experts with plenty of experience in a sales field, excellent communication skills, previous automotive experience, and an associate’s degree will have better job perspectives.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a car salesman?

You can decide to go for an associate’s degree and it will take you 2 years to earn one.

The majority of classes and courses last for a week or a couple of months.

The Advanced Service Management course, for example, lasts for only one week.

Bear in mind that the majority of employers require the candidate to have at least a couple of years of experience in a sales field.

Moreover, you would need to have a valid driver’s license (in case you don’t have one, it might take you a day to actually pass the exam in the United States).

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