How to Become a Sales Engineer

Sales Engineer Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $127,060
Avg. Pay / hour $61.09
Education 3-4 Years
Job Outlook 6.9%

A Sales Engineer uses their technical background and social skills to help sell a variety of products for their employer.

These professionals are experienced with not only engineering concepts and complicated technological products, they are experienced using sales techniques to inform and teach their clients about the variety of products they sell.

A Sales Engineer is important in order to close the gap due to the increasing complexity of technological products.

Some Sales Engineers spend the beginning of their career working in the engineering field after studying this field.

The years they spend studying and working in the field is extremely important in order to have thorough knowledge of technological products.

Continue reading below if you are interested in this career.

Below you will find information on the education requirements to begin this type of career.

In addition, you will find a general job description, salary and wage information as well as the future job outlook through the year 2018.

Education Requirements to Become a Sales Engineer

In order for candidates to become a Sales Engineer , they must have a combination of technological knowledge and the ability to make sales.

Educational requirements will vary; however, the candidate should have highly advanced skills and proficiency with technological applications.

For the most part, candidates who want to become a Sales Engineer should earn a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and have prior experience working within an Engineering field.

In addition, candidates who have a Bachelor’s degree in a science such as Physics or Chemistry can qualify for this position.

A Bachelor’s in an Engineering or science field typically requires four years to complete.

Some colleges and universities offer a general engineering program.

Students attending an educational institution that requires them to specialize in an engineer branch such as electrical, computer hardware or chemical engineering.

During their time as undergraduates, students should take a variety of courses focusing on mathematics and the sciences in order to become a Sales Engineer.

Students should also take general education classes in English, communications and computers.

Candidates just out of college with an Engineering degree who become a Sales Engineer may need training in sales.

Training for these professionals is important because they need to be able to use their knowledge of engineering and technology and apply it to their sales approach.

One common route these professionals take is working as engineers for a time to strengthen their technical background.

Sales Engineer Job Description

A Sales Engineer’s job functions are very similar to other sales professionals.

The only difference being the type of products they sell.

Sales Engineers primarily sell their products to companies who require complex technological products including industrialized printer, hardware and other complicated mechanical and technological products.

A Sales Engineer is responsible for using their technical skills and knowledge to teach their clients about the products they represent with the hopes of making a sale.

Sales Engineers must have thorough knowledge of technological products because of their increasing complexity and structure.

These professionals then use their technical knowledge to find products that are suitable for their client’s business.

When meeting with potential clients, a Sales Engineer will explain the benefits of purchasing a product they offer.

They will also demonstrate how the products are used and suggest the proper ways to maintain the products.

Sales Engineers are responsible for fulfilling a weekly or monthly quota.

They may also have to travel frequently in order to make appointments with clients.

A Sales Engineer may have to cover a large sales region in order to meet sales quotas.

Sales Engineer Salary and Career Path

Employment opportunities for Sales Engineers are expected to increase by 9 percent through the year 2018.

Growth is expected to be stronger at technology firms that offer services such as software publication or computer system designs.

However, candidates should expect a lot of competition because of the lucrative wages associated with this career.

Candidates with a degree in Engineering and a strong personality are favored by employers.

The total annual salary a Sales Engineer makes is affected by the commissions they make that year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national median wage for these professionals is approximately $83,000 per year, including commission wages.

The salary range for these professionals during the same year was approximately $49,600 to $136,740 annually.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Delaware- NA -
District of Columbia$127,780
New Hampshire$128,660
New Jersey$131,300
New Mexico$99,660
New York$125,380
North Carolina$118,370
South Carolina$96,880
South Dakota$127,340
Puerto Rico$63,660

The top earning state in the field is Maryland, where the average salary is $150,950.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Maryland - $150,950
Colorado - $137,400
California - $136,120
Virginia - $135,530
Washington - $132,890
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Sales Engineers, OCC Code 41-9031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a sales engineer do?

A sales engineer is a professional that has extensive knowledge of the parts and functions of complex technological and scientific products or services.

The main aim of a sales engineer is to sell these products.

The typical responsibilities of a specialist usually include preparing and delivering technical presentations that explain services or products; communicating with engineers and customers to assess equipment needs and determine any system requirements; collaborating with sales teams; modifying products; recommending better machinery and materials to customers; helping in developing new products, and so on.

Some of the duties of a sales engineer are quite similar to those of a salesperson; however, engineers go into the technical details of a product or service a bit more.

There are sales engineers that can also help to develop new products.

How much do sales engineers make?

On average, a sales engineer can earn a little less than $94.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $54.000 and $163.000 annually.

Of course, your salary would depend on a wide range of factors – the overall experience, education level, employer, and the geographical location.

The sales engineers that work in Delaware, Colorado, and Virginia, for example, have the highest average salaries.

An entry-level sales engineer will make around $26 per hour; while a top-level professional with plenty of experience can earn over 78$.

How much does it cost to become a sales engineer?

In general, a sales engineer will have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, chemistry or business.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $30.000 and even more depending on different factors – whether you are an in-state student or not, whether the school is private or public, the overall prestige of the institution, and so on.

Bear in mind that the cost of books, supplies, and accommodation is not included, in most cases.

It is highly recommended that sales engineers continue their education throughout their whole career and attend various courses (those can cost you a few hundred dollars or a couple of thousand; some might be free of charge).

What is the demand for sales engineers?

Between 2016 and 2026, the sales engineer job market is expected to grow by 6.9% in the United States.

The country will need nearly 13.000 new sales engineers in the next decade, due to the retirement of some professionals and the creation of new job places.

Bear in mind that the industry is concentrated in the following states – Texas, Massachusetts, and California.

How long does it take to become a sales engineer?

Aspiring sales engineers go for a bachelor’s degree, in order to have a better job prospective.

A bachelor’s degree will take you 4 years to obtain; in case you decide to acquire a master’s degree, it will take 1-2 years of your time.

Experts recommend attending different courses throughout your career; those can last for a few weeks or a couple of months.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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