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Manufacturing Rep

Manufacturing reps main responsibility is to get buyers interested in their clients merchandise. If companies are too small to have their own sales force they basically outsource their sales force to an independent sales agent, such as ourselves.

Hours: Sales representatives may work more than 40 hours per week because of the nature of the work and the amount of travel. Since sales calls take place during regular working hours, most of the planning and paperwork involved with sales must be completed during the evening and on the weekends. Although the hours are long and often irregular, many sales representatives working for independent sales companies have the freedom to determine their own schedules.

Opportunities: Manufacturing reps and wholesale sales representatives held about 2 million jobs in 2006. About 21% worked with technical and scientific products. Almost 60% of all representatives worked in wholesale trade. Others were employed in manufacturing, retail trade, information, and construction. Because of the diversity of products and services sold, employment opportunities are available throughout the country in a wide range of industries. In addition to those working directly for a firm, some sales representatives are self-employed manufacturing rep agents. They often form small sales firms that may start with just themselves and gradually grow to employ a small staff.

Pay: Median annual earnings of wage and salary sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products, were $64,440, including commissions, in May 2006. The middle 50% earned between $45,630 and $91,090 a year. The lowest 10% earned less than $33,410, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $121,850 a year.

Training: Many employers hire individuals with previous sales experience who lack a college degree, but hiring candidates with a college degree is becoming increasingly common. Regardless of educational background, factors such as personality, the ability to sell, and familiarity with brands are essential to being a successful sales representative.

Citation: Suggested citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition , Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos119.htm (visited July 22, 2009 ).

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