Computer Science Salaries: How Much Do Tech Sales Professionals Make?
Interested in technical sales? This guide will help you find top-paying industries and positions so you can get into the best technical sales position.
- The demand for technical sales professionals is increasing as technology advances.
- Common technical sales roles include sales engineers and technical sales representatives.
- Those interested in increasing their salary should consider specializing in a particular field.
Technical sales professionals sell scientific and technical products. They use their knowledge of how a product works to demonstrate and market its features. Specialization can help you increase earnings and improve your technical skills within specific industries.
The most common major for aspiring technical sales professionals is computer science. Computer science majors can pursue careers as web developers, computer support technicians, or information technology managers. Talking to a career counselor can help you find the right career path for your degree and apply for jobs.
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What Is the Average Technical Sales Salary?
Most positions in technical sales will require at least a bachelor's in computer science, as those in this career base their sales pitch on their technical knowledge of the product. Here are the median annual salaries for a few technical sales positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- Sales Engineers: $103,710
- Technical and Scientific Product Sales Representative: $94,840
- Sales Managers: $127,490
Highest-Paying Technical Sales Jobs
High paying jobs in technical sales require several years of experience as well as a master's degree in computer science or a related field.
|Technical Sales Job||Average or Median Annual Salary|
|Senior Sales Engineer||$109,530|
|Vice President, Sales||$148,080|
|Senior Solutions Engineer||$108,680|
Data from Payscale as of September 2022
How Much Technical Sales Professionals Make in Your State
Salaries for technical sales professionals vary greatly by state, but some tend to have higher median salaries for a variety of tech sales roles. For instance, New Jersey is one of the highest paying states for sales engineers, technical and scientific product sales representatives, and sales managers.
Median Salary for Technical Sales Professionals by State 2021
Data sourced from the BLS
|Sales Engineer||Technical and Scientific Product Sales Representative||Computer and Information Research Scientist||Sales Manager|
Maryland - $160,630
New Jersey - $136,040
Colorado - $132,410
Virginia - $126,320
New Jersey - $124,880
Oregon - $162,770
Washington - $152,940
Arizona - $141,440
New York - $190,290
Delaware - $168,490
New Jersey - $164,210
Data sourced from the BLS
Job Growth for Technical Sales
The demand for technical sales is increasing in part due to the rise of cloud computing and information security. According to the BLS, computer and information technology careers are projected to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, higher than the national average for all occupations.
Some industries with the highest levels of employment for sales engineers include computer systems design, professional commercial equipment and supplies wholesalers, and software publishers.
What Field of Technical Sales Pays the Most?
According to the BLS, the top paying industry for technical sales representatives professionals is oil and gas extraction, with an average annual salary of $157,350 as of May 2021. Other top-paying industries include:
- Scientific research and development services ($132,920)
- Animal food manufacturing ($156,670)
- Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing ($143,570)
How More Education Impacts a Technical Sales Salary
While computer science is a good major if you want to become a technical sales professional, there are many other majors that will prepare you. One might choose to earn bachelor's in technology, engineering, or even biology. These majors can help you specialize in preparation for technical sales roles in related fields.
While a bachelor's in business or marketing won't give you the technical skills needed for the role, they can prepare you for the sales component of the job. You can also minor in computer science or complete a coding bootcamp to gain technical skills.
Bachelor's in Computer Science Salary
A bachelor's degree in computer science can prepare you for a career in technical sales. Computer science undergraduate curriculums teach students about a computer's hardware components and software applications. This can help an aspiring technical sales professional understand and demonstrate technical products.
A computer support specialist helps users in need of technical support while using software, hardware, or other technical products. They may assist callers with troubleshooting and recommend solutions. They also help develop and maintain technical documentation.
A technical sales representative serves as a liaison between the sales manager and clients. They assist the sales manager in generating market development plans. Technical sales representatives should also listen to what features are most important to clients.
Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products to businesses. They must be able to understand and articulate the parts and functions of a product. They will also help clients troubleshoot installed equipment. They may also arrange orders.
Master's in Computer Science Salary
A master's in computer science provides students with a competitive edge in the workforce and allows students to access research opportunities and specialize in particular fields, like robotics, cybersecurity, or artificial intelligence. The aspiring tech sales professional can apply this knowledge to products in a particular industry, which can increase earning potential.
A field application engineer combines technical knowledge with sales techniques to improve sales of technical products. They may maintain relationships with subcontractors, inspectors, and potential clients. They also need to deliver sales pitches. This role requires a high level of specialized knowledge.
Senior sales engineers work to explain and demonstrate the features of a technical product. The goal of a senior sales engineer is not just to sell a product but to fully explain how it solves an issue for the target audience.
A vice president of sales may work in an executive role on a regional or even national level. They supervise sales managers and ensure that sales strategies are implemented across the company. They will also report to a board of directors and monitor revenue.
Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Sales Salary
What is technical sales?
Technical sales refers to the practice of marketing and selling technical products. Those in tech sales need to be able to explain and demonstrate how a technical product functions. The two major requirements for technical sales roles are sales experience and technical expertise.
Technical sales specialists work to sell technical products and services by understanding their features and how the product solves a problem for the intended customer. Technical sales professionals need to understand the technology behind the product in order to be able to demonstrate top features to clients.
What are common jobs in technical sales?
There are a variety of jobs in technical sales, all of which play a different role in selling technical products. For example, sales engineers monitor how well a technical product is meeting clients' needs and may recommend improvements. On the other hand, technical sales representatives might assist in monitoring the effectiveness of technical products but will ultimately report to a sales manager or sales engineer.
Field application engineers work to train customers on how to use products after purchase, as well as troubleshooting. While all technical sales roles involve both technical and sales knowledge, some roles require more technical knowledge while others require more sales knowledge.
How much money do people in technical sales usually make?
Earning potential for people in technical sales varies depending on position and industry. According salary data from the BLS, the national average annual salary for all sales engineers was $118,630 as of May 2021, while sales engineers in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing earned an annual mean salary of $141,400. Those who specialize in the software publishing industry earned an annual mean wage of $131,480.
Earning potential can also vary based on the type of firm. Most employers offer a combination of salary, commission, and bonuses. Commission earnings may vary year to year because it depends on sales ability, product, demand, and the overall economy.
How do I become a technical sales professional?
To work in technical sales, you will need an associate or bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, as well as a foundational understanding of technical aspects of various products.
Alternatively, you can choose to complete a certificate program, which usually takes 12 months to complete, or coding bootcamp, which can take anywhere from 12 to 40 weeks to complete. You will also need several years of sales experience, as well as an understanding of how to track sales volume metrics.
What does a technical sales engineer do?
Technical sales engineers are salespeople who use their extensive knowledge of how a product or service functions in order to present the product to existing and prospective customers. They may also help modify products to better meet customer needs. They may recommend improved materials to customers, showing how the adjustment can lower costs or improve functionality.
Sales engineers will work on a sales team to demonstrate features of technical products and services accurately. Other members of the team, like tech sales representatives, concentrate on marketing and selling the product.
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