Your Guide to Sales Careers: Roles, Salaries, Opportunities

sales career path

Table of Contents

A career in sales offers a promising and prosperous future for talented individuals who can successfully close a deal. Despite the financial allure of a sales career path, many young professionals are unsure what opportunities await them in this exciting field.

With the right guidance, your career in sales can quickly take off. Here’s your go-to-guide for a sales career path, the roles you’ll need to become familiar with, and what salary to expect.

Starting A Career In Sales

Everybody has to start somewhere, and most sales professionals start off in a minor position where they either pursue relatively minor sales projects or attempt to upsell an already established client. Likewise, rather than throwing new salespersons into the deep end and hoping they swim, many sales teams will have newcomers pursue the recruiting of new team members or the cross-selling of existing customers.

Progressing upward through your career in sales requires charisma, perseverance, and an ability to close deals and bolster your image in the eyes of your manager. Those pursuing a sales management career path may need to put in a few years as a basic salesperson before they’re entrusted with overseeing and encouraging other professionals.

The salary that a successful salesperson takes home can vary depending on the industry. According to one report from CNBC, a medical device sales-rep in charge of pushing life-saving equipment could take home up to $80,000+ annually. Realtors, on the other hand, may end up taking home six-digit salaries if they manage to sell valuable real estate during a boom period in the housing market.

Ultimately, a salesperson’s salary is almost entirely dependent on how much they sell. Whether you work for a general recruiting firm or operate as a sales consultant in a niche industry, it’s very likely that you’ll work with a minor base salary plus a commission that encourages closing deals.

What It Takes To Start A Sales Career Path

Many sales positions require specialized knowledge to succeed.

A relevant bachelor’s degree may be needed to work sales in niche industries, like software or pharmaceuticals. For those seeking general employment in the recruiting industry, a human resources degree is often highly valued in the field of sales.

While a sales career path does not require a degree, those who work in lead development or manage massive business accounts may find that a degree helps them secure managerial positions that are otherwise unobtainable.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a relevant degree. While educational credentials always help and never hurt, a talented go-getter who can convince others to purchase something can potentially make a nice living for themselves in sales without a college education. Commercial titans like the Harvard Business Review have spent years identifying the best skills for successful salespeople to possess. Some of them include:

  • Empathy, or the ability to feel what others feel so that you can forge a connection
  • An ego-driven desire to succeed in the face of adversity
  • Willingness to receive training from learned peers

If you have these skills, don’t let your lack of a degree stop you from chasing commercial success.

Smoothen Your Sales Career Path With BestCompaniesAZ

Ready to start earning commission? The experts at BestCompaniesAZ can put you in contact with companies hiring for sales in virtually every industry. By compiling a list of the top companies to work for across Arizona, BestCompaniesAZ lets you compare sales positions based on salary, sector, location, and other preferences.

Whether you want to start small and make face-to-face deals or pursue an account executive career path, BestCompaniesAZ will help you get your foot in the door of this fast-growing industry.

Companies hiring for sales across Arizona are in desperate need of your talent. Visit BestCompaniesAZ today to find your dream career in sales.

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Award-Winning Companies

Click on a program below to meet Arizona’s most diverse, veteran-focused, award-winning companies.

Best Employers

The pay is good, the perks are awesome, but it’s more than that. Respect, opportunity, balance, fun, and pride – you don’t want to settle for less. Why should you? Your dream job is looking for you.

Get updates

Join our network for updates on events, career openings, best practices, and more!

Let us elevate your employer brand

Want to build your employer brand in Arizona? Need help applying for a company award? Looking to fill your talent pipeline?

We can help! We’ve been doing this for 20 years.