How to Become a Technical Sales Engineer

How to Become a Technical Sales Engineer: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a technical sales engineer, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a technical sales engineer:


Those who become technical sales engineers typically have a natural aptitude in science and math, and enjoy working with people. They also tend to be individuals that are outgoing, self-confident and self-motivated.


Those who become technical sales engineers have the intellectual ability to fully understand the functionality of the products they sell, and they have the communication skills to explain and demonstrate them in a clear and concise manner.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a technical sales engineer. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Technical Sales Engineer

Many employers require technical sales engineers to have a degree relevant to the industry in which they operate. For example, employers in the construction industry may require their technical sales engineers to have a degree in civil engineering.


The education needed to become a technical sales engineer also varies depending on the product or service being sold. For example, a technical sales engineer that sells complex electronic avionic systems for aircraft is likely to require a degree in electronic engineering, but a technical sales engineer that sells electronic building alarm systems might not require such a degree; it may be sufficient for them to have gained in-depth technical knowledge of the product through work experience.


Although a degree in a relevant field of engineering may be required, technical sales engineers are not often hired directly out of school, Many employers prefer technical sales engineers to have experience working in the design or manufacture of the products that they sell.


Success Tip: Many employers may prefer technical sales engineers that have pursued coursework in business in addition to their engineering education, although it may not be a requirement.




Technical Sales Engineer Job Description

Technical sales engineers sell specialized products and services, which require the sales engineer to have sales abilities as well as technical knowledge of that product or service. Their client base is usually composed of technical staff from various organizations and industries, such as public utility providers, local authorities, hospitals, factories and others, depending on the target market of the product or service.



Technical Sales Engineer Job Duties

• Search for new clients who might benefit from the product or service being sold

• Develop long-term relationships with clients by meeting their needs

• Persuade clients that a product or service best satisfies their needs in terms of price, quality and delivery

• Prepare sales quotes for clients

• Negotiate pricing and contract terms to meet the needs of the client and the company

• Prepare sales reports for head office

• Support marketing activities by attending trade shows and conferences

• Assist in the design of custom made products

• Provide training and producing support material for other members of the sales team



Who Hires Technical Sales Engineers?

Technical sales engineers are hired on a full-time, part-time or contractual basis by organizations involved in selling specialized products and services, which require sales professionals that have technical knowledge of that product or service. Organizations that hire technical sales engineers include:


• Technical and industrial equipment manufacturers and resellers

• Computer software firms

• Electronics manufacturers and resellers

• Engineering and technology service firms

• Pharmaceutical companies

• Communications companies

• Self-employed as contractors




Skills and Traits Needed to Become a Technical Sales Engineer

In order to become effective in a career as a technical sales engineer, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will not only allow you to perform your job duties with competence; they will allow you to endure the challenges of this career, and maintain a positive attitude towards your work.


• Able to fill the gap between customer and product

• Exude confidence, as clients perceive this as a confidence in the product or service they are being sold

• Able to handle rejection, as there will be periods of time where they have a hard time selling

• Have thorough knowledge of the market they serve, as well as the products or service they are selling

• Present and demonstrate products succinctly and effectively

• Highly organized, as they may have to look after many client accounts during their workweek

• Listen to the needs of clients and customers, and be able to communicate how their product or service will fulfill them

• Comfortable dealing with individuals from all different walks of life

• Able to communicate on a technical and a personal level



Technical Sales Engineer Salary

The salary level of technical sales engineers can vary depending on factors such as their level of education, their level of experience, where they work, the specific responsibilities of their job, and many others.


Technical Sales Engineer Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Technical Sales Specialists - Wholesale Trade occupational group earn a mean wage of $32.38 an hour.


Technical Sales Engineer Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, workers in the Technical Sales Specialists - Wholesale Trade occupational group earn an average salary of $62,382 per year.


Technical Sales Engineer Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary level of workers in the Sales Engineers occupational group is $87,390 per year.



Career Advancement for Technical Sales Engineers

Top technical sales engineers are highly-valued for their sales savvy, technical acumen and knowledge of the products they sell. Technical sales engineers that display these traits, and are successful in their work activities have a variety of advancement opportunities available to them. These advancement opportunities may take the form of transfers to larger sales territories, or territories with greater sales opportunities, greater annual expenditures, or a greater salary or commission share.


Technical sales engineers that are employed by manufacturers or wholesalers may be promoted to sales supervisor, district manager, or vice-president of sales. They may also move into marketing, or become agents for independent manufacturers who sell the products of more than one manufacturer.


Please Note: Career advancement opportunities for technical sales engineers typically depend on the size and nature of the company, as well as the individual's sales abilities.



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Careers Similar to Technical Sales Engineer

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Technical Sales Engineer, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Civil Engineering Technologist

Sales Consultant

Sales Representative

Software Sales Representative

Technical Illustrator



References: How to Become a Technical Sales Engineer

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Technical Sales Engineer.



Occupations in Alberta:Technical Sales Representative.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 14, 2020.

Sales:Sales Engineers.” (September 4, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 14, 2020.

Sales Engineers:Seven Attributes of a Great Sales Engineer.” (n.d.). Sales Engineer Training website. Retrieved January 14, 2020.

Job Profile: Technical sales engineer.” AGCAS editors (March, 2019) Prospects website. Retrieved January 14, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Technical Sales Engineer

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Technical Sales Engineer can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Technical Sales Engineer: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a Technical Sales Engineer. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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