This guide will cover all you need to know about the role, employment market, and total sales engineer salary range, whether you’re an experienced sales engineer or just getting started.
A sales engineer pitches complex technological and scientific goods and services to companies. They must have a thorough understanding of the components and operations of the items as well as the scientific principles underlying their operation.
Since their income and employment security depend on making sales, sales engineers frequently work under stressful circumstances. To meet their clients’ needs and sales targets, some people could put in a lot of extra time.
The perception of a sales engineer might vary greatly depending on the corporate culture, much like that of product managers. Additionally, recruiters may assign other job names to the role, such as “resales engineers,” “field sales,” “field engineers,” “solutions architects,” “solutions consultants,” etc. As a result, it is far more difficult to determine an exact pay range.
Advantages of Working as a Sales Engineer
- High potential for income. Total compensation for sales engineers is highly competitive. Sales engineers occasionally earn more than product managers, engineers, or scientists because technical sales is a difficult skill to hire for.
- Extrovert paradise It’s a challenging career where you constantly interact with clients and are exposed to the marketplace.
- Recurring changes in scenery The account manager is typically in charge of preserving the relationship because most sales engineers only stay on the case until the sale is finalized before moving on to the next client. Showing clients all the features without having to guide them through troubleshooting can be exciting.
- Knowledgeable: Sales engineers, even more so than product managers, are in the best position to detect market shifts and frequently have the most high-leverage customer exposure.
- Strong Career Possibilities Successful SEs might write their tickets for the organization as consultants, project managers, or senior sales positions. The majority of job chances, though, call for a role change. Receiving offers from potential clients is also not unusual.
Disadvantages of Working as a Sales Engineer
- Irregular hours: A sales engineer’s job typically does not run from 9 to 5. There are days when you’ll work 12–14 hours or be on call, and there are also times when you’ll have plenty of downtime.
- Minimal political presence Despite the fact that you have the finest pulse on the market, you are expected to give the product management team all the credit. Unless you greatly exceed your aim, your function will often have little impact within the organization. Because of how frustrating this might be, many SEs find themselves in products.
- You are primarily at fault. If the client thinks they were “oversold,” all eyes will be on you.
- Winding career path: Sales engineers are not essential components of the sales process; rather, they are a support system. Direct promotions may be problematic as a result in small or midsize organizations. A greater base income and better overall compensation are the trade-offs, especially as you gain more experience. However, failing to gain more power or political clout within the company can be upsetting.
Salary and Career Outlook
The majority of entry-level sales engineer positions require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Although you don’t need prior experience to become a software engineer, you should have a solid understanding of technical concepts (especially those related to system architecture) and excellent communication abilities. Usually, whether you began out as an account manager, an employee in operations, or an applications engineer or systems engineer, you can move into the post.
This position is challenging for recruiters to fill, particularly for senior sales engineers. Why? The job description at the very least calls for both solid soft skills and technical expertise in the product you are marketing. Recruiters are prone to give sales engineers wages that are equivalent to what an experienced engineer would earn because it might feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
In the US, a sales engineer has an average salary of $140,549. 87% of people say they receive a bonus each year. The average bonus for a sales engineer is $28,812, or 20 percent of their pay. Phoenix, Arizona has the highest average total salary for sales engineers at $159,421, which is 13% higher than the US average.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of sales engineers will increase by 8% from 2020 to 2030, which is about average for all occupations.
Over the next ten years, there would be about 7,300 jobs for sales engineers. Many of those positions would open up to replace workers who change careers or leave the workforce due to retirement.
How to Become a Sales Engineer
There is no one-size-fits-all path to employment for sales engineers. A lot of sales engineers have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, or other technical disciplines. Some sales engineers also hold degrees in business or science and receive on-the-job technical training.
Many sales engineers have practical experience working in sales. Maybe as a salesperson or collaborating with reps in addition to formal schooling. As a result, sales engineers are able to learn crucial information. This learning builds their knowledge about the selling procedure and develop the necessary sales abilities.
To stay current with emerging technology, many sales engineers also take advantage of chances for continuing education.
Sales engineers are a useful resource for sales teams in businesses that sell complicated scientific or technological items. Check this out if you’re interested in learning more about the best sales positions for you.
A source of stress for sales engineers is the fact that their livelihood and employment stability frequently depend on how well they perform in the areas of sales and customer service. Some sales engineers travel a lot and cover broad geographic areas. Sales engineers may be away from home for numerous days or even weeks at a time because sales regions can span quite broad distances. Other sales engineers go a smaller distance and stay away from home for a shorter period of time.
Traveling internationally to close deals with foreign clients is becoming more frequent. To meet their clients’ needs and sales targets, some people could put in a lot of extra time. Many, though, are free to choose their own schedules.