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Occupational Profile

Sales Representative (Wholesale, Nontechnical)

Wholesale, nontechnical sales representatives sell their organizations' nontechnical goods and services to retail, commercial, industrial and professional clients.

  • Avg. Salary $69,251.00
  • Avg. Wage $34.55
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 30,400
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Account Manager, Broker, Manufacturer's Sales Representative, Sales Broker, Salesperson

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

57%
57%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Sales Representative (Wholesale, Nontechnical) is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Sales Representatives, Wholesale Trade (Non-Technical)
NOC code: 6411
SOCIAL

Interest in persuading to promote sales to existing clients; in providing clients with presentations on the benefits and uses of goods and services; and in representing companies that export and import products or services to and from foreign countries

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to identify and solicit potential clients

directive

Interest in overseeing the preparation of sales and other contracts; may supervise the activities of other sales representatives

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Wholesale, nontechnical sales representatives are referred to more simply as sales representatives throughout this profile. Their duties and responsibilities vary depending on the types of goods and services they sell. For example, sales representatives may work for:

  • food and beverage producers selling foods to grocery stores and restaurants, and negotiate with retail merchants to improve product exposure (for example, shelf position, advertising)
  • book publishers promoting the sale of textbooks to schools or magazines to newsstands, hotels, book stores and libraries
  • transportation companies selling freight and shipping services to manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors
  • manufacturers selling locally manufactured or assembled products.

In general, sales representatives:

  • telephone or personally visit client organizations on a regular or periodic basis
  • find out what client organizations need and emphasize how their product lines can meet those needs
  • identify possible new clients by using resources such as business directories or social networking websites, following up leads from existing clients, meeting people through voluntary organizations and clubs, and attending trade shows and conferences
  • approach potential new clients and present the benefits and uses of their product lines
  • estimate or quote prices, credit terms, warranties and delivery dates and prepare sales proposals
  • prepare sales contracts and reports, process orders and make delivery arrangements
  • consult with clients to resolve any problems after a sale and provide ongoing support
  • help collect delinquent accounts
  • keep up to date with information about product innovations, competitors and market conditions and adjust sales strategies accordingly
  • prepare sales projection figures for the coming year.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Sales representatives often work long or irregular hours. They may spend portions of each day travelling or be away from home for days at a time, and have to carry bulky samples or product catalogues weighing up to 10 kilograms. Sales representatives also may be required to set up home offices.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Sales representatives need the following characteristics:

  • self-confidence and self-motivation
  • the ability to persevere and remain cheerful when faced with rejection
  • flexibility and adaptability
  • time management and problem solving skills
  • the ability to communicate well with clients and co-workers 
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • the ability to serve both company and client needs.

They should enjoy meeting new people, selling goods or services, identifying and approaching potential customers, and overseeing the preparation of sales contracts.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

The minimum education requirement for sales representative positions is a high school diploma. However, many employers prefer to hire people who have related experience or a post-secondary diploma or degree related to the nature of the business. Basic computer skills and a valid driver's licence are definite assets.

Many large organizations have some form of training program for newly hired sales representatives. They may train new employees by:

  • rotating them through various positions to give them an understanding of the business and its products. 
  • offering in-house classroom training followed by on-the-job training under the supervision of a sales manager. 
  • having new employees accompany experienced sales representatives until they are familiar with the company's products and clients. 
  • sending new employees to sales courses offered by industry or professional associations.

Sales representatives must keep up to date with new products, services and sales methods as well as with technological and other changes affecting their customers' companies.

 

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Sales representatives are employed by organizations such as:

  • food and beverage producers
  • manufacturers
  • hotels
  • petroleum companies
  • business services firms
  • transportation companies
  • media and advertising companies.

Advancement for experienced sales representatives may take the form of transfers to larger sales territories or ones with greater sales opportunities or greater annual expenditures. Successful sales representatives may stay in sales or advance to sales management positions. Or, they may move into marketing or become independent manufacturers agents who sell the products of more than one manufacturer.

In Alberta, 76% of wholesale trade, non-technical sales representatives work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 30,400 Albertans are employed in the Sales representatives - wholesale trade (non-technical) occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 547 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Sales representatives' earnings vary greatly and are often directly related to their job performance. Most employers offer a combination of salary plus commission, or salary plus bonus. A commission is a percentage of the price of each article or service sold. Incomes from bonuses may depend on individual performance (as commissions do), the performance of all sales workers in a particular group or the company's performance overall.

Sales and account representatives - wholesale trade (non-technical)
NOC code: 6411

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $12.00 $54.00 $26.27 $24.04
Overall $14.33 $59.00 $34.55 $33.42
Top $17.44 $96.15 $46.66 $40.87

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Wholesale Trade
Manufacturing
Information, Culture, Recreation
Transportation and Warehousing
Business, Building and Other Support Services (aka Management, Administrative, and other Services)
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Construction
Public Administration
Retail Trade
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

57%
57%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

29%
29%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Canadian Professional Sales Association website: www.cpsa.com

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Aug 01, 2010. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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