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Technical Sales Representative

Technical sales representatives (representatives) sell technical goods and services to government, commercial, and industrial establishments. They may sell things like computers, software, and business machines or services such as technical analysis and consulting.

Also Known As

Account Manager, Broker, Manufacturer’s Sales Representative, Manufacturing / Product Technical Representative, Manufacturing / Product / Service Representative, Sales Broker, Salesperson

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Technical Sales Specialists - Wholesale Trade (6221) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Technical Sales Specialists Wholesale Trade (G121) 
  • 2011 NOC: Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade (6221) 
  • 2016 NOC: Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade (6221) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Technical Sales Specialists - Wholesale Trade
2006 NOC : 6221

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in troubleshooting technical problems related to equipment; may train customers' staff in the operation and maintenance of equipment

SOCIAL

Interest in persuading to promote sales to existing clients; may supervise the activities of other technical sales specialists

innovative

Interest in analyzing information to identify and solicit potential clients, and to consult with clients after sale to resolve problems and provide ongoing support

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Technical sales representatives are sometimes called account executives, sales engineers, or account managers. In general, they:

  • Identify sales opportunities
  • Define key customer needs and show customers how their organizations’ products or services fulfil them
  • Negotiate and close sales deals
  • Follow up with customers to ensure satisfaction and expand business opportunities
  • Maintain knowledge of competitor activity
  • Manage technical presentation and promotion of products and services
  • Provide support to contractors and end users
  • Maintain and update data about their territories and accounts

Technical sales reps must know:

  • Their company’s business strategy and product lines
  • How products are used
  • Competitors’ products and strategies
  • Customers’ needs

They spend much of their time visiting potential buyers and prospecting sales. They may sell the service first and follow up by selling the product months later, or even longer. This is often true in industries such as agriculture and oil and gas.

Most technical companies designate specific territories for their sales reps. Sales territories may be defined by:

  • Geography
  • Market segment, such as medical or legal
  • Type of organization, such as government department, financial institution, or oil company
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

The technical sales field is highly competitive. Companies may set goals or quotas and offer incentives to those who make the most sales. Because their incomes may depend on commissions, sales reps feel constant pressure to maintain and expand their client base. Many work long hours. They may need to entertain customers in the evening.

Some sales reps have large geographic territories and travel often. They may be away from home for several days or weeks at a time.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Technical sales reps need:

  • Self-confidence, persistence, initiative, and enthusiasm
  • Communication, interpersonal, and negotiation skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • The ability to ask questions and learn clients’ needs
  • Organization and time-management skills
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • The ability to cope with uncertainty, stress, and long hours
  • The ability to pursue multiple avenues, such as social media, conferences, and sales shows, for prospects
  • The ability to take rejection and keep pushing forward

Technical sales reps are not involved in product service. Their role is strictly sales. For this, they need excellent communication, negotiation, and people skills. They should enjoy analyzing information to identify and solicit clients. They should like finding solutions to clients’ problems. They should feel at ease with public speaking.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade

NOC code: 6221

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 74 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and Jun 27, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Assess client's needs and resources and recommend the appropriate goods or services
Promote sales to existing clients
Consult with clients after sale to provide ongoing support
Personal Suitability: Client focus
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Identify and solicit potential clients
Prepare and administer sales contracts
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education Varies

Most employers prefer to hire technical sales reps with technical qualifications. They also prefer reps with many years of experience working with the type of product they sell. Depending on the industry, employers may seek applicants with a background in equipment operation, trades, business administration, marketing, engineering, computer science, pharmacy, or agriculture. Computer skills are often required.

Universities, colleges, and technical institutes throughout Alberta offer suitable programs. Entrance requirements vary depending on the program and the school.

Employers often offer product-specific, in-house training programs for sales reps. These may range in length from a few weeks to several months. They may be offered at head office or other locations.

Sales reps must keep up with technological changes affecting their customers’ companies.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Technical sales reps work for:

  • Technical and industrial equipment manufacturers and resellers
  • Computer software firms
  • Engineering and technology service firms
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Communications companies

They may work full time or as self-employed contractors.

Advancement opportunities depend on the size and nature of the company and the individual’s sales skills. Many companies require front-line sales experience for advancement to senior positions.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6221: Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade occupational group, 79.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6221: Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 291 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Most technical sales reps work on commission. Some, such as those working in the oil and gas or agricultural industries, have salaried positions. Some companies offer a base salary plus commission or an incentive system of payment. Company cars (or car allowances) and expense accounts are common.

Total earnings vary widely depending on the type of product being sold and the industry.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade

2016 NOC : 6221
Average Wage
$38.17
Per Hour
Average Salary
$77,650.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6221 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.38 $43.27 $26.15 $24.04
Overall $20.80 $87.91 $38.17 $34.43
Top $23.00 $74.52 $45.09 $40.00

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Oil & Gas Extraction
Retail Trade
Transportation and Warehousing
Wholesale Trade
Information, Culture, Recreation
ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing
Construction
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
46%
46%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
30%
30%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
10%
10%
Vacancy Rate
4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Agriculture and Related Technologies
  • Aviation
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Canadian Professional Sales Association website: www.cpsa.com

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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