If you’re currently considering a career as a Sales Engineer, it’s likely that one of the questions on your mind is how much money you can expect to make. The good news is that this is an in-demand position with a very healthy earning potential, but the answer to the question is a bit more complex than just revealing a single number.
There are several factors at play when it comes to determining how much a sales engineer can earn. These include things like experience level, geographical location, and even the specific industry that you’re working in. However, by examining some general salary data for sales engineers, we can get a better sense of what you might be able to expect if you pursue this path.
“The median annual salary for sales engineers was $103,900 in May 2020.”
This figure comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and represents a solid earning potential. Specifically, “median” refers to the point at which half of all sales engineers earn less than $103,900 per year, while the other half earns more.
If you’re curious to learn more about what goes into calculating salaries for sales engineers and how much you might be able to earn in this field, keep reading! We’ll explore the details and give you a better idea of whether or not this is the right career choice for you.
What Is A Sales Engineer?
A sales engineer is a technical professional who blends sales skills with engineering knowledge. They work closely with clients and prospects to understand their needs, provide solutions, and help them make informed purchasing decisions. Essentially, they bridge the gap between the technical and business worlds.
Introduction to Sales Engineering
Sales engineering is an interesting profession that combines technical insight and persuasive communication skills. The role of a sales engineer involves working in collaboration with account executives, product managers, and designers to develop and deliver customized solutions that meet the needs of clients.
The primary goal of a sales engineer is to support products or services by explaining how specific features and benefits will solve the problems facing customers. This means being able to translate complex concepts into everyday language, so non-technical decision-makers can easily comprehend key selling points.
Key Characteristics of Sales Engineers
To become a successful sales engineer, there are certain qualities and skills you need to possess:
- Technical expertise: Knowledgeable in computer science, engineering, physics, math, and other relevant fields.
- Problem-solving ability: People seek out sales engineers because they have problems to solve, so the ability to identify and fix issues is essential.
- Great communication skills: Must stay well-informed of the latest technological developments while presenting complex ideas both orally and in print form.
- Excellent team player: Part of why sales engineering is such a rewarding profession is collaborating on high-powered teams towards challenging goals.
Skills Needed to Succeed as a Sales Engineer
Beyond just generic soft skills and general expertise, what are some critical distinct capabilities sales engineers must have? Find below the key skills you need to succeed as a Sales Engineer:
- Capability to understand and assess client needs: Understand customer needs, plans solutions based on those requirements, position ability to deliver solutions
- Ability to work with clients collaboratively: Attend demonstration calls, training sessions, onsite setup or other professional travelling necessary for success in the role if necessary.
- Evidence of technical capacity: experience working hands-on with Linux/ UNIX platforms like RHEL, CentOS etc. Will prioritize candidates with skills relevant to information security and automation tools.
- Capacity to manage software implementations : Assess existing infrastructure, develop documentation & installation protocols using scripting language, modify non-scripted software components, etc.
The average salary for a Sales Engineer is around $100k per year, but this really depends on where you’re located, industry verticals or companies you work within. According to data on Glassdoor from January 2021, commission opportunities can add $20-30k to that value annually (even more). A variation often comes down to how aggressive the incentive plans are structured; after all, the entire essence of sales in general is performance-based incentives.
“The company’s bonus programs actually rewards its reps and employees who show Leadership Qualities!! #goals” – Salesforce employee review, July 2020
According to Payscale.com, industries that pay the highest salary for Sales Engineers include scientific research and development services ($139K), computer systems design ($123K), software publishing ($122K), and defense contracting ($117K). On the other hand, sales engineering roles in construction ($86K) and wholesale distribution ($90K) typically pay on the lower end of the salary scale.
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Sales Engineer?
A sales engineer is a technical expert who works closely with the sales team to identify potential customers, understand their needs and demonstrate how the company’s products or services can meet those needs. They are responsible for building relationships with customers, evaluating their requirements, giving presentations, and closing deals. Below we will discuss in detail some of the specific duties that comprise a sales engineer’s daily workload.
Identifying and Qualifying Sales Opportunities
Sales engineers must rely on their ability to analyze data and use it to identify possible sales opportunities. This might involve researching new markets and finding out what types of companies could potentially have an interest in their products or services. They also must be capable of working collaboratively with sales teams to establish targets and develop effective strategies to reach them.
To qualify sales opportunities, they need to have exceptional communication skills and work closely with potential customers to fully comprehend their unique business challenges, processes, and goals. This allows the sales engineer to advise prospective clients about which products or services best suit their requirements. By asking thoughtful questions, listening carefully to their answers, and understanding their expectations, a sales engineer can position themselves as a trusted adviser and provide tailored, precise solutions.
Providing Technical Expertise and Product Knowledge
Sales engineers serve as subject matter experts regarding the technical details of their company’s products. They must assimilate and communicate this complex information in a comprehensive and organized manner to prospects, existing customers, and non-technical stakeholders since they often serve as communication liaisons between different business units in an organization such as marketing and system development. Most often, the responsibilities associated with carrying out these tasks include meeting with customers, delivering product demonstrations, coordinating prototypes, collaborating with software developers, and producing technical papers, documentation.
A sales engineer must be able to convey and explain complex technical information coherently, thus making the product or service more accessible. They are also responsible for keeping up-to-date with industry developments, competitor products or services, and quickly adjusting their company’s offerings where necessary.
Developing and Delivering Sales Presentations
Sales presentations are the primary opportunity a sales engineer has to sell his or her business’s products or services. A good presentation includes an understanding of the target audience and sufficient preparation time. The sales engineers use well-crafted materials such as high-quality data visuals, PowerPoint slides, statistical findings, product demos and simulations that appeal to a potential client’s needs and concerns.
In addition, a happy balance of words and numbers in justifying the benefits of using the specific solution can get the attention of decision-makers while rapidly getting across vital information without overwhelming them with confusing big words or stats.
Establishing and Maintaining Customer Relationships
The final critical duty involves establishing and maintaining customer relationships. After landing the deal, it is essential continuing building confidence in customers by providing excellent after-sale support – regularly seeking feedback about how satisfied users are with the usage of the new technology – following through on any warranties or guarantees, and addressing any issues that clients might face swiftly and adequately. These activities aim to build long-term clients who will become loyal ambassadors of your company aiding later referrals and successive deals.
“Under-promise and over-deliver” – Tom Peters.
To conclude, as a sales engineering professional, one must hold an intricate understanding of their technological solutions’ features, should maintain knowledge superiority over competitors’, employ exceptional personal skills, foster strong business partnerships, continually adapt themselves to ever-changing market ambiance, and respond actively towards changing customer requirements. If you’re wondering just how much a sales engineer makes, visit our article on the topic here.
What Factors Affect A Sales Engineer’s Salary?
The location of a sales engineer can have a significant impact on their salary. In general, salaries tend to be higher in major cities and metropolitan areas than in smaller towns or rural areas. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top five states with the highest average annual salaries for sales engineers are California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, and Texas.
In addition to state-level variations, there can also be differences in salary based on the specific city or region within each state. For example, according to Glassdoor, the average base salary for a sales engineer in San Francisco is $105,775 per year, while the average in Los Angeles is $95,240. Similarly, in Texas, the average salary for a sales engineer in Austin is $78,261, while in Houston it is $82,065.
The industry in which a sales engineer works can also affect their salary. Some industries may offer higher base pay or more opportunities for commission or bonuses than others. According to Payscale, some of the top-paying industries for sales engineers include technology, manufacturing, and engineering services.
Within the technology industry, different sectors may offer varying levels of compensation. For example, a sales engineer working in software development may make more than one working in hardware sales. Likewise, within the manufacturing industry, those working in the aerospace or defense sectors may earn higher salaries than those in consumer goods production.
Education and Experience
Education and experience can both play a role in determining a sales engineer’s salary. Generally, those with advanced degrees such as an MBA or PhD may have access to higher-level positions that come with increased pay. However, even without additional degrees, experience can be a major factor in salary negotiations.
According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for an entry-level sales engineer is around $64,000 per year. However, with just 3-5 years of experience, that average jumps up to $87,000 per year. And for those with 10 or more years of experience, the average base pay rises to over $110,000 per year.
Company Size and Structure
The size of the company a sales engineer works for can also impact their salary. Larger companies may have more resources available to offer higher base salaries or bonuses. Additionally, the structure of the sales team within a company can play a role. Sales engineers who work as part of larger teams or departments may have more opportunities for commission or incentive-based pay than those working independently.
On the other hand, smaller companies may not have the same financial resources as larger ones, which could result in lower base pay. However, there may be more opportunities for growth and advancement within a smaller organization.
“Experience often translates into better management skills, which equates to higher paychecks.” -Ann Bednarz
When it comes to determining a sales engineer’s salary, there are several factors at play. Location, industry, education and experience, and company size and structure can all contribute to variations in pay. As with any job, it’s important to research and negotiate one’s compensation package based on these factors and individual qualifications.
How Much Do Entry-Level Sales Engineers Make?
Sales engineering is a lucrative career path that involves combining technical expertise with sales skills. As an entry-level sales engineer, you may be wondering what your earning potential could be. This article aims to shed light on the salary range for entry-level sales engineers and factors affecting their salaries.
Salary Range for Entry-Level Sales Engineers
The average salary for an entry-level sales engineer in the United States is around $67,000 per year, according to Glassdoor. However, this number can vary depending on several factors such as location, industry, company size, education level, and experience.
For instance, if you are working in a high-paying industry like computer systems design or software publishing, you can expect to earn more than the national average. On the other hand, if you work for a smaller company or in a less lucrative industry, your starting salary may be lower.
Location also plays a significant role in determining a sales engineer’s salary. For example, those working in tech hubs like San Francisco, New York City, or Seattle tend to earn higher salaries due to the high cost of living in these cities.
Educational background can also impact your earnings as a sales engineer. Those with advanced degrees like a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) or a degree in engineering can command higher salaries compared to those with just a bachelor’s degree.
Determining Factors for Entry-Level Sales Engineer Salaries
Several factors affect the starting salary of a sales engineer. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Industry – Some industries pay better than others. The highest paying industries for sales engineers include computer systems design, software publishing, and wholesale electronic markets.
- Company size – Generally speaking, larger companies offer higher salaries compared to smaller ones. This is because larger companies often have more resources and can afford to pay their employees more.
- Experience – As you gain more experience as a sales engineer, your earning potential will increase. Companies are willing to pay for experienced professionals who can deliver results and make an impact on the bottom line.
- Location – The cost of living varies significantly depending on where you live, so it’s not surprising that salaries vary by location as well. Sales engineers working in high-cost cities like San Francisco or New York City may earn more than those working in less expensive areas.
- Educational background – As mentioned earlier, having advanced degrees like an MBA can help boost your salary prospects. Employers also tend to value candidates with technical degrees, such as engineering or computer science.
- Skills – Finally, specialized skills like product knowledge, customer engagement, and software development can help set you apart from other entry-level sales engineers and potentially increase your starting salary.
“In today’s fast-paced business environment, sales engineers play a critical role in identifying client needs and providing them with solutions that meet or exceed expectations. As a result, demand for skilled sales engineering professionals continues to grow, leading to healthy competition among employers for top talent.” – Ryan MacCarrigan, Principal Recruiter at Blue Signal Search
Entry-level sales engineers can expect to earn around $67,000 per year on average. However, this number can vary widely based on industry, company size, location, education level, and experience. To increase your earning potential, consider pursuing an advanced degree, acquiring specialized skills, or gaining more experience in this exciting and lucrative field.
What Is The Average Salary For Experienced Sales Engineers?
Sales engineers are professionals who bridge the gap between technical knowledge and sales expertise. They provide solutions to customers by understanding their needs, explaining product functionality, and ensuring customer satisfaction. As with any profession, one of the most commonly asked questions for this field is how much does a sales engineer make?
Salary Range for Experienced Sales Engineers
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an experienced sales engineer in the United States is approximately $91,000 per year. However, salaries can range anywhere from $62,000 to $130,000 or more, depending on factors such as industry, job location, company size, and years of experience.
In general, sales engineers working in the technology sector tend to earn higher salaries than those in other industries. Additionally, individuals working in metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, New York City, and Boston often have higher earning potential due to increased demand and cost of living. Furthermore, sales engineers who possess advanced degrees or certifications may command higher salaries.
Determining Factors for Experienced Sales Engineer Salaries
Beyond industry and location, several other factors influence the salaries of experienced sales engineers. Perhaps the most significant factor is the individual’s level of experience. Entry-level sales engineers typically earn less than their experienced counterparts, while those at the manager level may earn significantly more.
Another important factor that influences pay for sales engineers is commission. Many sales engineering positions come with some form of commission or bonus structure, which allows employees to increase their earnings based on performance and driving revenue. This type of compensation structure incentivizes top performers and allows them to take home larger paychecks.
Finally, organizational size also plays a role in determining a sales engineer’s salary range. Smaller companies with limited budgets may be unable to offer the same amount of compensation as larger organizations. However, smaller organizations usually have a more flexible environment and provide significant growth opportunities that can lead to higher salaries in the long run.
Growth Opportunities for Experienced Sales Engineers
Experienced sales engineers can expect various growth opportunities throughout their careers such as promotions or advancements into management positions. Additionally, learning new skills like data analysis, account-based marketing, and other coding languages can help open up career paths such as product manager or team leader.
Sales engineering is an ever-evolving field which means keeping up-to-date on industry trends and tools can increase shareability among employers leading to better salary compensation well above the annual average.
“Sales Engineering continues to become one of the most exciting tech and IT jobs with excellent prospects financially and professionally,” -Peter Mellen, CEO at Netcito
Determining how much a sales engineer makes depends on multiple factors. An experienced sales engineer’s earning potential is influenced by industry, job location, company size, years of experience, commission, and perks. Individuals who are looking to enter this field should research these factors before accepting any positions so they can find the best fit.
What Are The Highest-Paying Industries For Sales Engineers?
Software and Technology
Sales engineers play a critical role in the software and technology industry, as they are responsible for promoting complex technological products or services to businesses. According to Payscale, sales engineers in this industry earn between $78,000 – $143,000 annually.
One reason why this industry pays well is due to its ongoing innovation and demand for new technologies. Sales engineers must stay current with the latest advancements in their field and understand how these advancements can benefit businesses. With their expertise, they help companies implement solutions that improve efficiency, productivity, and revenue growth, making them an invaluable asset to any organization.
Another industry where sales engineers enjoy high salaries is industrial manufacturing. Sales engineers in this field sell specialized equipment such as machinery used in factories, power plants, automation systems, among others. They provide technical support, ensure compliance with regulations, and develop relationships with clients and partners. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of sales engineers in industrial manufacturing ranges from $72,000-$122,000 per year.
This sector has consistently shown steady growth over the years, which experts believe will continue into the future. This makes it a lucrative industry not only for the manufacturers but also for those who work in sales engineering roles. As sales engineers are crucial in building and strengthening customer relationships, they add significant value to sales teams.
The telecommunications industry provides one of the highest-paying sales engineering jobs. Sales engineers in this field help companies manage, operate and expand their wireless, broadband and landline networks. They work closely with clients to understand their needs, develop solutions, and provide ongoing support as needed. As per ZipRecruiter, sales engineers earn an average salary ranging from $76,000-$122,000 annually..
The demand for communication services continues to grow, increasing the need for engineers who can sell and promote related equipment and software. This trend is set to continue, making telecommunications industry a great place for someone looking to start or advance their career within sales engineering.
Medical Equipment and Supplies
Sales engineers who specialize in selling medical equipment and supplies typically have specialized training and education in fields such as bioengineering or medical diagnostics. These professionals combine technical expertise with an understanding of the healthcare industry. As reported by Salaries Hub, sales engineer working in the healthcare industry make anywhere between $96,000 and $164,000 annually.
This industry requires strong analytical skills and knowledge of medical devices necessary to meet regulatory standards. Sales engineers also need to establish themselves as reputable sources of information that healthcare businesses may rely on when purchasing new equipment. With aging populations worldwide, it is expected that this industry will continue its growth trajectory, providing opportunities for skilled sales engineers in the years ahead.
“In sales, your rewards are in direct proportion to the amount and quality of value you give.” -Brian Tracy
Sales engineering demands high aptitude in technical areas and excellent customer service skills. Those who possess these qualities stand to make a highly rewarding career, both financially and personally. If you’re interested in sales engineering, consider the aforementioned industries as the best place to start.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average salary for a sales engineer?
The average salary for a sales engineer is $80,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as industry, experience, and location. Some sales engineers can make upwards of $150,000 per year with the right combination of skills and experience.
How does location affect a sales engineer’s salary?
Location can have a significant impact on a sales engineer’s salary. In cities with a high cost of living, such as San Francisco or New York, salaries may be higher to compensate for the increased expenses. However, in smaller cities or rural areas, salaries may be lower due to a smaller job market and less competition.
What factors can impact a sales engineer’s earning potential?
Several factors can impact a sales engineer’s earning potential, including experience, education, industry, and performance. Sales engineers with a proven track record of success and a deep understanding of their industry can often command higher salaries and more lucrative commission structures.
What industries offer the highest salaries for sales engineers?
Some of the highest-paying industries for sales engineers include technology, pharmaceuticals, and industrial manufacturing. In these industries, sales engineers often work with complex products and solutions, requiring a high level of technical expertise and knowledge.
Is there potential for commission or bonuses in a sales engineer’s salary?
Yes, many sales engineers receive commission or bonuses as part of their overall compensation package. These incentives are often tied to meeting or exceeding sales targets, which can be a significant driver of earning potential for sales engineers who are highly motivated and skilled at their jobs.