Sales Representatives represent companies to sell their goods and business services to wholesale and retail establishments.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Around one in four workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

Tasks

  • promoting and selling their company's goods and services such as building and plumbing supplies, business services, motor vehicle parts and accessories, and personal and household goods
  • acquiring and updating knowledge of employer's and competitors' goods and services, and market conditions
  • using directories and other sources to compile lists of prospective business clients
  • visiting clients and retail outlets to establish selling opportunities
  • quoting prices and credit terms, recording orders and arranging deliveries
  • following up clients and ensuring satisfaction with goods and services and resolving any problems
  • monitoring clients' changing needs and competitor activity and reporting on these developments to sales and marketing management
  • preparing sales reports
  • maintaining and submitting records of business expenses incurred

Job Titles

  • Sales Representative (Building and Plumbing Supplies)
  • Sales Representative (Business Services)
  • Sales Representative (Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories)
  • Sales Representative (Personal and Household Goods)
  • Other Sales Representatives
  • Sales Representative (Building and Plumbing Supplies)

    Represents their company in selling builders' timber, and building and plumbing hardware and supplies to wholesale and retail establishments.

  • Sales Representative (Business Services)

    Represents their company in selling financial, advertising and other business services.

    Specialisations: Sales Representative (Advertising), Sales Representative (Printing)

  • Sales Representative (Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories)

    Represents their company in selling motor vehicle parts and accessories to wholesale and retail establishments.

  • Sales Representative (Personal and Household Goods)

    Represents their company in selling consumer goods, such as toys, sporting goods, books, stationery, hardware, floor coverings, furniture, textiles, clothing, footwear, toiletries and groceries, to wholesale and retail establishments.

  • Other Sales Representatives

    Includes Sales Representative (Jewellery and Watches), Sales Representative (Musical Goods), Sales Representative (Photographic Equipment and Supplies)

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,200 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    96300
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    62.9%
  • Female Share

    37.1%
  • Full-Time Share

    84.4%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 96,300 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create more than 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Sales Representatives work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Wholesale Trade; Manufacturing; and Retail Trade.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 39.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,200 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
2005102900
2006102800
200797300
200898400
2009108600
2010107500
2011101600
201296500
201397700
201487600
201596300
2020107400

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsSales RepresentativesAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings12001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySales RepresentativesAll Jobs Average
Full-time84.468.4
Part-time15.631.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)39.940

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Wholesale Trade24.6
Manufacturing21.2
Retail Trade19.9
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services8.4
Other Industries25.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSales RepresentativesAll Jobs Average
NSW34.431.8
VIC27.825.5
QLD2019.8
SA6.16.8
WA8.811.2
TAS1.72
NT0.51.1
ACT0.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSales RepresentativesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.1-5.45.4
20-245.9-9.99.9
25-3425.7-23.423.4
35-4424.2-21.721.7
45-5424.6-21.121.1
55-598.6-8.78.7
60-646.8-5.95.9
65 and Over3-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySales RepresentativesCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males62.9Males53.6
Females37.1Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationSales RepresentativesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate7.8-8.68.6
Bachelor degree20.2-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma14.3-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV23-18.918.9
Year 1225-18.718.7
Years 11 & 108.1-17.717.7
Below Year 101.6-8.18.1

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job.
Around one in four workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Sales Representatives who have good interpersonal and communication skills, can provide good customer service and are well presented.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Sales and Marketing

    93% Important

    Showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    84% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. English Language

    70% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Administration and Management

    66% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  5. Clerical

    57% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

Occupational Information Network Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Selling or Influencing Others

    90% Important

    Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.

  2. Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

    87% Important

    Communicating with customers, the public, government, and others in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

  3. Building Good Relationships

    83% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  4. Getting Information

    83% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    81% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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