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

  • $1,200 Weekly Pay
  • 95,100 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 86.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 39.9 hours Average full-time
  • 40.5 years Average age
  • 35.8% female Gender Share

The number of Sales Representatives is about the same as 5 years ago and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
from 95,100 in 2018 to 95,600 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 80,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 16,000 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Sales Representatives work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Wholesale Trade; Manufacturing; and Retail Trade.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (86%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 39.9 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 35.8% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
2008101200
2009100500
2010107700
2011109000
201298400
201395700
201494800
201589000
201696600
201787100
201895100
202395600

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Trade28.7
Manufacturing18.7
Retail Trade15.6
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services8.8
Other Industries28.2

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 2017, 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
NSW35.531.6
VIC28.326.2
QLD20.019.7
SA5.86.7
WA7.310.8
TAS1.82.0
NT0.51.1
ACT0.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-191.1-5.25.2
20-247.3-9.99.9
25-3424.3-23.623.6
35-4425.2-21.721.7
45-5425.3-20.820.8
55-599.5-8.88.8
60-644.7-6.06.0
65 and Over2.5-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Property Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 41-4012.00 - Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 41-4012.00 - Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products.

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