Sales workers
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Overview
All sales and related workers not listed separately.
Workforce size
Sales and related workers (specialized areas), with 95,900 workers, form a larger workforce than 64% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for sales and related workers (specialized areas) are expected to grow by 11%, and should have about 14,200 job openings a year.
Education
About 51% of sales workers have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by sales workers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More sales workers have bachelor's degrees than 70% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 79% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for sales and related workers (specialized areas). The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most sales and related workers (specialized areas).
This job's median $33KAll jobs' median $39K$32K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 44% of sales workers -- that's a larger percentage than 58% of other jobs.
Gender of sales workers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For sales workers, the median men's salary was 37% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 15% of sales workers are minority, and 10% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of sales workers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (10%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Sales and Related Workers (Specialized Areas) per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 44% of sales workers, and 54% have company-sponsored health insurance (26% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for sales workers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 46% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do sales workers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for sales and related workers (specialized areas), and then we show how the middle (median) salary for sales and related workers (specialized areas) compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for sales and related workers (specialized areas) (BLS Salary Data)
$33K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$33K$0$50K$100K$150K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all sales workers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for sales workers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for sales workers (ACS Salary Data)
$51K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$51K$0$50K$100K$150K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where sales and related workers (specialized areas) work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Sales workers (ACS)
Private for-profit (83.1%)
Private not-for-profit (5.4%)
Local government (1.4%)
State government (1.1%)
Federal government (0.9%)
Self-employed incorporated (4.0%)
Self-employed not incorporated (4.1%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of sales workers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$51K$52K$36K$53K$61K$44K$39K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of sales and related workers (specialized areas) by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$33K$67K$40K$33K$61K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for sales workers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$50K$59K$63K$56K$58K$56K$42K$53K$22K$0$50K$100K$150KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Sales workers and gender

With 44% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 58% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
44%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Sales workers
Men (56%)
Women (44%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%, and the difference for sales workers tops that, with the median salary for men 37% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$43K$59K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Sales workers have one of the higher percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job even higher than that for 88% of other jobs.

37%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of sales workers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority sales workers than for 71% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of sales workers
White (84% )
Black (7% )
Asian (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
10%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for sales workers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$31K$36K$36K$41K$51K$51K$53K$0$50K$100K$150KHispanicOtherBlackMultiracialAsianPacific IslanderWhite
Distribution: Salaries for sales workers by nativity
$42K$52K$0$50K$100K$150KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by sales and related workers (specialized areas)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sales and related workers (specialized areas) typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as sales workers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for sales workers.

Education attained by sales workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for sales workers? Below we see the distribution of sales workers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as sales workers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$27K$35K$42K$45K$66K$82K$83K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KNone (3%)High School (16%)Some College (22%)Associate's Degree (8%)Bachelor's Degree (42%)Master's Degree (8%)Professional Deg/Doct (1%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by sales workers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as sales workers. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Sales workers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
8.9%
$0$200K$60K
8.6%
$0$200K$63K
6.3%
$0$200K$56K
3.5%
$0$200K$73K
3.4%
$0$200K$72K
3.0%
$0$200K$53K
2.5%
$0$200K$63K
1.9%
$0$200K$51K
1.7%
$0$200K$67K
1.6%
$0$200K$60K
1.3%
$0$200K$54K
1.3%
$0$200K$55K
1.2%
$0$200K$97K
1.2%
$0$200K$57K
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as sales workers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by sales workers given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Managers (specialized areas)Accountants and auditorsFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersFinancial managersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesChief executives and legislatorsSecretaries and administrative assistantsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersRetail salespersonsMarket research analysts and marketing specialistsCustomer service representativesService sales representativesElementary and middle school teachersLawyers, judges, and magistratesManagement analystsPersonal financial advisorsPostsecondary teachersFinancial analystsSecurities, commodities, and financial services sales agentsCredit counselors and loan officersCounselorsSocial workersPsychologistsPhysicians and surgeonsEducation administratorsSecondary school teachersEditorsWriters and authorsDentistsRegistered nursesPhysical scientists (specialized areas)Epidemiologists and Medical/Life ScientistsClinical laboratory technologists and techniciansPharmacistsBusiness Management andAdministrationMarketingGeneral BusinessCommunicationsEconomicsFinancePsychologyPolitical Science andGovernmentEnglish Language andLiteratureBiologyAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for sales workers

What jobs will most sales workers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of sales workers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Sales workersRetail salespersonsService sales representativesWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesMarketing and sales managersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersManagers (specialized areas)Customer service representativesCashiersManagement analystsDriver/sales workers and truck driversFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersSecretaries and administrative assistantsHand laborers and freight, stock, and material moversAppraisers and assessors of real estate
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for sales workers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 10 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as sales workers as well as 1% of respondents after working as sales workers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for sales workers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
Cashiers
659,300
$0$200K$20K
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
Customer service representatives
373,800
$0$200K$32K
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
197,500
$0$200K$61K
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
Service sales representatives
131,900
$0$200K$57K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Marketing and sales managers
57,800
$0$200K$74K
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
39,600
$0$200K$59K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for sales workers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as sales workers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of sales workers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for sales workers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
7.6%
Cashiers
659,300
$0$200K$20K
2.2%
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
1.2%
Customer service representatives
373,800
$0$200K$32K
3.6%
Stock clerks and order fillers
269,400
$0$200K$26K
2.0%
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
197,500
$0$200K$61K
6.5%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
2.6%
Accountants and auditors
143,000
$0$200K$60K
1.0%
Service sales representatives
131,900
$0$200K$57K
6.2%
Counselors
96,100
$0$200K$44K
1.5%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
2.1%
Marketing and sales managers
57,800
$0$200K$74K
3.6%
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
39,600
$0$200K$59K
1.1%
Advertising sales agents
18,000
$0$200K$53K
1.3%
Sales workers
14,200
$0$200K$51K
18.1%
No occupation
9.4%
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for sales and related workers (specialized areas)
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 79% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for sales and related workers (specialized areas). This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $33KAll jobs' median $39K$43K$38K2006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for sales and related workers (specialized areas) are anticipated to grow by 11% over the next decade; only 23% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for sales and related workers (specialized areas) is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300100,000200,000300,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most sales and related workers (specialized areas)? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as sales and related workers (specialized areas). You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Sales and Related Workers (Specialized Areas) per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where sales and related workers (specialized areas) earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for sales workers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for sales workers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Sales and Related Workers (Specialized Areas) to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which sales and related workers (specialized areas) earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
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