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Top 10 jobs in sales and who’s hiring

Looking for a career in sales? Check out this list of top 10 entry-level sales jobs and see which employers are recruiting now.

If you like working with people and have good communication skills, a job in sales might be for you. That doesn’t mean you have to be a sales rep trying to convince people to buy your products or services (although that is one option).

The sales field offers a diversity of career paths, from human resources to business development. This guide discusses the different types of sales jobs and reveals what qualifications you need to land them.

We also give you an overview of sales job types available on Handshake — giving you all the tools you need to kick off your sales career.

Should you pursue a career in sales?

Regardless of the job title, sales requires good people skills and a friendly, positive attitude. Here are some other characteristics that make for great sales pros:

  • Good communication skills. Good written and verbal communication skills are helpful for sales professionals of all kinds, from sales reps to human resources (HR) experts.
  • Work well under pressure. Salesperson roles can be stressful. For example, customer service reps may have to deal with disgruntled consumers. It’s good to be stress-resistant.
  • Proficiency with numbers. Many sales jobs require at least basic math skills. For example, you’ll need to track figures like profits, expenses, and inventory as a store manager.
  • Multitasking skills. When working in sales, you’ll often work on multiple projects. For example, account executives manage many clients, while marketing coordinators oversee multiple campaigns.
  • Analytical mindset. Superior analytical skills can help in many sales jobs. For example, business development representatives need to analyze data to see what goods are selling now and what might sell in the future.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to work in sales, you can look forward to plenty of opportunities. Sales will remain a needed sector through 2031, averaging about 1.9 million openings every year.

There are many industries hiring sales professionals today. Check out the top 20 industries hiring on Handshake today.

Best degrees to land sales jobs

It’s possible to land an entry-level sales job like a sales associate or sales assistant without having a high school diploma. However, other gigs — like sales engineer or marketing coordinator — require advanced degrees.

Here are a few degrees that may prove useful for your future sales career:

  • Business. Get the skills needed to become a business development rep, account manager, or product specialist. A well-rounded business education can also set you up to become a store manager or open your own shop.
  • Marketing. If you have a creative mindset, marketing is for you. Marketing and sales work together, with marketing promoting products and services and generating leads for sales. A marketing degree is your entry ticket.
  • Communications. A communications degree can open the door to marketing roles and jobs like outside sales representative, account manager, or sales associate. Finetune your verbal and written skills for success.
  • IT. A degree in IT or a related field like computer science can be a steppingstone toward a career as a sales engineer. It can also prove helpful if you want to work in customer service.
  • Finance. A thorough understanding of finance can be useful for many top-level sales roles like business development and management positions. This is also an ideal starting point for a job in financial sales.

<h3>Industries where you can build a sales career</h3>

The days of working for the same company your entire career are definitely over. One of the best things about sales is the diversity of options it gives you. Here are some industries hiring in sales:

  • Retail. When you think of sales, this is probably the first industry that comes to mind. Retail jobs range from store manager to sales assistant. Don’t forget the potential for e-commerce careers too.
  • Health care. Insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies all have products to sell — and they need people to help sell them! For example, you could work as a pharma sales agent, making sales calls to health care professionals, or as a customer service rep for a health insurance company, helping match people with insurance products.
  • Technology. Technology is another sales-heavy field. For example, you could work in business development or as a sales rep for a software company.
  • Finance. Sales reps might work in finance as financial sales and trading agents. You might sell insurance or work as a product sales specialist for a bank, investment brokerage, or similar financial services company.
  • Education. Even educational institutions need sales reps. For example, you might work in marketing for a private school, helping attract students who generate tuition (aka revenue).

These industries are hiring on Handshake now! Scroll down for a look at your options. We’ve got roles across the country, from Tampa, Florida, to Nashville, Tennessee, and Brentwood, California.

Top 10 entry-level jobs in sales

No experience in sales? No worries. Here are some entry-level jobs you can pursue.

1. Sales representative

Sales representatives are responsible for selling products to companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. They generate leads by prospecting and contacting potential clients and presenting them with information about products and services.

With enough sales experience, sales reps may advance to become sales leads, sales managers, or sales directors.

Median salary: $52,133 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or similar


  • Excellent customer service
  • Superior written and verbal presentation skills
  • Proficiency in basic office tools like Microsoft

2. Business development representative

Business development associates help boost sales by conducting marketing research and analysis, determining what will sell, and identifying new business opportunities. They also help nurture client relationships.

Median salary: $50,029 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or similar


  • Excellent communication schools
  • Good project management
  • Multitasking abilities

3. Account manager

Account managers deal directly with customers, advocating for them and ensuring their needs are met. They also handle client questions and complaints and help make sales.

Median salary: $58,870 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, business, or similar


  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Adaptable and resilient

4. Sales associate

Sales associates frequently work in retail, connecting customers with the goods and services they need. They may greet customers, answer questions, handle complaints, and ring up sales. Sales associates can progress to become sales managers.

Median salary: $24,960 per year


  • High school diploma or equivalent (GED)


  • Friendly demeanor
  • Do well under stress
  • Ability to manage basic financial transactions

5. Marketing coordinator

Marketing coordinators help develop and oversee marketing campaigns to attract customers and generate sales leads. They may develop and implement promotional campaigns, research target audiences, and do market research.

Median salary: $48,168 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or similar


  • Multitasking abilities
  • Great organizational skills
  • Superior communication skills

6. Customer service representative

Customer service representatives are on the front lines dealing with customers. They may solve problems or answer questions about specific products or services.

Median salary: $31,200 per year


  • High school diploma or GED


  • Experience with customer relationship management (CRM) tools
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Stress-resistant

7. Sales engineer

Sales engineers use technical knowledge to sell science- and tech-related products, usually in a business-to-business (B2B) environment. They present products to customers, answer questions, and act as a point of contact between the customer and the company.

Median salary: $75,356 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in business or a technical field, like engineering, computer science, or IT


  • Technical knowledge relevant to the employer’s field
  • Strong customer service skills
  • Ability to work well with other sales team members

8. Product sales specialist

Product sales specialists use their in-depth knowledge of a company’s goods to promote them to customers. They may conduct market research, prepare marketing budgets, and create sales forecasts.

Median salary: $35,360 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in business, communications, or similar


  • Great networking abilities and people skills
  • Good analytical abilities
  • Problem-solving skills

9. Store manager

Store managers oversee retail sales operations, ensuring day-to-day operations run smoothly. They may handle everything from overseeing sales associates to creating promotional materials and coordinating inventory delivery with distributors.

Median salary: $49,943 per year


  • High school diploma or GED


  • Strong customer service mindset
  • Good leadership skills
  • Superior communication skills

10. Sales assistant

Sales assistants or sales consultants work in retail, dealing with customers. They help customers find what they need and run the cash registers. They also help keep the store organized. A sales assistant may progress to a sales supervisor role.

Median salary: $27,040 per year


  • High school diploma or GED


  • Friendly demeanor
  • Ability to multitask
  • Customer service mindset

Discover your dream sales job with help from Handshake

A job in sales doesn’t mean you have to be an actual salesperson. There are many career paths available, from human resources to business development. On top of that, sales pros are needed in various fields, from retail to health care and beyond.

If you want to pursue a career in sales, Handshake is your starting point. You can find internships and full-time and part-time roles on the platform. Take the first step by making a profile and scoping out job alerts.

Then, let the employers come to you. It’s that easy! Make your Handshake profile and start looking at job postings.


Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.