3 years ago
January 7, 2015

Breaking Down the Highest Paid Sales Jobs

When it comes to most sales professions, revenue is almost always the primary metric for measuring performance and commissions, or bonuses, the main

Rhys Metler

Highest Paid Sales JobsWhen it comes to most sales professions, revenue is almost always the primary metric for measuring performance and commissions, or bonuses, the main motivator.  While some of sales careers include a mix of salary and commissions, others are solely commission-based.  Below is a list of the highest paid sales jobs and the average overall earnings of each, including base wages, commissions and bonuses (taken from the US Bureau of Labor).  

  1. Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services $95,130
  2. Sales Engineer $94,760
  3. Sales Representative, Technical and Scientific Products $84,360
  4. Sales Management, Non-Retail $81,120
  5. Real Estate Broker $76,060
  6. Sales Representative, Not Technical or Scientific Products $62,720
  7. Insurance Sales $62,520
  8. Sales Representative, Services $60,430
  9. Advertising Sales $55,020
  10. Real Estate Agent $52,490

The top earners in today’s highest paid sales jobs are found in the financial sector.  Though susceptible to wild fluctuations based on economic and market trends, these positions are both highly sought after and very lucrative.  Selling securities and commodities typically requires a four-year degree in finance or a related field and a penchant for cold calling and customer development.  

The second position in the highest paid sales jobs belongs to sales engineers.  As the title suggests, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field is required.  A fair amount of field time is to be expected as consulting with customers on applications is where the sales engineers earn their keep.

A substantial gap separates sales representatives in technical fields from their non-technical counterparts in average earnings among the highest paid sales jobs.  The prerequisites are equally as different as the technical products may require both education and hands-on experience prior to jumping into sales.  Sales representatives in both technical and non-technical fields represent the highest number of sales professionals in the field and the widest array of offerings.  

Insurance, real estate (both brokers and direct sales) and advertising sales positions tend to vary widely between the have’s and have not’s of their respective professions.  While the average earnings place them in the middle of the pack of the highest paid sales jobs, the most skilled in each can expect to earn commissions as high as $200,000 annually.  Beginners and low performers are subsequently much lower than the average.   

Sales professionals in service-related industries round out the top ten of the highest paid sales jobs.  Selling services is often a local market position as logistical restrictions limit range as well the earnings ceiling.  Service sales jobs have the least differential between top earners and beginners.

Independent sales representatives, also referred to as manufacturer’s representatives, are not included in the list of the highest paid sales jobs as they are independent contractors.  Those professions may also be considered among the highest paid sales jobs, especially for top performers.  Independent sales representatives span a wide spectrum, from Avon to construction supplies, and many sales people represent multiple manufacturers. 

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.