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Professional Sales Major

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Professional Sales

327 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#60 in Popularity
$45,080 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Professional Sales Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many professional sales graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 525
Bachelor’s Degree 327
Undergraduate Certificate 81
Associate’s Degree 46
Graduate Certificate 4

What Professional Sales Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to sales were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Sales Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Sales Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to sales:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Abilities for Sales Majors

Sales majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Professional Sales Major?

People with a sales degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Energy Brokers 9.7% $54,550
First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers 4.9% $73,390
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 3.8% $39,630
Parts Salespersons 5.0% $30,430
Sales and Related Workers 10.6% $33,220
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products 5.2% $79,680
Solar Sales Representatives and Assessors 5.2% $79,680

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Sales?

327 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
35% Percent Women
17% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 65% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of sales majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Sales Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 8
Black or African American 13
Hispanic or Latino 19
White 249
International Students 9
Other Races/Ethnicities 29

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Sales. About 2.8% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Professional Sales Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $40,480 to $64,860 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to sales. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Professional Sales Major  ( 40480 to 64860 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with sales require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for sales careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 2.9%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 29.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 7.1%
Some College Courses 15.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 13.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 30.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.0%
Master’s Degree 0.9%
Doctoral Degree 0.0%

Online Professional Sales Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 99 schools offered some type of professional sales program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 64 11
Certificate (1-2 years) 20 3
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 25 2
Bachelor’s Degree 1 1
Post-Baccalaureate 64 11
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Professional Sales Worth It?

The median salary for a sales grad is $45,080 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 13% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $103,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to sales.

Major Number of Grads
General Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations 3,441
Retailing and Retail Operations 953
Other General Merchandising, Sales, and Related Marketing Operations 304
Merchandising and Buying Operations 53

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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