Types of Degrees Professional Sales Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many professional sales graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Professional Sales Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, sales majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Sales Majors
Sales majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- 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
When studying sales, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- 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
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a sales student include the following:
- 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|
|First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers||4.9%||$73,390|
|First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers||3.8%||$39,630|
|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?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of sales majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||16|
|Hispanic or Latino||35|
Sales appeals to people across the globe. About 3.3% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Professional Sales Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Sales majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $40,480 to $64,860 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Professional Sales
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.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to sales have obtained the following education levels.
|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%|
|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%|
Online Professional Sales Programs
In 2020-2021, 92 schools offered a sales program of some type. 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)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||22||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||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!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Professional Sales
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to sales.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|General Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations||3,440|
|Retailing and Retail Operations||1,025|
|Other General Merchandising, Sales, and Related Marketing Operations||233|
|Merchandising and Buying Operations||48|
*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.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Nick Nijhuis under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs.Visit School