Overview

Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. However, workers without a degree but with previous sales experience as well as technical experience or training sometimes hold the title of sales engineer. Also, workers who have a degree in a science, such as chemistry, or in business with little or no previous sales experience may be called sales engineers.

University engineering programs generally require four years of study. They vary in content, but all programs include courses in math and the physical sciences. In addition, most require developing strong computer skills. Some programs offer a general engineering curriculum; students then specialize on the job or in graduate school. Most programs, however, require students to choose an area of specialization. The most common majors are electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering, but some programs offer additional majors, such as chemical, biomedical, or computer hardware engineering.

New graduates with engineering degrees may need sales experience and training before they can work independently as sales engineers. Training may involve teaming with a sales mentor who is familiar with the employer's business practices, customers, procedures, and company culture. After the training period, sales engineers may continue to partner with someone who lacks technical skills yet excels in the art of sales.

It is important for sales engineers to continue their engineering and sales education throughout their careers. Much of their value to their employers depends on their knowledge of, and ability to sell, the latest technologies. Sales engineers in high-technology fields, such as information technology and advanced electronics, may find that their technical knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, requiring frequent retraining.

What are Sales Engineers like?

Enterprising

Based on our pool of users, sales engineers tend to be predominately enterprising people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Sales Engineers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 681 Sokanu users

Are Sales Engineers happy?

22%Happy

Sales engineers rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 22nd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Sales Engineer Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Sales Engineers

The most common degree held by sales engineers is Mechanical Engineering. 6% of sales engineers had a degree in mechanical engineering before becoming sales engineers. That is over 4 times the average across all careers. Business Management And Administration graduates are the second most common among sales engineers, representing 6% of sales engineers in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.9 times the average.

Sales Engineer Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Sales Engineer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of sales engineers % of population Multiple
Mechanical Engineering 6.1% 1.6% 3.8×
Business Management And Administration 5.7% 6.4% 0.9×
Electrical Engineering 2.8% 0.8% 3.4×
Computer Science 2.6% 2.7% 1.0×
Economics 2.5% 3.8% 0.7×
Chemical Engineering 2.2% 0.5% 4.4×
Marketing And Marketing Research 1.8% 2.1% 0.8×
International Business 1.8% 1.0% 1.8×
Psychology 1.8% 6.6% 0.3×
Business 1.6% 2.3% 0.7×
Communications 1.5% 3.3% 0.4×
General Engineering 1.3% 0.4% 3.6×
Computer Networking 1.2% 0.3% 4.0×
Biomedical Engineering 1.2% 0.3% 3.4×
Computer Engineering 1.2% 0.6% 2.1×
Industrial Engineering 1.2% 0.3% 3.6×
English Literature 1.2% 4.8% 0.2×
Physics 1.2% 1.0% 1.2×
Finance 1.0% 2.0% 0.5×
Political Science 1.0% 2.8% 0.4×

Sales Engineer Education Levels

43% of sales engineers have a bachelor's degree. 27% of sales engineers have an associate's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 10%
Associate's degree 27%
Bachelor's degree 43%
Master's degree 20%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Sales Engineer

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