August 16, 2011
In May 2010, there were over 13 million wage and salary sales workers in the United States. There were several sales occupations with annual median wages that were higher than the national median wage of $33,840, including real estate brokers ($54,910), advertising sales agents ($45,350), and securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents ($70,190).
The total number of sales representatives (wholesale and manufacturing) for technical and scientific products employed in May 2010 was 381,080, with a median annual wage of $73,710. These sales workers sell or promote prescription drugs, medical devices, computer equipment, and other technical and scientific products.
With more than 1.3 million workers in May 2010 and a median annual wage of $52,440, sales representatives (wholesale and manufacturing), except technical and scientific products is one of the largest sales occupations. These workers sell many different products, including groceries, home furnishings, and motor vehicle parts.
In May 2010, the total number of insurance sales agents employed was 318,800, with a median annual wage of $46,770. Insurance sales agents sell insurance policies and other financial services to businesses and individuals.
These data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see "Paid to persuade: Careers in sales" in the summer 2011 edition of the Occupational Outlook Quarterly.