Sales Engineer

Introduction

As a Sales Engineer, you will be combining your technical engineering knowledge, together with your excellent sales skills. It will be your job to sell complex technical products or services to other businesses, using your technical expertise to support the sales process.

Also known as

  • Technical Sales Manager

Video: - Dougie: Sales Manager

Video: - William: Customer Service Engineer

Video: - Chris: Customer Service Engineer

Work Activities

As a Sales Engineer, you will be combining your technical engineering knowledge, together with your excellent sales skills. It will be your job to sell complex technical products or services to other businesses, using your technical expertise to support the sales process.

You will work closely with your sales team, as a Technical Adviser, linking customers to your products, removing any possible technical barriers. You will need to listen carefully to the needs of your customers, and propose ways of meeting these requests, explaining technical issues to them in ways they will understand.

Your duties could also include:

  • searching out new customers - people who could benefit from your products or services
  • making contact with new customers and maintaining a good relationship with them
  • calculating quotations for customers - how much will it cost them?
  • providing new customers with technical advice and training, so that they can get the most from your product or service
  • providing an effective after-sales support service
  • meeting your agreed sales targets
  • preparing reports for management
  • making technical presentations to potential customers at sales or industry events
  • use technical drawings to produce product proposals based on customer requests

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Sales Engineer, you need:

  • experience within a relevant engineering environment - you must know all about the product or service you are selling
  • to be customer focussed - the customer always comes first!
  • sales experience - experience, such as working in a shop will be a great help
  • IT skills
  • to be willing to keep up to date with advances in technology in this fast-changing area

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £21,500 - £24,500
  • With experience: £27,500 - £34,000
  • Senior Sales Engineers earn £38,500 - £44,000

Hours of work

Sales Engineers usually work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. However, early starts, late finishes, standby rotas and some weekend work may be required.

Where could I work?

Opportunities for Sales Engineers occur with employers throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on internet job boards, on websites of gas service organisations, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Find a Job website.

GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:

www.greenjobs.co.uk/browse-jobs/engineering/

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Normally, employers will expect you to have a degree in order to enter this career. However, if you are thinking about leaving school after finishing your A levels, you could get a lower level job in one of the following fields and train on-the-job:

  • mechanical engineering
  • structural engineering
  • manufacturing engineering
  • civil engineering

After completing your A levels, you might be able to get onto a Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship in a relevant area. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Then, once you have gained relevant industry skills and experience, you might be able to apply for Sales Engineer positions.

Progression

Depending on your qualifications, Sales Engineers can progress by taking on more responsibility for the management of sales projects and sales teams.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in an engineering position would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

To enter a relevant degree course, the usual requirements are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
  • English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (eg, Access to Engineering) could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Skills/experience

Most people enter this career after gaining relevant skills, and perhaps qualifications, in a related area such as:

  • mechanical engineeeing
  • manufacturing
  • civil engineering
  • structural engineering

Industry experience is very highly valued by employers

Training

Information on pathways to registration as a Chartered (CEng) or Incorporated (IEng) Engineer can be found on the Engineering Council's website.

Funding

Funding for postgraduate courses is available through universities from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Further Information

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.uk

Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181

Email: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk

Website: www.scottishengineering.org.uk

Engineering Council

Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX

Tel: 020 3206 0500

Website: www.engc.org.uk

Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377

Email: info@etcni.org.uk

Website: www.etcni.org.uk

Institute of Sales Management (ISM)

Address: Harrier Court, Lower Woodside, Bedfordshire LU1 4DQ

Tel: 01582 840001

Website: www.ismm.co.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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