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5 Good-Paying, Fast-Growing Careers in Sales

Following office and administrative support occupations, the second-largest occupational group in the 2021 economy was sales occupations. Overall employment in sales occupations is projected to show little or no change from 2021 to 2031. One major reason is that the growth of e-commerce is expected to reduce demand at brick-and-mortar retail stores, meaning fewer cashiers and retail salespersons are needed.

However, the outlook is bright for several other sales occupations outside of retail settings, including those that sell services, such as in finance, insurance, and real estate, and those that sell technologies such as scientific equipment or computer software.

Here are five sales occupations that are projected to grow more than the 5.3% average growth that is projected for all occupations over the 2021–31 decade. Together, these occupations are projected add about 162,500 new jobs to the economy by 2031, and each of these occupations paid more than the median annual wage for all occupations in May 2021, $45,760.

Chart showing the projected employment change by percent of six sales occupations, from 2021 to 2031.

Note: Occupational openings are an estimate of the number of positions for workers entering an occupation. Occupational separations, an estimate of the number of workers who will leave an occupation because of retirement, career changes, or other factors, combined with projections of employment change, provides the number of occupational openings.

 

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents connect buyers and sellers in financial markets.

2021 annual median pay: $62,910 

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Number of jobs, 2021: 466,900

Projected growth, 2021–31: 10.2%

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 46,600

 

Sales representatives of services, except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travel sell services to individuals or businesses.

2021 annual median pay: $60,550

Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Number of jobs, 2021: 1,063,900

Projected growth, 2021–31: 6.7%

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 125,300

 

Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance.

2021 annual median pay: $49,840

Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Number of jobs, 2021: 523,200

Projected growth, 2021–31: 6.3%

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 52,700

 

Real estate brokers help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses.

2021 annual median pay: $62,010

Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Number of jobs, 2021: 123,100

Projected growth, 2021–31: 5.7%

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 12,100

 

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses.

2021 annual median pay: $103,710

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree  

Number of jobs, 2021: 60,700

Projected growth, 2021–31: 5.7%

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 6,900

 

Want to learn more about the occupations above? Explore these and hundreds more in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

 

Emily Rolen is an economist in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Follow BLS on Twitter at @BLS_gov.

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