Sales Representatives represent companies to sell their goods and business services to wholesale and retail establishments.
promoting and selling their company's goods and services such as building and plumbing supplies, business services, motor vehicle parts and accessories, and personal and household goods
acquiring and updating knowledge of employer's and competitors' goods and services, and market conditions
using directories and other sources to compile lists of prospective business clients
visiting clients and retail outlets to establish selling opportunities
quoting prices and credit terms, recording orders and arranging deliveries
following up clients and ensuring satisfaction with goods and services and resolving any problems
monitoring clients' changing needs and competitor activity and reporting on these developments to sales and marketing management
preparing sales reports
maintaining and submitting records of business expenses incurred
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 103,100 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 85% of people employed as Sales Representatives work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 19 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,499 per week, this is lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,265
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,827
Median hourly earnings are $39, this is similar to the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Sales Representatives||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Sales Representatives work in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Sales Representatives||All Jobs Average|
Around 70% of Sales Representatives live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Sydney - Inner South West
- Sydney - City and Inner South
- Sydney - Eastern Suburbs
- Sydney - Parramatta.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Sales Representatives is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 36% of the workforce. This is 12 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Sales Representatives||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.8||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Sales Representative. Although some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or a university degree in areas like business management, marketing, accounting and commerce.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Property Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Sales Representatives||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||4.7||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||12.2||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Sales Representatives who have good interpersonal and communication skills, can provide good customer service and are well presented.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Talking to others.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Reading work related information.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Looking for ways to help people.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
45%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
43%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Teaching people how to do something.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
30%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Using maths to solve problems.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
74%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
68%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
53%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
43%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
38%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
36%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
33%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
30%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
26%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
23%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
22%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Read and understand written information.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Write in a way that people can understand.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
See details that are far away.
34%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
72%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
70%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
68%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
64%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
60%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
59%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
58%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
57%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
56%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
54%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
54%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
51%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
50%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
49%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
49%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
49%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
42%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
41%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Talk on the telephone.
Use electronic mail.
96%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
88%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
83%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
82%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work with people in a group or team.
78%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
77%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
77%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
75%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
70%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
70%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
69%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
Work to strict deadlines.
69%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 41-4012.00 - Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.