Name: Dan Holmes
Job Title: Sales Engineer
Where: Seattle, WA
Education: University of Idaho, Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering
Annual Salary: See PayScale’s Research Center for median sales engineer salaries, including sales engineering starting salaries and post-graduate salaries in engineering sales.
Engineering is one of those fields that has enormous growth potential within various specialty areas. "Engineer" can mean anything from petroleum engineer to computer engineer. While all engineering jobs focus to some degree on solving technical problems, most of us probably don’t associate engineering with customer relations and sales. However, Dan Holmes, a Sales Engineer, fills a key area within his company, combining his technical knowledge with his outgoing personality to serve and build customer relationships. He gave us a few tips on the benefits of working as a Sales Engineer, plus advice on how to succeed in this type of engineering career.
Sales Engineer Job Description:
Dan: I manage strategic customer relationships and provide a strategic plan for customer equipment migrations and maintenance.
PayScale: How did you get started as a Sales Engineer?
Dan: I went to college with a plan to get this type of job. I have never enjoyed working in one place, and I have always wanted to be out working with customers. My engineering degree opened the door for a technical sales role, which was ideal for me.
PayScale: What do you like best about being a Sales Engineer?
Dan: My schedule is 100% flexible, and I have a company car.
PayScale: What are the biggest challenges you face as a Sales Engineer?
Dan: In technical sales you are responsible for selling a job, but you are not the person who completes the work. Not having control over the final outcome is difficult when you are responsible for a customer’s happiness.
PayScale: What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this field?
Dan: Be personable. Dress sharp. A technical degree will prove your aptitude for learning, but it is your outgoing personality that will make you successful.
PayScale: What’s the most rewarding thing that has happened to you while working as a Sales Engineer?
Dan: I have had the opportunity to develop some business in new markets. A market with great potential is the cruise ship market, which has led to some interesting travel opportunities.