What does a manufacturer representative do?
Manufacturer representatives work for a variety of manufacturing, technical, and wholesale companies. They describe the products and services, perform demonstrations, highlight the benefits, and answer customer questions. Manufacturer representatives also make sure customers receive the necessary goods and services according to the contract with the company. They prepare reports on levels of service that are not meeting the needs of the customers and the requirements of contracts. Some manufacturer representatives specialize in scientific or technical products such as pharmaceuticals and mechanical equipment.
What kind of training does a manufacturer representative need?
Manufacturer representatives must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with some postsecondary education and related sales experience. A bachelor degree is required for some positions that deal with technical and scientific products. Prospective manufacturer representatives often complete courses in communication, marketing, and economics. Many employers provide on the job training programs that can last up to 2 years. New manufacturer representatives typically shadow experienced workers to become familiar with the products and clients of their employer. Many manufacturer representatives gain voluntary certifications such as the Certified Professional Manufacturer’s Representative (CPMR) designation. Certification requirements typically include minimum education and passing an examination. Manufacturer representatives must complete continuing education and additional training to maintain their certification and keep their skills up to date. Many often participate in seminars that cover sales techniques.
What are the prospects for a career as a manufacturer representative?
Employment of manufacturer representatives is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 7% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The constant increase of many different types of goods sold throughout the world will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be good especially for manufacturer representatives with advanced education and desirable selling characteristics. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace manufacturer representatives that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do manufacturer representatives make?
As of January 2010, the middle 50% of manufacturer representatives earn annual salaries between $43,708 and $60,930. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $69,648 (2).
A career as a manufacturer representative is a great choice for people with a strong interest in the manufacturing field and performing selling techniques. Manufacturer representatives must have a solid understanding of a variety of selling methods and be able to apply them to various situations. Determination, goal orientation, perseverance, persuasion, and good problem solving skills are essential. Manufacturer representatives must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to be able to interact with a variety of customers and other professionals. They must be able to effectively work independently as well as part of a team.