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Career and Education Opportunities for Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives in Birmingham, Alabama

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Currently, 21,070 people work as wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 12% to 23,520 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.6% over the next eight years. In general, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals.

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives earn about $21 per hour or $43,940 annually on average in Alabama and about $24 per hour or $51,330 yearly on average nationally. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives earn more than people working in the category of Sales and Clerical generally in Alabama and more than people in the Sales and Clerical category nationally.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a wholesale and manufacturing sales representative. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives usually hold some college courses, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become a wholesale and manufacturing sales representative if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative

In general, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. They also work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives answer clients' questions about products and credit terms. They also recommend products to clients, on the basis of clients' needs and interests. Equally important, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives have to contact regular and prospective clients to exhibit products, explain product features, and solicit orders. They are often called upon to furnish clients with product samples and catalogs. They are expected to estimate or quote prices, credit or contract terms, warranties, and delivery dates. Finally, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives monitor market conditions and competitors' products and sales.

Every day, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives to perform administrative duties, such as preparing sales budgets and reports, keeping sales records, and filing expense account reports. They are often called upon to negotiate specifics of contracts and payments, and make ready sales contracts and order forms. They also make ready drawings and bids that meet specific customer needs. They are sometimes expected to obtain credit data related to prospective clients. Somewhat less frequently, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives are also expected to train clients' employees to operate and maintain new equipment.

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sometimes are asked to train clients' employees to operate and maintain new equipment. and formulate and stock product displays in retail stores, or make recommendations to retailers regarding product displays and advertising. And finally, they sometimes have to confer with clients after sales or contract signings to deal with problems and to furnish ongoing support.

Like many other jobs, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Retail Sales Manager. Directly supervise sales workers in a retail establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative Training

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has a less than one year program in Fashion Merchandising.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Ingredient Service Provider: This program is designed for busy professionals involved in the sales and service of ingredients to the baking industry who are not able to attend the AIB Baking Science and Technology resident course.

For more information, see the American Institute of Baking website.

Certified Professional in Training: For those packagers having fewer than six years of academic and/or work experience, a Certified Professionals in Training (CPIT) program is offered.

For more information, see the Institute of Packaging Professionals website.

Certified Sales Professional: The Certified Sales Professional (CSP) program gives a thorough understanding of consultative selling.

For more information, see the Manufacturers Representatives Educational Research Foundation website.

Certified Professional Manufacturers Representative: This unique and exclusive program has enhanced the professionalism of thousands of experienced manufacturers' representatives and agents.

For more information, see the Manufacturers Representatives Educational Research Foundation website.

NAFA Certified Air Filter Specialist: In response to the need for quality assurance, increased education and recognition of professional achievement within the industry, NAFA developed the NAFA Certified Air Filter Specialist (CAFS) program-the first education and certification program designed specifically for air filtration professionals.

For more information, see the National Air Filtration Associaton website.

National Professional Certification in Sales: The Certification was designed to capture the core Sales duties for a broad range of entry-level through first-line supervisory positions across the sales and service industries.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation website.

Certified Salesperson: The SMEI Certified Professional Salesperson program is ideal for professionals who are employed as a sales representatives, account managers, distributor representatives and business development personnel.

For more information, see the Sales & Marketing Executives International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.