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Career and Education Opportunities for Product Demonstrators in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be a product demonstrator, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 4,100 people are currently employed as product demonstrators in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 31% to 5,370 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for product demonstrators are expected to grow by about 7.1%. Product demonstrators generally demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product.

The income of a product demonstrator is about $11 per hour or $24,270 annually on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $11 hourly or $23,260 annually on average. Product demonstrators earn less than people working in the category of Sales and Clerical generally in Illinois and less than people in the Sales and Clerical category nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a product demonstrator, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. The most common level of education for product demonstrators is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a product demonstrator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Product Demonstrator

Product Demonstrator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, product demonstrators demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. They also may sell demonstrated merchandise.

Product demonstrators furnish product samples and other incentives to convince people to buy products. They also record and report demonstration-related data such as the quantity of questions asked by the audience and the quantity of coupons distributed. Equally important, product demonstrators have to demonstrate and explain products, methods, or services so as to persuade clients to acquire products or utilize services. They are often called upon to suggest specific product purchases to meet clients' needs. They are expected to identify interested and qualified clients in order to furnish them with additional data. Finally, product demonstrators make ready and alter presentation contents to target specific audiences.

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

It is important for product demonstrators to sell products being promoted, and keep records of sales. They are often called upon to work as part of a team of demonstrators to deal with large crowds. They also practice demonstrations to insure that they will run smoothly. They are sometimes expected to visit trade shows and other venues to exhibit products or services, and to respond to questions from potential clients. Somewhat less frequently, product demonstrators are also expected to train demonstrators to present a company's products or services.

Product demonstrators sometimes are asked to transport and disassemble materials used in presentations. They also have to be able to contact businesses and civic establishments to organize to exhibit and sell product And finally, they sometimes have to instruct clients in modification of products.

Like many other jobs, product demonstrators must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Advertising Agent. Sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time. May obtain leases for outdoor advertising sites or persuade retailer to use sales promotion display items.
  • Cage Cashier. Exchange coins and tokens for patrons' money. May issue payoffs and obtain customer's signature on receipt when winnings exceed the amount held in the slot machine. May operate a booth in the slot machine area and furnish change persons with money bank at the start of the shift, or count and audit money in drawers.
  • Cashier. Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. Usually involves use of electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. Often involved in processing credit or debit card transactions and validating checks.
  • Insurance Agent. Sell life, property, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
  • 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.
  • Retail Salesman. Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.
  • Sales Team Manager. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. May perform duties, such as budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Technical Service Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of post-secondary education.
  • Telemarketer. Solicit orders for goods or services over the telephone.
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Product Demonstrator Training

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Retailing and Retail Operations which graduated five students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Retailing and Retail Operations which graduated five students in 2008.


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.