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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Service Representatives in Chicago, Illinois

Technical service representatives can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 20,640 people work as technical service representatives in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 11% to 22,810 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for technical service representatives are expected to grow by about 9.7%. In general, technical service representatives 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.

Technical service representatives earn approximately $31 hourly or $66,460 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $33 hourly or $70,200 per year. Technical service representatives earn more than people working in the category of Sales and Clerical generally in Illinois and more than people in the Sales and Clerical category nationally.

There are ten schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a technical service representative, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Technical service representatives usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a technical service representative if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Technical Service Representative

Technical Service Representative video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, technical service representatives 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.

Technical service representatives answer clients' questions about products and credit terms. They also contact new and existing clients to consider their needs, and to explain how these needs could be met by specific products and services. Equally important, technical service representatives have to quote prices, credit terms and other bid specifications. They are often called upon to negotiate prices and terms of sales and service agreements. They are expected to inform clients of estimated delivery schedules or other data pertaining to purchased products. Finally, technical service representatives furnish clients with ongoing technical support.

Every day, technical service representatives are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for technical service representatives to initiate sales campaigns and follow marketing plan guidelines so as to meet sales and production expectations. They are often called upon to demonstrate and explain the operation and use of products. They also complete product and development training as required. They are sometimes expected to recommend ways for clients to modify product usage in order to further optimize production. Somewhat less frequently, technical service representatives are also expected to maintain customer records, using automated systems.

Technical service representatives sometimes are asked to complete expense reports and other paperwork. They also have to be able to verify clients' credit ratings, and appraise equipment in order to establish contract terms and trade-in values and inspect existing machinery/equipment placement, and develop diagrams to illustrate efficient space utilization, using standard measuring devices and templates. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish feedback to company's product layout team so that products can be tailored to clients' needs.

Like many other jobs, technical service representatives must want to innovate to meet new challenges and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

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.
  • Product Demonstrator. Demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. May sell demonstrated merchandise.
  • Real Estate Agent. Rent, buy, or sell property for clients. Perform duties, such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts. Includes agents who represent buyer.
  • 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.
  • 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: Technical Service Representative Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Benedictine University - Lisle, IL

Benedictine University, 5700 College Rd, Lisle, IL 60532-0900. Benedictine University is a medium sized university located in Lisle, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,053 students and an admission rate of 80%. Benedictine University has a bachelor's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated five and five students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated three students in 2008.

Dominican University - River Forest, IL

Dominican University, 7900 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305. Dominican University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,413 students and an admission rate of 85%. Dominican University has a bachelor's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties.

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 and an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated twenty-three and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Saint Xavier University - Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University, 3700 W 103rd St, Chicago, IL 60655. Saint Xavier University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,307 students and an admission rate of 71%. Saint Xavier University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated zero, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated four students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated seven, three, and one students respectively in 2008.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has a bachelor's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Customer Service Specialist: An individual who successfully passes ETA's World Class CSS Certification exam is professionally recognized as having the ability to uphold the interpersonal and business standards necessary in today's workplace.

For more information, see the ETA International 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.

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: Chicago, Illinois

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.