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Career and Education Opportunities for Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives in Chicago, Illinois

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 79,680 people are currently employed as wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 6% to 84,240 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives are expected to grow by about 6.6%. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives generally sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals.

A person working as a wholesale and manufacturing sales representative can expect to earn about $26 per hour or $55,190 annually on average in Illinois and about $24 hourly or $51,330 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Wholesale and manufacturing sales 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 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including sixteen within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career 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 studying to be 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 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales 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 2 areas of study related to Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative . They are:

  • Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated eight, three, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Fashion Merchandising, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated four and ten students respectively in 2008.

International Academy of Design and Technology - Chicago, IL

International Academy of Design and Technology, One North State Street - Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60602-3300. International Academy of Design and Technology is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,080 students. International Academy of Design and Technology has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion Merchandising which graduated twenty-three and 110 students respectively 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.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt 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 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree program in Insurance.

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 2 areas of study related to Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative . They are:

  • Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, less than one year which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Fashion Merchandising, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Westwood College-Dupage - Woodridge, IL

Westwood College-Dupage, 7155 Janes Avenue, Woodridge, IL 60517. Westwood College-Dupage is a small college located in Woodridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 659 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Dupage has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion Merchandising.

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 2 areas of study related to Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative . They are:

  • Fashion Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago - Chicago, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, 350 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654-1593. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,900 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago has 2 areas of study related to Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative . They are:

  • Fashion Merchandising, associate's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Apparel and Accessories Marketing Operations, bachelor's degree which graduated 114 students in 2008.

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport - Chicago, IL

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport, 8501 W. Higgins Road Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60634. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 676 students and an admission rate of 48%. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion Merchandising.

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.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year program in Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations which graduated one student in 2008.

Westwood College-River Oaks - Calumet City, IL

Westwood College-River Oaks, 80 River Oaks Ctr-Ste 111, Calumet City, IL 60409. Westwood College-River Oaks is a small college located in Calumet City, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 629 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-River Oaks has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion Merchandising.

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 a one to two year program in Fashion Merchandising which graduated one student in 2008.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has a master's degree program in General Merchandising, Sales, & Related Marketing Operations, Other Specialties.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg - Schaumburg, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg, 1000 Plaza Drive Ste. 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4913. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg is a small school located in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,257 students and an admission rate of 47%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg has 2 areas of study related to Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative . They are:

  • Fashion Merchandising, associate's degree.
  • Specialized Merchandising, Sales, & Related Marketing Operations, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students 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 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: 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.