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Career and Education Opportunities for Product Demonstrators in Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for product demonstrators. About 4,100 people are currently employed as product demonstrators in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 31% to 5,370 people employed. This is better than the national trend for product demonstrators, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.1% over the next eight years. Product demonstrators generally demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product.

Product demonstrators earn approximately $11 hourly or $24,270 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $11 per hour or $23,260 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical, people working as product demonstrators in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a product demonstrator, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. Product demonstrators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Elgin 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.
  • 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

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Retailing and Retail Operations which graduated one and two students respectively 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.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has an associate's degree program in Retailing and Retail Operations which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.