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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Service Representatives in Columbia, Maryland

Technical service representatives can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 6,670 working technical service representatives in Maryland; this should grow 10% to about 7,350 working technical service representatives in the state 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%. Technical service representatives generally 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 $38 hourly or $79,630 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $33 hourly or $70,200 yearly. Incomes for technical service representatives are better than in the overall category of Sales and Clerical in Maryland, and better than the overall Sales and Clerical category nationally.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a technical service representative. The most common level of education for technical service representatives is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Columbia 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a post-master's certificate and a doctor's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated one and five students respectively in 2008.

University of Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Baltimore, Charles at Mount Royal, Baltimore, MD 21201-208. University of Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,844 students and an admission rate of 50%. University of Baltimore has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a master's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated seven students in 2008.

Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251-0001. Morgan State University is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,554 students and an admission rate of 34%. Morgan State University has a master's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated four students in 2008.

Goucher College - Baltimore, MD

Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Rd, Baltimore, MD 21204-2794. Goucher College is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,321 students and an admission rate of 66%. Goucher College has a master's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated twelve 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.