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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Service Representatives in Grand Rapids, Michigan

For those living in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, there are many career and education opportunities for technical service representatives. There are currently 11,280 jobs for technical service representatives in Michigan and this is projected to grow 11% to about 12,490 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for technical service representatives, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.7% over the next eight years. 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 about $35 per hour or $74,320 yearly on average in Michigan and about $33 hourly or $70,200 per year on average nationally. Technical service representatives earn more than people working in the category of Sales and Clerical generally in Michigan and more than people in the Sales and Clerical category nationally.

The Grand Rapids area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree as a technical service representative. 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 Grand Rapids 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Muskegon Community College - Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Community College, 221 S Quarterline Rd, Muskegon, MI 49442-1432. Muskegon Community College is a small college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,747 students. Muskegon Community College has an associate's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has a master's degree program in Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-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: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.