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How Much Does Sales School Cost?

Sales School Prices

Sales agents convince customers to purchase goods or services. Jobs are available in virtually every industry, from advertising and finance to medical devices and agribusiness. It's typical for agents to eventually specialize in an area of sales. Training from a college, professional organization, or private company can help students secure a sales job.

What You Should Know About a Career in Sales

According to SUCCESS magazine, successful salespeople tend to be driven, confident, outgoing, assertive, funny, structured, relational, and focused. If you fit this description, a career in sales might be a good choice.

Salary

The salary of salespeople varies widely depending on experience level and the type of sales. Pay structure (whether the position offers a lower base salary and the chance to earn commission or a higher base salary and no commission) also affects earnings. With that in mind, here are a few examples of what sales jobs pay on average per year:

  • Door-to-door sales workers/street vendors: $21,470
  • Advertising sales agents: $46,290
  • Insurance sales agents: $46,770
  • Sales representative of technical and scientific products: $74,970
  • Financial services sales agents: $70,190
  • All salary information obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For information specific to sales jobs, see the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook on sales occupations.

Education

The minimum education requirement for sales jobs varies by industry. BLS notes, for example, that financial services sale agents and agents selling scientific or technical products (such as pharmaceuticals, and medical instruments) generally need a bachelor's degree in a related field for an entry-level job. A related field for a financial services sales agent could mean business, finance or accounting, while a salesperson working for a pharmaceutical company might major in chemistry or biology.

Some sales agent positions require only a high school diploma, but a college degree can improve employment prospects. Again, the recommended course of study depends on the actual position. For instance, prospective advertising or insurance sales agents may consider taking courses in business, marketing, communications, economics, and advertising.

Students interested in a focused sales education have the option to obtain a certificate or bachelor's degree in sales or sales management. Sales programs are typically run through a school's business program, although some schools (including Ball State University) have a dedicated sales center. At the graduate level, students can earn an MBA, which may be required for some high-level sales positions. An MBA, at the very least, can improve compensation. A handful of schools nationwide offer an MBA with a concentration in sales/sales management.

In addition to undergraduate and graduate degree programs there are also private companies and professional organizations that provide sales training. Examples include the Aetna sales development program, the National Association of Medical Sales Training (NAMSR) training courses, and Dale Carnegie Training.

Sales School Costs

  • The average cost of a bachelor's degree, according to the College Board, ranges from approximately $35,000 (tuition and fees over 4 years for in-state students at public institutions) to more than $115,000 (tuition and fees over 4 years at a private institution). Note that room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses are not reflected in these figures.
  • MBA programs have vastly different costs. Some online programs cost as little as $8,000 to $15,000, while an MBA from a top-20 business school can cost upwards of $120,000 in tuition and fees alone.
  • A graduate certificate in sales/sales management might cost $4,000 to $9,000 or more.
  • Professional sales training starts at $500 to $2,500 (for a single course) but could cost $6,000 to $12,000 for programs lasting several months.
  • Contact individual institutions/companies for the most accurate program cost information.
  • If you're currently employed, find out whether your employer will pay for some or all of the costs of sales training.
  • Learn about financial aid options at the U.S. Department of Education website.

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