Careers in Sales


Looking for an entry level job or internship in sales? Here's an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have entry level and internship opportunities that will interest you.

See companies with sales careers or search the latest sales jobs and internships.

When I was younger, my neighborhood would hold a yard sale one Saturday each Spring. It would start at the crack of dawn, and I’d jump out of bed those mornings knowing it was my time to shine. The more things I sold, the more money I’d make. And the more money I made, the more candy I could buy! My first tactic was to get people “in the door” by yelling out that I had fresh hand-baked sticky buns for sale for $1.00 each. Turns out nothing grabs attention like the allure of breakfast in the morning. After I’d hooked folks with my food, I’d ask them what they were looking for, hunt my most similar item down for them, and bargain over the final price. That was my introduction to sales–a job function in which a person helps to sell goods and services to new or current customers.

Sales Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user dennis

Sales Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Sales Professional Does
  2. A Typical Day in Sales
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Sales Professional
  4. Best Locations for Sales
  5. Pro/Con: Being a Sales Professional
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Sales
  7. Sales Resources
  8. Careers Related to Sales
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Sales

What a Sales Person Does

A sales person tries to sell products, services, or facilities to people who might be interested in them. Sales is a function that can be found in nearly every organization in some form. A salesperson’s goals is to teach potential customers learn more about the product or service and help them overcome any objections they may have to making a purchasing decision. Sales jobs can range from the retail level where you convince someone to buy a particular cell phone to the enterprise level where you are hammering out multi-million dollar contracts between businesses.

Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales

There are two types of sales jobs–one is called “outside sales” and the other is referred to as “inside sales.” Outside sales representatives generally sell goods outside of the office–this could range from going door to door to flying across the world to make a pitch. People in outside sales typically focus on bringing in entirely new business or at least opening up the opportunity for a business relationship in the future. People who work in inside sales primarily close over the phone or e-mail, and their job is geared towards closing new sales with current customers. This may mean upselling, convincing a client to renew a contract, or closing a sale with a warm lead.

A Typical Day in Sales

The day of a Sales Associate is dominated by communication with prospects–this may be over the phone, by e-mail, or in person. Depending on what is being sold, the time spent on an individual prospect could be minutes or weeks (for instance some companies will require employees to make 200 calls a day or schedule 20 meetings a week). This means that there is a lot of variance in the day to day activities of someone in sales, but the days typically consist of following up on previous interactions, searching for and researching new prospects, and reaching out to these new prospects. Some businesses provide their salespeople with leads, while others require their sales team to find new prospects on their own.

The most successful salespeople are able to understand their customers’ problems and then frame the product they are selling as the best solution. The key to selling is overcoming a customer’s objections, so people in sales typically need to excel at reading people and asking questions. Jobs in sales are heavily shaped by what is being sold, but the skills that are most important in the job span across all industries.

Salary and Career Progression in Sales

A sales person on average makes $52,000 per year. But that can range a bit depending upon what industry you’re selling in. For example, in advertising sales, the average person makes $43,000 per year, but in medical sales, the average sales associate makes about $67,000 per year. There are endless possibilities for growth, as you can expand across industries, or add on additional territories within your current industry to become Regional Sales Manager ($50,000-$160,000), Sales Director ($45,000-$210,000), and National Sales Manager ($50,000-$165,000). Many Sales jobs come with relatively small base salaries and significant commission structures or performance bonuses.

Best Locations for Sales Careers

These hot spots have the highest salaries for salespeople:

Pro/Con: Working in Sales


What You Need to Know for a Career in Sales

To work in Sales you’ll need to develop specific skills like good listening, exceptional self-confidence, and persuasiveness. It’s also important that you’re self-motivated, and a real people person. On top of that, beyond a basic college degree (which isn’t always required) you’ll probably need to undergo some company specific training, so that you can learn the products you’re pitching inside and out.

Sales Resources

If Sales still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Key Folks to Follow on Twitter

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Sales

Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Sales

SmartBear Logo

SmartBear - SmartBear is based in Beverly, MA, and they make “tools to help you manage the quality of your desktop, web, mobile, and api-based applications."

See the complete SmartBear profile

Job TitleLocation
Marketing InternBeverly, MA
SQA Engineer / Analyst - Data Validation FocusNashua, NH
QA TesterWest Palm Beach, FL
Automated TesterOklahoma City, OK
QA TesterJuno Beach, FL
See all 43 job postings

Sojern Logo

Sojern - Sojern is based in San Francisco and has developed a travel-focused “robust audience engagement platform [that] is powered by machine-learning technology."

See the complete Sojern profile

inDinero Logo

inDinero - inDinero is a San Francisco, CA based company that will "take care of your accounting, file your corporate tax returns, and manage your payroll.”

See the complete inDinero profile

Whalerock Industries Logo

Whalerock Industries - Whalerock Industries, based in Santa Monica, CA, brings together the "best and brightest minds to create world-class content, spanning all mediums and screens.”

See the complete Whalerock Industries profile

Job TitleLocation
Internship-TV/FilmSanta Monica, CA
Internship-DigitalSanta Monica, CA
Project ManagerSanta Monica, CA
Internship- DesignSanta Monica, CA
Project ManagerSanta Monica, CA
See all 12 job postings

nrelate Logo

nrelate - nrelate is an NYC based company that "helps Publishers give their readers an easy way to find more great content from within their site or from around the web."

See the complete nrelate profile

FranConnect Logo

FranConnect - FranConnect is a Reston, VA based company that offers Franchise Management Systems to big name clients like Dairy Queen and The UPS Store.

See the complete FranConnect profile

Worthee Logo

Worthee - Worthee is a Chicago, IL based company that offers premium dog walking and care services through a simple mobile app.

See the complete Worthee profile


FATHOM - FATHOM is an Oakland, CA studio that uses its “expertise in 3D printing and additive manufacturing to help customers innovate faster and more efficiently.”

See the complete FATHOM profile

Camping World Logo

Camping World - Camping World is based in Bowling Green, KY and is “the camping and recreational vehicle enthusiast’s one-stop-shop for everything they need to enjoy their RV.”

See the complete Camping World profile

Relias Learning Logo

Relias Learning - Relias Learning is based in Cary, NC and offers “online training to senior care, health and human services, corrections, and intellectual and developmental disabilities organizations.”

See the complete Relias Learning profile

Hanley Wood Logo

Hanley Wood - Washington, DC based Hanley Wood is “the premier media, event, information and strategic marketing services company serving the residential and commercial design and construction industries.”

See the complete Hanley Wood profile

AllTrails Logo

AllTrails - AllTrails is a San Francisco, CA based startup that provides outdoor enthusiast "with the information and tools to discover top destinations near them.”

See the complete AllTrails profile

No current job openings.

Industrial Color Logo

Industrial Color - Industrial Color is an LA and NYC based company that offers “digital still and video capture, post-production, color and video editing services,"

See the complete Industrial Color profile

Visual Data Systems Logo

Visual Data Systems - Visual Data Systems is based in Columbia, MD and serves "the Vacation Rental Community with Web Design, Online Marketing Solutions, and Reservation System Integration.”

See the complete Visual Data Systems profile

RealScout Logo

RealScout - RealScout is a Sunnyvale, CA based company that “leverages over 500 datapoints to make home search more personal for clients and more efficient for Realtors.”

See the complete RealScout profile

Job TitleLocation
Sr. Account ExecutiveMountain View, CA
Inside Sales Account ExecutiveMountain View, CA
Lead UX & Graphic DesignerMountain View, CA
Director of EngineeringMountain View, CA
See all 2 job postings

CafeMom Logo
No current job openings.

WaterSmart Software Logo

WaterSmart Software - WaterSmart Software is based in San Francisco, CA, and they aim “to help water utilities make it easier for their customers to save water and save money.”

See the complete WaterSmart Software profile

Job TitleLocation
Graphic Design InternSan Francisco, CA
Marketing InternSan Francisco, CA
Inside Sales AssociateSan Francisco, CA
Client Services ManagerSan Francisco, CA
Sales ExecutiveSan Francisco, CA
See all 8 job postings

Signpost Logo

Signpost - Signpost is an NYC based company that offers a “cloud-based platform that makes digital and mobile marketing simple and effective for SMBs.”

See the complete Signpost profile

Museum Hack Logo

Museum Hack - Museum Hack is a New York, NY based upstart that developed a “tour to turn one of New York’s most spectacular cultural institutions into a totally unique experience.”

See the complete Museum Hack profile

Dollar Shave Club Logo

Dollar Shave Club - Dollar Shave Club is a Venice, CA "men’s lifestyle brand and e-commerce company on a mission to change the way men address their shaving and grooming needs.”

See the complete Dollar Shave Club profile

Tinypass Logo

Tinypass - Tinypass is an NYC based company that believes "that bloggers, magazines, newspapers, and all creators shouldn’t have so much trouble making money online.”

See the complete Tinypass profile

S'well Logo

S’well - S’well is a New York, NY based company that offers bottles “crafted composed of stainless steel, that keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.”

See the complete S’well profile

No current job openings.

Major League Lacrosse Logo

Major League Lacrosse - Major League Lacrosse is a Brighton, MA based professional lacrosse league that had its first games in 2001 and plans to expand extensively over the next decade.

See the complete Major League Lacrosse profile

Liftopia Logo

Liftopia - Liftopia is a San Francisco, CA based company that helps "skiers and snowboarders get out on the slopes more often, and help alpine resorts generate incremental revenue.”

See the complete Liftopia profile

Job TitleLocation
UI InternSan Francisco, CA
Email Marketing ManagerSan Francisco, CA
Partner Communication ManagerSan Francisco, CA
Seasonal Ski Support RepresentativeSan Francisco, CA
Ski Support Representative - Level 2San Francisco, CA
See all 4 job postings

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