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Agricultural Sales: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become agricultural sales representative. Learn about training, job options, job duties, and salary to find out if this is the career for you.

What Does an Agricultural Sales Representative Do?

An agricultural sales representative demonstrates and sells items to farmers and other agricultural workers. They may sell various commercial or agricultural equipment and accessories. Agricultural sales representatives may market and sell goods, such animal feed, garden equipment, seeds or pesticides to farmers. They usually work for a supplier of farm equipment or services.

The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Product marketing; agricultural economics
Key Responsibilities Introduce employer's new products; demonstrate equipment; sell items
Job Growth (2018-2028) 4% growth (for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives of scientific and technical products)*
Median Salary (2018) $79,680 (for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives of scientific and technical products)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Programs for Agricultural Sales Representatives are Available?

Some schools offer certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in agricultural sales or agriculture with a sales and marketing emphasis. The skills learned in an associate's or bachelor's program in sales and marketing could be adapted to agricultural sales.

A general sales and marketing program aims to develop your confidence in the process of engaging with potential customers, understanding their motivations and meeting their needs. Courses cover such topics as business communications, product marketing, services marketing, personal presentation and sales force management.

Agricultural sales programs adapt the same or similar topics specifically to the agricultural industry; you might explore additional concepts in agricultural economics, agricultural science or animal science. Associate's and bachelor's programs also include general education courses.

Where Could I Work?

You might find work with an agricultural equipment or services supplier. According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, there were an estimated 2 million farms in the United States as of 2018 (www.nass.usda.gov). According to Hoover's - a company that offers data on businesses - approximately 131,960 companies provide supplies and services that support these farms and livestock operations (www.hoovers.com).

Figures for the number of employed agricultural sales representatives were not available as of December 2019. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives who sell technical and scientific products - including agricultural sales representatives - held an estimated 312,980 jobs in 2018 (www.bls.gov). Employment in this category was projected to increase by four percent from 2018-2028, as noted by the BLS.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

The work of an agricultural sales representative is very similar to that of other sales representatives. However, your potential clients could be dispersed across a rural area. You'll demonstrate new products, equipment or services developed by your employer and persuade existing clients to consider using them.

Other job duties might include preparing sales contracts, keeping clients informed of delivery schedules and cultivating new clients in your service area. Seed, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides, plows, harvesters, feed and medication are among the products you might be selling.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

The BLS reports that wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives of scientific and technical products earned a median annual salary of $79,680 in 2018. The top paying states for these sales representatives in 2018 were Wyoming and Connecticut.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Insurance sales agents work with customers and sell one or more types of insurance. It could be home, car or other type of insurance coverage. Insurance agents can work for insurance companies and brokerages. While a high school diploma is sufficient to enter the profession, many insurance agents pursue bachelor's degrees to enhance their skills.

Advertising sales agents can work in a variety of industries that include advertising agencies, broadcast companies or online publishing. They work entails contacting potential customers, making sales presentations, and maintaining a relationship with clients to make them established accounts for the company. While a high school diploma is needed to enter the professsion, candidates who desire to advance in the field may consider a bachelor's degree.