Agricultural Supplies Retailing and Wholesaling

Learn about the field of agricultural supplies retailing and wholesaling, and explore related degree programs. Find out about the education requirements, job growth and salary information for careers in this field.

Are Agricultural Supplies Retailing and Wholesaling for Me?

Career Description

The field of agricultural supplies retailing and wholesaling involves selling and marketing agricultural products and services. As a wholesale agricultural sales professional, you might work for wholesaling and manufacturing companies and sell supplies to businesses and organizations. As a retail agricultural sales professional you might sell supplies to consumers at stores and farm equipment dealerships. Your potential employers for a career in agricultural supplies retailing and wholesaling may include many types of agricultural businesses, such as fertilizer and chemical companies, agricultural supply stores, seed businesses and animal feed firms.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for wholesale sales professionals were expected to increase 9% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Employment for retail sales professionals was expected to rise 10% between 2012 and 2022, the BLS said. Sales representatives who sell technical and scientific products for wholesalers and manufacturers earned a median yearly salary of $74,970 as of 2012, according to the BLS, while other wholesale sales professionals made a median wage of $54,230. Retail sales representatives earned median annual pay of $21,410 as of 2012, the BLS said.

How Can I Work in Agricultural Supplies Retailing and Wholesaling?

Education

You'll usually need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field to sell technical and scientific items as a wholesale sales professional, while you'll need a high school diploma or GED to sell other goods. Some employers offer training programs for new wholesale sales representatives. Some companies may want you to possess a high school diploma or GED to work as a retail sales professional. Retail sales representatives typically get on-the-job training.

You can pursue certificate and undergraduate programs if you're interested in working in agricultural supplies retailing and wholesaling. You may find certificate and associate's degree programs in agriculture business, agriculture sales and service or agribusiness sales and service. These programs may teach you about agricultural operations, sales methods, retailing and wholesaling operations, business fundamentals and marketing skills.

Educational programs in this field may include classroom studies combined with practical experience gained at school farming facilities or via internships. Courses might include animal science, financial management, soil science and commodity marketing. You'll typically study advertising and agribusiness management as well as public speaking, merchandising and accounting.

You could also choose to earn a bachelor's degree in agribusiness or agricultural economics. Some of these bachelor's degree programs offer a concentration in agricultural business management and marketing.

Career Options

Upon graduation from the certificate or associate's degree programs, you may qualify for positions in companies that provide chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, and equipment to agricultural operations. You might get hired at marketing companies or pursue various business careers.

The bachelor's degree majors might prepare you for careers in agricultural sales and marketing, insurance sales or the financial industry. Potential jobs include sales manager, financial analyst, agricultural lender and commodities trader.

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