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Merchandising Sales, Distribution and Marketing

Read about career opportunities in merchandising sales, distribution and marketing, including potential opportunities for employment and earnings. Find information about academic requirements here, and make an informed decision about your education and career.

Is Merchandising Sales, Distribution and Marketing for Me?

Career Overview

Merchandising sales, distribution and marketing professionals play essential roles in the life cycle of a product. Marketing managers promote the client's merchandise or services. This can include targeting potential consumer markets and determining prices.

Sales managers oversee how products and services are sold to customers. Their duties may include establishing sales targets, training sales staff and monitoring their performance. Distribution managers are responsible for storing and moving products.

Employment and Salary Information

Nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of marketing managers and sales managers would increase by 13% and 8%, respectively, from 2012-2022. Opportunities for distribution managers were projected to grow by just 5%, or slower than average, during the same decade. As reported by the BLS in May 2013, the median annual salary for marketing managers was $123,220, while sales managers earned $108,540. In the same month, the median annual salary for distribution managers was $83,890 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Merchandising Sales, Distribution and Marketing?

Overview of Educational Options

Educational requirements for merchandising sales, distribution and marketing positions can depend upon the employer and position. Completion of an internship during college, usually at a company's marketing department, may boost your chances in the job market. You'll most likely need a master's degree to work as a manager in marketing and sales. However, a bachelor's degree is sufficient for a career in distribution management.

Information for Marketing and Sales Manager

Potential employers typically prefer college graduates with relevant work experience in marketing and sales. Many employers favor candidates who hold a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration with a marketing concentration. In addition to training in management, you might pursue topics in marketing research, consumer activities and financial accounting. You may also study investments and economics. Some programs in business administration include an interest area in sales and sales management.

Information for Distribution Managers

According to O*NET Online, most distribution managers hold a bachelor's degree. Relevant fields of study include distribution or logistics management, marketing and supply chain management. Once enrolled, you might study international marketing, managerial decision-making, procurement and supplies. You may also learn about global supply chains and transportation systems while taking classes in business communications and computer technology.

Some distribution managers hold a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in supply chain management. Individual schools also offer master's degree programs for aspiring distribution professionals (www.onetonline.org).

Required Skills

Traits you'll need to succeed as a marketing or sales manager include strong communications skills, computer literacy and creativity. The ability to handle a stressful job and to get along with others can also help. If you wish to work as a distribution manager, you'll benefit from math skills, computer abilities and knowledge of transportation modes.