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Technical sales engineers provide pre- and post-sales technical advice and support about products.

Employers typically prefer graduates with qualifications in computer science, software engineering, physics or maths.

What do technical sales engineers do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Technical sales engineers are often the key point of contact for clients, answering queries, providing technical advice and introducing new products.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • identifying and establishing new business
  • organising sales visits
  • liaising with existing clients
  • preparing tenders, proposals and quotations
  • providing pre-sales and post-sales support
  • negotiating contracts, terms and conditions
  • reviewing cost and sales performance
  • writing reports and sales literature
  • providing product education and advice
  • attending trade exhibitions, conferences and meetings
  • ensuring that sales targets are met.

Typical employers of technical sales engineers

  • Telecommunications companies
  • Electrical companies
  • Electronics companies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Chemical companies
  • Biomedical suppliers
  • Agricultural businesses
  • Automotive businesses
  • Aeronautical companies

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services, recruitment agencies, in newspapers, vacancy bulletins produced by the professional organisations and in relevant publications such as Professional Engineering and The Engineer, as well as their online equivalents.

Some larger companies run graduate training schemes, for which applications should be made early in the first term of your final year. University careers services can provide information about which employers have vacancies and some companies hold on-campus presentations.

Qualifications and training required

Entry requirements vary according to the industry you are working in. For some positions, a degree or higher national diploma (HND) in any subject is acceptable. However, some employers require sector-specific degree subjects, such as chemical engineering (for the chemical or food industry) or civil engineering (for the construction industry). Other relevant subjects include computer science, physics and maths.

With the right skills, experience and knowledge, it’s possible to enter the profession without a degree or HND. However, this will depend on the industry and employer. To find out more about getting into engineering via a school leaver route, visit the engineering section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Previous relevant experience gained in any commercial/sales area involving contact with customers or the general public is beneficial for all prospective candidates.

Key skills for technical sales engineers

  • Strong technical skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Sales skills
  • Commercial awareness

A full driving licence is also normally necessary.

Read our article on the skills engineering employers look for for more information and then find out how you can prove you possess these competencies at engineering assessment centres.

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