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Sales Associate Degree

Sales professionals possess leadership, customer-service, communication and analytical skills. In addition to these skills, they must also possess the theoretical and practical knowledge in sales and business for a successful career in sales. A degree in sales is designed to help students acquire industry-specific knowledge and skills. Students may pursue specialized sales degrees offered at traditional and online schools or enroll in marketing or business degrees with a focus in sales.

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Sales Associate Degree

Associate degrees are generally 2-year academic programs (for full-time students only) in which students are introduced to both general education and major-specific courses. An associate degree in sales combines basic business principles with an understanding of the art of selling, marketing, and advertising. Sales managers, customer service center managers and professional sales personnel usually hold an associate degree in sales.

The degree may be pursued by those interested in starting an entry-level career in sales or sales professionals interested in completing a college degree.

Admission requirements

In order to be eligible for this program, candidates must hold a high school diploma or GED. Other requirements may vary by school.

Learning outcomes

  • Entry-level sales and marketing management skills
  • Familiarity with accounting and legal principles
  • Computer literacy
  • Personal selling
  • Communications and sales research
  • Marketing ethics
  • Marketing
  • Customer relations
  • Negotiations management
  • Persuasion
  • Relationship building

Some of the courses included in the Sales Associate degree are as follows:

  • College Algebra
  • College Mathematics
  • Marketing Essentials
  • Principles of e-Marketing
  • Principles of Advertising
  • Principles of Sales Presentations
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Introduction to Marketing

It is important to note that the above mentioned courses may be titled differently or may not be included in some universities curriculum.

Importance of sales and marketing professionals

With many companies making the same products and providing the same services, it is hard for them to stay ahead of their competitors. Therefore they hire sales and marketing experts to capture a slice of the consumer market for their products and services. These experts have the skills to effectively communicate with customers regarding a company’s products and services and promote them to help a company be more profitable.
This is why it is important for aspiring sales representatives to have the necessary skills to sell specific products or services in a particular industry. Sales agents in the real estate sector, for example, are familiar with the real estate market and have the essential knowledge and skills to sell and purchase properties on behalf of their consumers. Sales agents in the pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, are required to sell medicines. In the same way, the sales requirements of each industry vary.

Career opportunities

A career in sales can be quite challenging. This is because there is an increased demand for specialized sales agents.  The salary of sales representatives vary with the location, industry, experience and qualification.

As per the information on O*NET OnLine, advertising sales agents earned a median annual salary of $45,830 in 2012. Sales agents in financial services earned a median yearly salary of $72,640 in 2013 and the projected growth in the sector is expected to range somewhere between 8% to 14% from 2012 to 2022. Insurance sales agents earned a median yearly salary of $48,210 in 2013 and the projected growth in the sector is also expected to range in between 8% to 14% from 2012 to 2022. Real estate sales agents earned a median yearly salary of $39,800 in 2013 and the projected growth in the sector is expected to be 8% to 14% from 2012 to 2022.

Online programs

Aspiring sales agents can also pursue an associate degree in sales online. The distance learning option helps save time and possibly money as well. It can be a great learning option particularly for the ones who are looking to switch careers as well as those who reside in remote areas and cannot attend regular classes. If you decide to enroll online, make sure that both the program and institute is accredited.

Continuing education

Graduates of an associate degree in sales can continue to improve their profile by gaining advanced knowledge and skills in sales. Students can enroll in bachelor's degree programs, post-graduate diplomas and certificates to further sharpen their sales skills and build on their professional profile.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What courses will I be required to attempt when pursuing an associate of specialized sales qualification?

A:Students interested in pursuing an associate of specialized sales qualification will be required to study a number of courses. Some of the courses are business communications, computer fundamentals, sociology, economics, mathematics and personal finance. The mentioned courses are an integral part of the qualification that can help student with their career in the sales industry.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Introduction to Psychology in the Associate in Specialized Sales?

A:The Associate in Specialized Sales degree programs have dedicated course on Introduction to Psychology. This course is usually of around 2 credits in total. The course is designed to provide students with strong understanding of the different surveys of the fields of psychology. Students are then further taught how the human behavior and personalities can be affected.

Q:What is the duration of the specialized sales associate?

A:The duration of an associate Degree in Specialized Sales may vary from school to school but generally, it's a 2 year program . An associate degree in specialized sales equips learners with the skills required to become sales person in a field of their choice. To become eligible for applying to this program, candidates must hold a high school diploma or GED. Other requirements may vary by school.

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