A Career in Sales

If you’re a people person and enjoy the challenge of making a sale, there are plenty of opportunities for you in Kentucky. Whether you want to sell goods or services, you can find your niche.

Sales and related occupations will account for 9.3 percent of Kentucky’s workforce by 2026.  Thousands of entry-level jobs are available in retail sales. The retail sales workforce in Kentucky numbers over 116,000 people.

After you get some retail sales experience, you might set your sights on supervisory work. Front-line supervisors of retail sales workers make an average wage of $37,640.

Sales Representatives

If you prefer seeking out customers and negotiating sales, you might consider a career as a sales representative. Sales reps are typically paid with a combination of salary and commissions or bonuses. Here you’ll find opportunities in services, wholesale, and manufacturing.

Sales Representatives, Services

Services make up 60 percent of Kentucky’s economy, according to the 2019 Kentucky Annual Economic Report, and sales reps for services are in demand. The number of these jobs is expected to increase 7.1 percent from 2016-2026, from 18,147 to 19,429 positions.

Popular services include advertising, insurance, and financial products like securities. Those who sell financial products typically have a bachelor’s degree in their field.

  • Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents: average wage $77,200
  • Insurance Sales Agents: average wage $52,610
  • Advertising Sales Agents: average wage $48,230

Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing

Sales reps in wholesale and manufacturing make the highest salaries. Those who sell technical and scientific products, such as pharmaceuticals and industrial equipment, typically have a bachelor’s degree in their field.

  • Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products: average wage $98,730
  • Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products: average wage $64,720


Sales engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. They are one of the sales occupations with double-digit percentage growth expected from 2016-2026.

  • Insurance sales agents, 10.8 percent growth, average wage $52,610
  • Sales engineers, 10 percent growth, average wage $76,770

Marketing and Sales Managers

With a bachelor’s degree in a field like business, statistics, or communications, you can work as a marketing specialist or sales manager. Marketing specialists often have a sales background and specialize in generating interest in a product or service. Sales managers (who usually have experience as sales reps) lead sales teams, preparing budgets and analyzing data to focus the team’s efforts.

  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists: average wage $58,736
  • Marketing Managers: average wage $114,288
  • Sales Managers: average wage $124,686

Data from the Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2026




See more resources for:


See more resources about:

Adult EducationPractical Living