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Would You Like to Be a Sales Manager? Here’s Your Career Outlook at a Glance

A master’s degree in management can help you learn the management skills you need to advance from sales rep to sales manager.

As a top sales rep, you’ve learned what it takes to hit your numbers and serve your customers. However, if you’re looking to take the next step in your career and become a sales manager, your job will be to lead others to meet the company’s sales and revenue goals. Earning a master’s in management is one avenue you can take to learn how to hire, manage, and develop a high-performing sales team.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of sales managers is expected to grow at a rate of 5% between 2018 and 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. And the median salary for sales managers was $126,640 as of May 2019.1

Would You Like to Be a Sales Manager? Here’s Your Career Outlook at a Glance

Here is a career outlook at a glance for sales managers:

Largest Sectors Employing Sales Managers2

  • Wholesale trade: 20%
  • Retail trade: 17%
  • Manufacturing: 11%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: 11%
  • Finance and insurance: 9%

Job Titles for Sales Managers3

  • District sales manager
  • National sales manager
  • Regional sales manager
  • Sales and marketing vice president
  • Sales director
  • Sales manager
  • Sales supervisor
  • Sales vice president

Top-Paying Industries for Sales Managers (Annual Mean Wage)4

  • Securities, commodity contract, and other financial investment and related activities: $216,590
  • Legal Services: $200,310
  • Motion picture and video industries: $193,380
  • Oil and gas extraction: $189,060
  • Scientific research and development services: $184,060

Meeting the Challenge

Moving from sales rep to sales manager comes with some unique challenges. Selling will no longer be a major part of what you do. As a sales rep, your chief goal will be to make enough sales to meet quota. However, as a sales manager you may still have an individual sales quota, but you’ll also be responsible for ensuring your team members meet their quotas as well. Your work will be focused on hiring the right sales reps and figuring out how to motivate and develop your team so they meet sales targets.5 You’ll also set sales goals, analyze information, and develop sales training programs.

How a Online Master’s in Management Can Benefit Sales Managers

Completing an online graduate degree program in management can help you get the management training you need to succeed as a sales manager. Walden University offers an online MS in Management to help you gain the skills you need to effectively manage teams, projects, and organizations across sectors and environments.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have time to earn a master’s in management, an online management degree program may be the right option for you. Unlike earning a business degree on campus, pursuing a management degree online can allow you to earn a business degree and complete the majority of your studies from the convenience of your home—or wherever you happen to be. As a working professional, you will be able to continue leading your sales team while completing your management graduate degree online.

The need for qualified sales managers exists across all industries. Earning an MS in Management online can help you further your own career while also providing you with the management training you need to lead your team to excellence.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Management program. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible online learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,