Car salesmen made up approximately 37 percent of jobs in the automobile industry as of December 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are responsible for greeting the customer, determining the customer's needs and desires and matching that information with the appropriate vehicle and making the sale. An Illinois-based car salesman's salary is typically based on commission and may vary according to dealership location and whether she sells new or used vehicles.
The average annual income for retail car salesmen who worked at automobile dealerships at all levels of experience from across the United States was $36,470 as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of U.S.-based car salesmen earned in excess of $75,070 per year, while the bottom 10 percent earned annual wages of less than $18,390.
The mean hourly wage for retail car salesmen nationally was $20.40 as of May 2010, according to the BLS, placing them in the top 10 percent of the nation's retail sales wage earners. The top 10 percent of all retail salesmen in Illinois earned in excess of $17.84 per hour. The annual salary for the top 10 percent of Illinois-based retail salesmen exceeded $37,110.
Wages for retail salemen, including car salesmen, may vary widely based on the local economy. The top 10 percent of salesmen in the St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois metropolitan area were among the most highly compensated salesmen in Illinois with an annual salary that exceeded $44,200 as of May 2010, according to the BLS. The top 10 percent of retail salesmen who worked in Springfield, Ill., earned at least $30,280.
Car salesmen may earn a salary during training, and some seasoned car salesmen may earn a modest salary, but the bulk of most new and used car salemen's income comes from commissions and bonuses, according to the bureau. Illinois-based car salesmen may get to drive dealer owned vehicles for personal use. Turnover in salesmen at auto dealership is traditionally high, as the pressure to produce commissions becomes too much for some sales people. The bureau expects growth in new job opportunities for car salesmen to be limited through 2018 due to the challenges faced by the automotive industry.