Most jobs which pay commissions have some sort of selling aspect to them. The more you sell, the more money you get, so commissions are a great incentive for various kinds of sales people. Jobs which pay based on commission often do not require a degree or special training. They can be easy to break into, but these types of jobs can also be quite stressful, resulting in high turnover. Not all commission-based jobs are the same. But a motivated and talented worker can be quite successful if she finds her niche.
Travel agents need to not only be good sales people, but also extremely knowledgeable about their options. Simply finding the cheapest car or hotel is not enough; travel agents need to know how close or how far away attractions are, various amenities, travel packages and how to arrange for special services. Travel agents also need to be familiar with on- and off-seasons, packages and promotions. Travel agents do a great deal of computer-based research and may work with tour operators or other kinds of travel arrangers. People in this occupation can work for agencies, reservation services or for themselves. Some travel agents make only base pay, but most receive some kind of commission, along with discounts for transportation and accommodations. Travel agents also may take part in "familiarization" trips, which allow them to learn about new vacation destinations. Median income for travel agents was $30,570 per year in 2008.
Real Estate Brokers and Agents
Real estate agents and brokers need to be licensed in their state and extremely familiar with local markets and laws governing real estate transactions, as well as tax laws and zoning regulations. Real estate brokers and agents perform similar jobs, except brokers are more experienced and manage their own businesses, while agents must work with a broker. Brokers and agents have to navigate a morass of details before successfully buying or selling a property, and often work more than a standard 40-hour work week. College degrees are not legally required, but since the job demands such complex knowledge, many agencies ask for a minimum of a bachelor's degree, particularly ones in business, management, finance, law or economics. In 2008, the median salary per year, including commission, for real estate brokers was $57,500. For real estate agents, it was $40,150.
Wholesale Sales Representative
Wholesale sales representatives do not sell directly to consumers. They usually work directly for manufacturers or technical companies, and sell to other organizations such as other businesses or government agencies. Wholesale reps know all the technical and scientific details of their products and may often be sent to industry trade shows, conventions and conferences in order to explain and demonstrate them. These kinds of sales agents may work either inside and interact with customers mostly by phone, or concentrate on outside sales, which results in a great deal of traveling and the need to file detailed reports and expense accounts. Jobs for wholesale and manufacturing salespeople are expected to grow, with the annual median salary in 2008, including commissions, being $70,200.
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