The Best Entry-Level Sales Jobs

In a perfect world, your first sales job would pay a six-figure base, offer unlimited income potential through a rich compensation plan, have great benefits, and be in an industry that you love. But for those who live in the real world and wish to land their first sales job, there are sales jobs and industries that can help start your career.

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Commission-Based Positions

Customers consulting saleswoman in shop for kitchen sinks
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Commission-only positions are at the top of this list because those who succeed at pure commission-based sales positions are often the highest paid and most successful sales professionals. It takes guts, confidence, and a strong work ethic to start your sales career in a position that pays only on your performance. However, taking the risk can not only be rewarding, but can provide you with the best sales experience and, therefore, a strong start to your career.

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Inside Sales

Inside sales is a fast-growing segment of the sales industry that offers challenges and plenty of training that can lead to a high-paying career. It can teach you critical sales skills that you will need throughout your career. Not only will you be exposed to rejection regularly, you will receive unlimited on-the-job sales training and gain experience dealing with all types of customers.

However, be selective when considering an inside position, as many require nothing more than dialing hundreds of people a day and trying to sell a product or service that fails to deliver on its promises.

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Insurance Sales

The insurance industry is well known for hiring inexperienced sales representatives for their sales force. Once hired, a new agent will receive training and have ample opportunities to work on improving their prospecting, presenting, and closing skills.

While insurance sales is a great entry into a sales career, it is also a wonderful career opportunity for those who can make it through the often difficult and challenging first few years.

Many entry-level positions in the insurance industry are 100% commission based. If you do land an entry-level sales position in insurance that includes a base salary, don't be surprised if the base salary is temporary and you will soon be 100% commission based.

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Retail Sales

The internet has had a lasting and profound effect on the retail industry, but that does not mean that an entry-level sales position in retail is not worth considering.

Your hours will probably include nights, weekends and holidays, and you likely won't be earning a high income. However, you will have numerous opportunities to improve your rapport-building skills and closing skills, and will learn the value of working long hours.

An entry-level retail sales position that provides opportunities for learning and growth can lead to a successful long-term career with a substantial income. 

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Mobile Phone Sales

While mobile phone sales positions may seem entirely retail-based, several sales positions have an outside or business-to-business (B2B) component.

Selling cellular services, phones, and other vendor-provided services to local business owners can provide you with a strong introduction to the world of outside sales. Product demand is high as well as the competition from other competitors seeking to make a profit. You can gain significant experience learning how to convince customers to become loyal users of your products and services.

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Real Estate Sales

Selling real estate is another position you may wish to consider. You can either represent the buyer or seller of a property as a buying or listing agent. While you get on-the-job training, you will need to take a training course, pass a test, and receive a license to practice. Check your state for specific requirements.

Working with buyers and sellers provides you with valuable selling experience, as you learn how to convince buyers to purchase desirable properties. In addition, you will determine how to develop strategies for generating new business, such as networking, flyers, and promotions.

In terms of earnings, while some brokerages are moving to a more salary-based structure, the majority of brokerages still operate under a commission-based system. Therefore, your salary is based on how commission is split with your brokerage.


Successful sales reps have strong interpersonal, communication and listening skills, and are adept at attracting and keeping customers interested. They are resilient in the face of rejection and handle every sales pitch with confidence. With the proper skills, product knowledge and initiative, a job in sales can lead to a successful, lucrative long-term career.