Top Paying Sales Jobs

Doctors, lawyers, CEOs, and professional athletes come to mind when thinking about the top-paying careers in America, but sales careers are also among the highest-paid professions in the country. So long as an employer offers an unlimited earnings program to their team, any sales position can generate income like these other, more celebrated earners.

Sales professions consistently rank well in average earnings, and this includes the long list of salespeople who are limited by their commissions, perform below expectation, or quit the industry. As always, the difference in terms of sales success is the person making the sale and their dedication to researching, prospecting, and closing deals.

Independent Sales Professionals

Independent sales professionals fall into a wide category. As far as income is concerned, independent sales varies more than any other sales job, but those who truly succeed as an independent rep are often the highest paid.

Independent sales professionals do not enjoy the luxury of a salary or company-sponsored benefits. They instead receive incredible freedom and flexibility. Suited for the entrepreneurial type, independent sales jobs require discipline, dedication, self-motivation, and a hunger for success. Few other sales jobs pay as highly as the independent sales professional.

Senior Management

If you look at the C-level of most companies, you'll see at least a few sales professionals sitting at the boardroom table. While senior leaders may not be active in the sales processes, most have earned their way to the top as a result of their sales success.

It's not uncommon to find that a CEO started his career in the sales department and moved up through the corporate ranks. 

Even some Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions are held by sales professionals. This is because the lessons learned by a successful sales representative tend to be interdisciplinary within their company. Having sales-focused executives can help ensure that the company keeps a focus on customer satisfaction, an eye on the competition, and sales-friendly pay incentives.

Financial Services Sales Professionals

Helping Americans manage, grow, and invest their hard-earned money is the job of the sales professionals in the financial services industry. Sales executives on Wall Street, whose sole purpose is to capitalize on market trends, earn high-paying incomes for their efforts and expertise.

While the job titles vary, from stockbroker to financial adviser, all share a common objective: earn as much as possible for themselves by investing other people's money.

While financial services sales professionals can find employment in many places—including banks, credit unions, or brokerage houses—the highest-paying professionals are either independent reps or hold senior-level positions with global financial services corporations.

Luxury Item Sales Professionals

Interested in buying a private jet? How about a resort in Fiji? Or a 14th-century castle in England?

If so, you'll be working with a highly paid, service-driven salesperson who focuses on selling the biggest of big-ticket items to the wealthiest individuals in the world.

Luxury sales is not something for the average job hunter. Professionals in this space are recruited, trained, and "wined and dined" based upon their existing reputation in sales. When a multimillion-dollar sales opportunity is at stake, a specialized skill set and a knack for closing is necessary.

If you've got your eye on owning luxury goods, and you're willing to commit to a needy, powerful clientele, this may be the sales track for you.