Sales managers are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, sales managers rate their career happiness 2.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 16% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy sales managers are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Energy broker
2.8
$55k
Sales engineer
2.8
$104k
Risk management specialist
2.8
$73k
Supply chain manager
2.8
$125k
Pharmaceutical sales representative
2.8
$95k
Sales manager
2.8
$127k
Executive assistant
2.8
$62k
Bank manager
2.8
$132k
Logistician
2.7
$77k
Compensation and benefits manager
2.7
$128k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are sales managers happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do sales managers find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as sales managers?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are sales manager’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are sales managers making the best use of their abilities?

Are sales managers happy with their salary?

Sales managers rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.1/5. Few are explicitly unhappy with their salaries, with most sales managers having generally positive views of their salary.

We asked sales managers how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

3.1 out of 5 stars

6057 sales managers

5 Star
14%

14% of sales managers rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of sales managers rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
28%

28% of sales managers rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
18%

18% of sales managers rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
13%

13% of sales managers rated their compensation 1 stars

Do sales managers find their jobs meaningful?

On average, sales managers rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.4/5. The majority of sales managers struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked sales managers how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.4 out of 5 stars

6058 sales managers

5 Star
8%

8% of sales managers rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
13%

13% of sales managers rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
23%

23% of sales managers rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
27%

27% of sales managers rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
29%

29% of sales managers rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as sales managers?

Sales managers rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.7/5. The majority of sales managers find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked sales managers how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.7 out of 5 stars

6544 sales managers

5 Star
28%

28% of sales managers rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
34%

34% of sales managers rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
22%

22% of sales managers rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
10%

10% of sales managers rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
6%

6% of sales managers rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a sales manager’s work environment?

As a whole, sales managers rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.3/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked sales managers how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.3 out of 5 stars

6546 sales managers

5 Star
18%

18% of sales managers rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
32%

32% of sales managers rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of sales managers rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
16%

16% of sales managers rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
8%

8% of sales managers rated their work environment 1 stars

Are sales managers making the best use of their abilities?

Former sales managers on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.9/5. Sales managers tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.

We asked sales managers how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.9 out of 5 stars

6550 sales managers

5 Star
12%

12% of sales managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
21%

21% of sales managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
27%

27% of sales managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
25%

25% of sales managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
16%

16% of sales managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars