Friday, October 7, 2011

Compensation: Do you earn a healthy commission as a Sales Engineer?

I recently have been asked by a colleague if more senior SEs really get a higher proportion of their compensation as commission.

I found the following article at Monster.Com Salary Commission guide: Sales Engineer which is actually sourced from data at - real life data.

They are grouping the median pay and commission by numbers of years in the company.

My graph below shows bar charts for each group.

SE Salary to Commission ratio
It shows that the very junior SEs have a low commission pay out, but it quickly rises to a bit over 20% as a median.  Its key to note, the extreme ends of SE payscales are at 0% and 50% commission - but here we are talking about medians - the middle of the road.

Based on information at article (Are You Missing Out on Bonuses) we see the following graph which shows that the rank of SEs within a team can affect the proportion of commission they are paid.

Low and High commission ranges by SE Rank

The other interesting bit, is that the SEs who have been there the longest (20 years+) are not the highest paid.  It is the second longest serving group - 10-19 years that are the highest.  I guess this means that the best get promoted out of Sales Engineering?  Indeed the numbers by years experience show the numbers of respondents in the article dropping.  Of course this might be that long serving SEs rarely need to respond to this kind of thing.

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