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8. Sales Director
Sales Director
As a sales director, Brandt gets to look for new customers and coach salespeople.
Top 100 rank: 8
Sector: Other

What they do: Manage a company's sales strategy and sales staff. During the recession, companies focused on cutting costs and staying the course. Now the goal is growth.

What's to like: Mar Brandt, a 36-year-old regional sales director for e-mail marketing company Experian CheetahMail in Oakland, likes that no two days are the same, as she moves between trolling for prospects and coaching and supporting her team. "I don't think I'd be in this job if I didn't think it was exciting," she says. Plus, this is a position that's poised to grow across all industries, and good sales skills are generally transferable.

What's not to like: The demands of drumming up new business and meeting sales goals are constant, and compensation can fluctuate severely. "You feel like you can't afford to be off," says Brandt. "It's high stress and very busy."

Requirements: Climb the ladder. You'll need to prove yourself as a high performer on the sales staff to be promoted to this role. You can also move into the job from another management position, says Bob Kelly, chairman of the Sales Management Association.

Do Sales Directors have great jobs, or what?
Sales Director stats
Pay
Median pay
(experienced)
$142,000
Top pay $222,000
Opportunity
10-year job growth
(2008-2018)
15%
Total jobs
(current)
90,000
Quality of life ratings
Personal satisfaction A
Job security B
Future growth B
Benefit to society C
Low stress D
Flexibility A
From the November 2010 issue
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
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MONEY and compensation experts PayScale.com used Bureau of Labor Statistics growth forecasts for 7,000 jobs, and identified industries with the biggest increases in jobs requiring bachelorís degrees. Ranked them by 2008-18 growth and pay. More

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