How much do car salesmen make ?


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Ever wondered about the earnings of those friendly faces that assist you in purchasing your dream car? Given the nature of their ever-smiling demeanor and persuasive communication skills, it’s natural for potential buyers and job seekers to be curious about how much do car salesmen make. In this article, we delve deep into the world of car salesman income, exploring various factors that influence their take-home pay, such as location and experience.

The Basics of a Car Salesman’s Income

In order to understand the average earnings of a car salesman, one must first become familiar with the two common components of their pay structure – base salary and commission. A base salary refers to a fixed amount of money paid periodically, irrespective of the number of cars sold, while a commission is earned on each car sale made by the individual. Each dealership has its own way of determining the commission percentage given to its sales representatives, which may fluctuate based on factors like the vehicle model or total monthly sales. Some dealerships even offer bonuses, incentives, or spiffs tied to specific goals, further increasing the earning potential of car salespeople.

Average Salaries Nationwide

Now that we have a basic understanding of a car salesman’s pay structure, let’s explore some nationwide averages. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for retail salespersons in May 2020 was $27,020, making approximately $12.99 per hour. However, keep in mind that these numbers encompass retail sales workers across various industries, not just automobile sales.

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Car Salesman Salary Specifics

With respect to car salespeople earning, services such as Payscale and Glassdoor provide more specific numbers. As per their respective data sets, the average annual pay for a car salesman in the United States falls between $40,000 and $50,000. This figure tends to align with anecdotal evidence shared by sales professionals on various forums. It’s important to note that these averages include both entry-level and experienced car salespersons employed at both small and large-scale dealerships.

Effect of Location on Earnings

As is the case with most professions, the geographic location plays a significant role in determining the wages and earnings of car salesmen. Factors such as cost of living, business environment, and local trends can influence the compensation structure and overall income potential within a region. For instance, someone working in Phoenix, AZ might have different earnings than someone working in other states or metropolitan areas.

A Case Study: Car Salesman Salaries in Phoenix, AZ

According to data available on, the average hourly pay of car salesmen in Phoenix, AZ is approximately $15.34. Comparing this rate to the median national hourly wage for retail salespersons provided by BLS ($12.99), we observe that Phoenix-based car sales representatives generally fare better. However, caution should be applied in making regional comparisons; salaries vary across different regions depending on economic factors, competitive market, and individual performance.

The Impact of Experience on Earnings

Another critical factor affecting the salary of car salespersons is their level of expertise. Like any profession, employees tend to earn higher wages as they gain experience and build stronger customer relationships. Those new to the field usually start off with a relatively lower base salary, which gradually increases over time as they develop the necessary skills to be successful in their roles. Seasoned veterans, on the other hand, tend to have a more robust network of loyal customers, enabling them to make better commission rates and bonuses.

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Entry-Level vs. Experienced Car Salesman Earnings

While it can be challenging to pinpoint exact numbers for entry-level and experienced car salespersons due to varying pay structures across dealerships, a general pattern emerges from available data. An entry-level car salesman tends to earn between $20,000 and $30,000 per year, largely dependent on their location and dealership size. As they gain experience, these figures tend to rise significantly. For example, an accomplished car salesperson with years of experience could earn upwards of $100,000 annually. While such high levels of income are not guaranteed, they illustrate the potential earnings within this profession for those who excel at selling cars and fostering lasting relationships with clients.

To Sum It All Up

In summary, determining an accurate answer to “how much do car salesmen make” depends on several factors like base salary, commission rates, dealer incentives, geographic location, and years of experience. Some individuals may find success and earn well above average, while others may face challenges and take home smaller salaries. Though no specific pathway guarantees high earnings in this profession, retail salespeople who dedicate time to honing their skills, building strong customer relationships, and staying updated on industry trends may find themselves earning substantial incomes as car sales professionals.

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