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A technical representative is a person who represents one or more manufacturing companies in dealing with the public. Technical representatives are involved in sales, installation, inspection, maintenance, operation, and repair of the equipment made by the companies they represent. To work in such positions, people generally need specialized training from the companies they work for. Some companies prefer college graduates, while others have no special education requirements for their employees.
The technical representative meets with people interested in buying equipment to talk about the various options and features available, along with providing information about cost of operation, maintenance requirements, and so forth. Once someone signs a contract to buy equipment, the technical representative supervises delivery and installation and may train employees in the safe and appropriate operation of the equipment. Employee training can include discussions about basic maintenance and repairs to allow employees to problem solve on site before needing to call in repair technicians, depending on the type of equipment involved.
As buyers use their equipment, the technical representative remains available to answer questions, provide information about maintenance, inspect equipment, and perform repairs. This job requires a great deal of travel, as people often have to service equipment in situ, and a technical representative is often assigned a region or area to cover. In addition, people skills are critical for everything from selling the equipment to providing instruction in operation and maintenance to the buyers. People who cannot communicate clearly and effectively, even if they have a high degree of technical competency, are not useful to their employers.
Openings for technical representatives come up frequently in the manufacturing industry. Having prior experience in a related field is usually very helpful for applications and in competitive job searches, experience may be required. Some technical representatives work as freelancers or employees of services providing representation to multiple companies in a similar field. This type of work requires knowledge of a wide variety of machines and manufacturers.
For people who have not received any training, the manufacturer will provide a course in installing, maintaining, operating, and repairing equipment. The technical representative may start by tailing someone else, and will eventually take on more independent jobs. The more years of experience a representative has, the more skills are acquired, and the more valuable that person is to the company. Long-term employees can usually negotiate good wages and benefits by using their skills for leverage in discussions about compensation and perks.