A Closer Look At Commission: The Right Benefits For The Right People


Intimidated by the idea of working on commission? Don’t be! If you’re a “people person” who enjoys control and self-management, you may suit this revenue model more than you think.

Many students and grads could thrive in a commission-based position, but they’re turned off by the idea of an unstable salary. However, there are a lot of amazing advantages that people never see because they’re unable to look past the idea of performance-based income. Think of it this way: in a sales related role, whether you’re working on commission or a regular salary, you’re expected to make sales anyway. But in a commission structure, you often get to control how much you work and how much you make. Doesn’t that sound great?

Still not sure if a commission-based position is for you? Maybe these benefits can help you decide!

1. High Income Potential

You may not realize it yet, but commission can be your best friend. If you sell a lot, it could boost your earnings exponentially higher than it would be on a regular salary – in other words, if you really hustle, know your product and surpass your targets, you could potentially have a six-digit salary in some commission sales roles.

While some companies have caps on potential commissions, other companies have unlimited income potential, meaning your paycheck will reflect your performance – an excellent month of sales equals an excellent paycheck.

Also, don’t worry too much about not earning as much as other Sales professionals who aren’t working on commission. Most companies calculate their commission percentage so that employees can earn an average Sales salary, which may range from approximately $30,000 to $50,000, from a reasonable number of sales. This percentage is influenced by how challenging it is to sell the product, considering factors like price and necessity.

2. Training and Support

Many companies recognize how challenging it can be to work on commission for the first time and will provide early training and ongoing support. Your training can include anything from a company orientation, to an external workshop on selling methods. It should focus on customer-centric thinking, such as meeting people’s needs and keeping your customers’ happy. On top of that, you’ll also receive support from experienced employees who can give you advice and help you get settled in.

Plus, this training and support isn’t just useful in your current position. You can take the skills you develop and bring them to future commission-based jobs in Sales, Marketing, Recruitment, and other related fields.

3. Exceptional Work-Life Balance

In many commission-based positions, you can control how you spend your time. For example, how many hours do you want to work? Do you need a day off to spend with your family? Are your hobbies time consuming? Depending on what you value more, you can choose to invest more time earning money or enjoying your social life. As a commissioned Sales professional, you often have a lot more freedom with your work schedule.

Furthermore, most students and grads are under the misconception that working on commission means working extremely hard everyday to earn a decent salary, but that’s not what this revenue model is about. If you take the time to plan ahead, develop returning clientele, and spend your work hours effectively, you will find achieving your quota is more manageable than you thought.

That said, you’re not always inheriting leads from previous employees in your role. When you’re first starting out, it may take a lot of hard work to develop a list of returning clientele, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. In fact, depending on your product, this can make things much easier for you down the road. For instance, if you’re an Insurance Broker, your clients will likely come back to you time and time again, so you should work on building a great relationship with them.

4. Great experience for future jobs

Is this your first entry-level job? A commission-based position can be a very impressive credential to have on your resume when applying to future opportunities. It shows employers that you’re not afraid to step up to the challenge and that you’re confident in your ability to meet quotas and exceed expectations!

In addition, commission works as fantastic motivation for you to push your boundaries and make more sales. Use this as an opportunity to reach impressive goals that you could highlight for future employers. For example, if you have a spectacular month of sales, remember those statistics for future resumes. It’s much more impactful to say you made X number of sales in only one month than it is to say you made a lot of sales.

Interested in a Commission-Based Role?

Although many of the points we’ve covered are consistent across the board, each company’s commission model may vary slightly. Before you accept a job, take the initiative to find out more about how that company’s system works. Interviews are a great time for you to get answers!

Consider asking questions like these:

  • Is there a base pay or is your income commission only? Is there a cap to how much you can make per year?
  • What’s your quota? Is it measured on a weekly or monthly basis?
  • How is your performance measured? By units sold or revenue you bring in?
  • Are there months that are busier and months that are slower? Are Sales rates usually higher during the holidays? By how much?

So next time you stumble across a job posting for a commission-based position, consider applying for it. There are great benefits, and trust us, it’s really not as scary as it seems!

Interested to find out more? Read our Sales and Marketing Career Guide!