Becoming a Pricing Specialist: Salary Information & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a pricing specialist career? Get real job duties, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a pricing specialist is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career as a Pricing Specialist

Pricing specialists look at trend reports and financial tables used for determining the optimal prices to sell products or services. Continue reading the pros and cons to find out if this is the right career for you.

Pros of a Pricing Specialist Career
Broad field that may yield high job potential (about 26% increase between 2012 and 2022)*
Decent salary potential (median salary of about $60,000)*
Many potential markets*
Some opportunities for self-employment*

Cons of a Pricing Specialist Career
Most work is done alone*
May have to work under strict deadlines*
Potential overtime requirements*
Most work will be done in front of a computer*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Pricing specialists research, analyze and interpret data in order to develop pricing strategies. They may monitor competitor pricing trends and set promotions. The pricing specialist often works in conjunction with sales, product development and related managers to develop these strategies. In this field, you can expect to work with both manufacturers and consumers to determine how to maximize consumer responsiveness, price effectiveness and high-profit returns. You may also be in charge of keeping pricing and incomes within contract standards, compiling sales reports and assisting with pricing surveys.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, the cost estimation field is looking to enjoy a much faster than average job growth at 26% between 2012 and 2022. Field growth can be attributed to an increase in construction projects, which need cost projections. In May 2014, the BLS estimated that employees in this field earned median salary of $60,050.

Career Skills and Requirements

Most pricing specialists have a bachelor degree in marketing, business, economics or another related field. Specialists must have a thorough understanding of estimating, pricing concepts and related principles. To be successful in this field, you must also have a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel to compile pricing statistics, maintain a list of prices and submit database changes. Many employers may require you to also have experience working in fields related to their market.

Useful Skills

When deciding to become a pricing specialist, your education background can determine your specialization. It may be beneficial to come from a field that can train you how to work with numbers, analyze comprehensive statistics, process data efficiently, read contract agreements, keep track of manufacturing material costs and communicate with clients. Employers are also looking for someone with the following traits:

  • Ability to execute verbal and written communications
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong work ethic and strategic thinking
  • Ability to communicate with all levels of employees

Job Postings from Real Employers

Since pricing specialists can be found in just about any field, it can be helpful to have specialized education or job experience. You may come across some employers that don't have any education requirements. If that is the case, you may need to have a substantial amount of related experience. The following examples were gathered from an April 2012 national job board sampling:

  • A sporting goods manufacturer from Indianapolis was looking for a specialist that understands claims processing and sales discrepancies.
  • A building company in Texas advertised for someone that was able to administer pricing updates and format data collection.
  • A veterinary service company in Boise was looking for a specialist skilled in developing relationships with manufacturers and costumers.
  • A Washington, D.C. research company searched for someone familiar with federal regulations and reimbursement contracts.
  • An Alabama manufacturing company was looking for someone who had experience in sales and working with industrial companies.

How to Make Your Skills Stand out

Since there are various types of markets located in various regions around the world, having multiple areas of expertise may lead to more job possibilities. While in school, use elective courses to learn important skills related to internet sales, global markets, business laws, finance strategies, marketing skills, consumer behavior and principles of economics. Coming from a background in sales, marketing or business may provide an edge on the competition. Internships can also provide hands-on training that can lead to excelling in any entry-level position.

Continuing Education

If you would like to increase your chances for finding a job or pursuing a leadership position, you may be interested in earning a master's degree. Related master's degree programs can include marketing, business administration, market research or statistics. Depending on your area of focus, you may cover additional topics in field research design, product launching, how to make decisions, how to incorporate business policy, product development, data mining and supply chain strategy.

Alternative Career Paths

If you aren't interested in determining product and service pricing, you may be interested in estimating cost. As a cost estimator, you would determine the cost of materials, labor or time when developing a product or service. Some employers may also ask you to read blueprints, improve cost efficiency, compile overall project projections and understand technical jargon. If you are skilled in your field, you may not need a college education; however, new employees may need a bachelor's degree. As of May 2011, the BLS estimated that cost estimators earned a median salary of $58,000.

Alternatively, as an economist, you would study market trends, predict the future of markets, interpret the correlation between current economic trends and sales,, watch global economies and analyze government deficits. Economists can often find positions with the government, major corporations, finance companies, banks and consulting firms. Entry-level positions often require you have a bachelor's degree. Advanced positions may also require you to have a master's or doctoral degree. The BLS estimated that economists earned a median salary of $91,000 as of May 2011.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Purdue University Global

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      • Associate: Accounting
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      • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
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    2. Johns Hopkins University

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    Master's
      • Master of Science in Government Analytics
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    3. Saint Leo University

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    Bachelor's
      • BA: Accounting
      • BA: Business Administration - Project Management
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      • AA: Business Administration
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    4. Regent University

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      • M.S. in Business Analytics
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Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • MS in Information Technology - Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • BSBA in Financial Analysis
  • Associate: Accounting
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

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Saint Leo University

  • BA: Accounting
  • BA: Business Administration - Project Management
  • AA: Business Administration

What is your highest level of education completed?

Regent University

  • M.S. in Business Analytics
  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
  • B.S. in Business Analytics
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

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Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Business Intelligence
  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Management
  • BS - Business Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Advanced Accounting
  • PhD in Business Admin - Financial Management
  • MBA - Financial Management
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

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Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Accounting

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