Are Commission-Only Jobs Worth It?


Looking for a career in sales can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’re not sure exactly what type of sales job is right for you. In today’s blog, we answer an important question many job candidates must ask themselves: are commission-only jobs worth it?

What are Commission-Only Jobs?

Commission is money an employee receives for a specific task or goal. For some sales jobs, employees don’t receive a base salary. Instead, they are only paid an agreed upon percentage of whatever they sell. This is considered a ‘commission-only’ job.

Alternatively, some sales jobs have a base salary that employees will receive regardless of their sales performance. While they may receive some commission in the form of a percentage of the sale they made, the percentage will likely be much lower than for those who are paid exclusively through commission.

Are Commission-Only Jobs Worth It?

It depends on the job and the person. Here’s what you need to consider before deciding if a commission-only job is worth it for you.

Consider Your Risk Tolerance

When deciding if a commission-only job is worth it for you, you need to consider your tolerance for risk. While many commission-only jobs open you up to unlimited earning potential, they can also be subject to the risk of dry spells. For some, the stability of a salaried job outweighs its more limited monetary possibilities. For others, the potential to earn more money outweighs the risks.

Consider Your Personality

There are certain personality traits that seem best suited for the commission-only pay structure. People who are self-motivated, competitive, resilient, independent, curious, and outgoing tend to perform best in commission-based jobs.

Consider Your Motivation

Motivation is important for any type of job, but for different people, it can come from different places. The commission-only pay structure tends to favor people who are self-motivated and/or results-motivated. With these types of jobs, the harder and more effectively you work, the more money you will presumably make.

Consider Your Preferences

Do you prefer routine or flexibility? Stability or growth potential? Independence or collaboration? When deciding if a commission-only based job is right for you, you need to consider your individual preferences and strengths and how they will serve you in your position.

Consider the Job

Not all commission-only jobs are created equal. Not only will you need proper training and resources, but you also want to choose a position that doesn’t cap your earnings and that provides competitive benefits. Additionally, you’ll want to consider who you’ll be selling to, who your competitors are, and what support you’ll be getting from your company.

Commission-Only Jobs at AIFP

Looking for a commission-only sales or trader career? At AIFP, our rookie traders are hired directly into a paid 24-month internship where we provide the training and support you need to succeed in a career as a lumber trader. This includes high-quality mentorship from successful traders to help you begin building relationships with potential buyers. Interns who receive positive performance reviews at the end of the 2 years are then hired as traders and graduate to the commission-only pay structure.

To apply for a career as a lumber trader at one of the best places to work in Portland, OR, send us your resume today! In the meantime, check out the AIFP blog where we cover everything from what we’re looking for in job candidates to the importance of company culture.

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