Becoming a salesperson or sales representative can be a very lucrative career choice, especially if you already have experience. Medical sales is one direction you can take out of many great options. If you are knowledgable or passionate about the medical field, this can be a good way to go if you don’t want to go to medical school. It can also make you a lot of money and establish many connections throughout the industry. But how do you know if it’s right for you?
What is Medical Sales?
Medical sales involve connecting pharmaceutical and medical companies with healthcare professionals. Your job as a medical sales representative would be to promote and sell the products of the company you work for. Some of the biggest companies in the industry are Medtronic, Stryker, and Boston Scientific.
You might be selling medical equipment, but you could also be informing your customers about new and improved pharmaceutical drugs on the market. Your customers would include doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, and you’d be responsible for increasing new product awareness, answering questions, and providing advice on the products you offer.
Other than just advertising your wares, you would set up appointments with staff, seek out new business and potential customers, negotiate contracts, do demonstrations, manage budgets, and write up reports. There’s a lot involved, but you’d be providing your customers with important information and life-saving products.
How Much Can You Make Medical Sales?
The salary rates vary among medical sales representatives depending on where you live and work, how much you work, and what specialization you choose. You could focus on selling medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or even biotechnology. According to MedRep, the industry’s leading resource for representatives, medical device and biotech representatives typically pay better than other specializations.
Working for a manufacturer instead of a distributor or service provider will earn you more money—especially if you sell a lot of operating room equipment! The 2019 Medical Sales Salary Survey showed that medical sales professionals make an average of $145,000 per year, with the base salary starting around $95,000. Now that’s good money!
The field is growing, too. In the past few years, the average medical sales representative salary has gone up by 4.8%, and it isn’t stopping. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the medical sales field are expected to grow upwards of 6% by 2026. This is one job that will be around for a long time.
What Qualifications Do You Need?
Common requirements are a driver's license and passing an industry exam. If you want to join the medical sales community right out of school, then you should take courses that will help your knowledge of the field. If you have experience with pre-entry sales or in the medical field, then you’re already ahead of the game.
It’s beneficial to have previous experience so you can be a better salesperson and understand your products better. Employers typically prefer college graduates with relevant qualifications in science, medicine, or dentistry. You can also take an apprenticeship with most schools to go ahead and get your foot in the door if you’re sure this is a career you’d want to pursue.
Desirable skills in a medical representative include confidence, patience, strong communication and organization skills, and the talent to make consistent sales. You have to be able to talk to people who might believe they don’t need your product and be able to answer any questions they could have. It’s also important to be a people person who can chat up a customer for as long—or as little—as needed.
If becoming a medical sales representative sounds right for you then check out your favorite job search website or MedReps.com to see if there are any openings near you!