A pharmaceutical sales representative assesses client needs and presents suitable promoted products, liaise with and persuade targeted doctors to prescribe products utilizing effective selling skills, and perform cost benefit analysis. They provide product information and deliver product samples and attend sales meetings, conference calls, training sessions, and symposium circuits.

For this career, they should familiarize themselves with databases, statistics, product lines, and latest medical issues, have excellent communication, negotiation and sales skills, be highly motivated and target driven with a proven track record in sales, and have strong organizational and time management skills.

A bachelor's degree in a biomedical field such as pharmacy, biochemistry, or medical laboratory professionals is required. For your efforts, you will earn an average salary of $95,590 a year or $45.96 an hour. However, you can earn anywhere between $71,000 and $127,000 per year.

What Does a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Do

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have, and negotiate prices.

Learn more about what a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative does

How To Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Educational requirements vary, depending on the type of product sold. If the products are not scientific or technical, a high school diploma is generally enough for entry into the occupation. If the products are scientific or technical, sales representatives typically need at least a bachelor's degree.

Learn More About How To Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Top Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs Near You

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Career Paths

Average Salary for a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives in America make an average salary of $68,571 per year or $33 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $110,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $42,000 per year.
Average Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Salary
$68,571 Yearly
$32.97 hourly

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Roles and Types of Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

The role of a pharmaceutical sales representative includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general pharmaceutical sales representative responsibilities:

  • Regularly calls on veterinary offices, labs,
  • Utilize product knowledge and effective selling skills to influence targeted pharmacies or physicians. Maintain product knowledge, policies,
  • Generating volume and market share growth for assigned pharmaceutical products within a specific geographic area. Selling presentations to physicians

There are several types of pharmaceutical sales representative, including:

Sales Representative

Role:

As the sole point of contact, sales representatives are responsible for all business matters when it comes to their clients. They ensure the right products are delivered, follow customer leads, and pitch prospective customers.

Probably the most important aspect of a sales representative's job is closing on sales. That's what keeps the business running and your paycheck coming. There are some times when you'll have to deal with tough situations, like customer complaints, and you'll have to know how to fix the situation.

The majority of sales representatives spend about 47 hours a week at work. From travel time to breaks and interacting with customers, you've got some long days ahead. Although, it's not a bad gig, especially since you only need a high school diploma. The majority of your education in your career will come from on-the-job training - nothing beats hands-on experience.
  • Average Salary: $56,591
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Representative

Role:

Since respresentative is such a broad term, you can really take your pick when it comes to having a career as one. Maybe you want to pursue customer service or politics. Either way, representatives are very important for the people they're serving.

As a representative, it's important that you present yourself well. A state representative needs to be a likeable figure for people to vote into office, while a customer service representative needs to put on an understanding face when presented with a customer complaint.

Representatives work all sorts of hours, depending on the industry they've picked. Luckily, there are so many industries that a representative can go into that you'll have plenty of job opportunities available.

  • Average Salary: $36,023
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Outside Sales Representative

Role:

Outside sales representatives are responsible for increasing sales by maintaining and developing relationships with clients and customers. To do this, you will need to identify potential clients, follow up on the potential clients, and also maintain relationships with the existing clients. After identifying potential clients, you are expected to meet their sales needs to ensure a lasting relationship. You will also sometimes need to travel to meet clients and inform them of new products and their features so you can negotiate sales contracts.

In the process of identifying potential clients, you will have to schedule and perform product demonstrations to the new clients in a convincing manner. Other duties involve generating and submitting sales reports to management and recommending a marketing strategy for specific regions. One of the major secrets to succeeding as a sales representative is to learn to sustain relationships.

Excellent communication skills, outstanding marketing strategy skills, and consumer psychology are crucial to succeeding as an outside sales representative. Apart from this, you must enjoy traveling and must be proficient with presentation software, spreadsheet, and word processing. The annual salary of an outside sales representative is $71,145, and the educational background is a bachelor's degree in business management or other related disciplines.
  • Average Salary: $60,443
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active pharmaceutical sales representative jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where pharmaceutical sales representatives earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California8,648$68,755
2Texas5,359$62,709
3Florida4,950$51,945
4Pennsylvania4,209$66,965
5New York3,690$85,964
6Ohio3,262$58,578
7Illinois3,249$64,353
8New Jersey3,083$77,365
9North Carolina2,571$56,414
10Massachusetts2,552$93,352
11Georgia2,267$49,327
12Virginia2,194$71,081
13Minnesota1,672$57,397
14Arizona1,606$68,668
15Washington1,526$58,879
16Michigan1,524$54,290
17Tennessee1,495$59,259
18Maryland1,478$64,442
19Indiana1,457$55,116
20Wisconsin1,410$62,033
21Oregon1,314$64,056
22Colorado1,257$61,032
23Missouri1,238$46,665
24South Carolina1,130$55,382
25Utah1,035$61,667
26Alabama962$34,902
27Connecticut934$82,395
28Kentucky871$63,237
29Iowa841$62,161
30Kansas703$54,806
31Louisiana651$66,303
32Nevada605$79,439
33Oklahoma556$52,965
34Arkansas556$45,670
35Nebraska552$45,535
36Rhode Island479$77,975
37Idaho437$56,331
38New Hampshire402$76,511
39New Mexico375$67,867
40Montana359$33,990
41Mississippi352$46,277
42West Virginia305$70,484
43Maine304$74,558
44Delaware271$72,949
45Vermont215$78,118
46South Dakota185$34,059
47North Dakota167$64,831
48Hawaii136$39,914
49Wyoming119$53,174
50Alaska106$50,902

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Education

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Majors

26.2 %
13.8 %

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Degrees

Bachelors

84.7 %

Masters

8.1 %

Associate

4.3 %

Top Colleges for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

$55,584

Enrollment

10,764

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Education
Biology
Finance
Business
Nursing

2. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

$49,880

Enrollment

4,177

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Finance
Business
Marketing
Communication
Liberal Arts

3. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

$8,306

Enrollment

9,394

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Liberal Arts
Criminal Justice
Biology
Nursing

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

$51,828

Enrollment

26,339

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Biology
Education
Nursing
Psychology

5. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

$14,760

Enrollment

31,451

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Biology
Business
Psychology
Nursing
Political Science

6. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

$8,369

Enrollment

5,229

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Education
Biology
Business
Psychology
Nursing

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

$51,354

Enrollment

7,083

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Biology
Education
Economics
Chemistry

8. Baylor University

Waco, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

$45,542

Enrollment

14,159

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Biology
Business
Nursing
Education
Marketing

9. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

$8,570

Enrollment

3,721

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Nursing
Liberal Arts
Business
Health Care Administration
Criminal Justice

10. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

$51,853

Enrollment

14,759

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Education
Public Relations
Biology
Psychology

Top Skills For a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.1% of pharmaceutical sales representatives listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Pharmaceutical Sales Representative templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Pharmaceutical Sales Representative resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Demographics

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Gender Distribution

Female
Female
59%
Male
Male
41%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among pharmaceutical sales representatives, 59.0% of them are women, while 41.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among pharmaceutical sales representatives is White, which makes up 72.3% of all pharmaceutical sales representatives.

  • The most common foreign language among pharmaceutical sales representatives is Spanish at 60.8%.

Online Courses For Pharmaceutical Sales Representative That You May Like

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If you’ve always wanted a rewarding career, the tech sales industry may be the path for you. If you’re an ambitious problem-solver who likes to win, you’ll find tech sales not only fulfilling, but lucrative as well. As the tech industry continuously introduces innovative services and products, tech sales roles have become more crucial than ever. SDRs are in the front lines of the tech biz, connecting with customers and clients, and coming up with the smartest solutions for their problems. Sales...

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3. Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care

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This course presents basic principles of cancer survivorship to primary-care physicians. Developed by a team of experts in caring for cancer survivors, and narrated by a primary-care physician, this course provides practical tips and tools that can be easily integrated into medical practice. You will learn about the complex physical and psychosocial needs and concerns of the growing number of cancer survivors, along with the key role that primary care physicians have in guiding these patients...

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Best States For a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a pharmaceutical sales representative. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Nevada. Pharmaceutical sales representatives make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $93,352. Whereas in New York and Connecticut, they would average $85,964 and $82,395, respectively. While pharmaceutical sales representatives would only make an average of $79,439 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs: 479
Highest 10% Earn:
$131,000
Location Quotient:
1.48

2. Massachusetts

Total Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs: 2,552
Highest 10% Earn:
$157,000
Location Quotient:
1.04

3. Nevada

Total Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs: 605
Highest 10% Earn:
$136,000
Location Quotient:
1.09
Full List Of Best States For Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

How Do Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Great JobApril 2020

5.0

Zippia Official LogoGreat JobApril 2020

What do you like the most about working as Pharmaceutical Sales Representative?

I like helping people and physicians find out about products that can improve their lives. Company car is great too. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Some offices are just rude Show More

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Top Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Employers

Most Common Employers For Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Bristol-Myers Squibb$112,147$53.92117
2Eli Lilly and Company$111,775$53.74438
3Novartis$109,951$52.86205
4Bayer$99,772$47.9770
5Boehringer Ingelheim$98,232$47.23206
6Warner Chilcott$96,798$46.54173
7Janssen$93,882$45.1493
8AstraZeneca$93,701$45.05224
9Johnson & Johnson$91,291$43.89171
10Merck$90,966$43.73292

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Videos

Becoming a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative FAQs

How Do Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Get Paid?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives get paid through a combination of base salary, commission, and bonuses. Many pharmaceutical sales representatives have an even split between base salary and their commission and bonuses.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmaceutical Sales Rep?

It takes around five to six years to become a pharmaceutical sales representative. This accounts for the educational and work experience requirements to be successful in this position.

While the minimum educational requirement for pharmaceutical sales representatives is at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, most employers prefer to hire medical sales representatives with bachelor's degrees.

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