The job of pharmaceutical sales representatives is to inform and educate doctors about a company's medical and pharmaceutical products. They serve as the link between a company and healthcare professionals to hit sales targets. They have varied responsibilities, including assessing clients' needs and presenting suitable products, delivering product samples, and working sales teams to develop and implement brand strategies. This role's qualifications include relevant work experience, excellent communication, sales, negotiation skills, and a bachelor's degree in a relevant field.

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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real pharmaceutical sales representative resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage and establish relationships within specialty urology and neurology markets to drive new and existing therapies.
  • Demonstrate strong teamwork skills by partnering with Novartis counterparts and other pharmaceutical consultants to achieve company and individual goals.
  • Manage Santa Rosa/San Francisco territories, marketing and selling respiratory, urology, cardiology to pharmacies and primary care physicians.
  • Retail sales division promoting drugs in gastroenterology, endocrinology, pain management and infectious disease.
  • Call on and maintain relationships with primary care physicians, cardiologists, nephrologists, internists, gastroenterologists, and endocrinologists.
  • Call on primary care physicians, cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, and vascular surgeons.
  • Provide corrective and preventive actions (CAPA) to eliminate the recurrence of a deviation.
  • Call on endocrinology, rheumatology, gynecology, and primary care physicians as well as clinical care and hospital staff.
  • Generate high-volume sales of neuroscience products to psychiatrists and neurologists.
  • Educate veterinary professionals on the Novartis companion animal FDA approve product portfolio.
  • Generate a high level of physician requests for new rheumatology education programs.
  • Promote dermatology products to dermatologist through strategic/targete marketing efforts and high-impact relationship-building skills.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with dermatology offices as well as pharmaceutical manufacturer representatives.
  • Develop and successfully implement a web-base platform for corporate-wide marketing of Merck products.
  • Specialize in marketing products for upper and lower gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and insomnia.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, pharmaceutical sales representative jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a pharmaceutical sales representative?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of pharmaceutical sales representative opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 35,400.

A pharmaceutical sales representative annual salary averages $68,571, which breaks down to $32.97 an hour. However, pharmaceutical sales representatives can earn anywhere from upwards of $42,000 to $110,000 a year. This means that the top-earning pharmaceutical sales representatives make $81,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a pharmaceutical sales representative, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a representative, territory representative, sales development representative, and field technical representative.

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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 21% of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives are proficient in Patients, Pharmaceutical Products, and Develop Strong Relationships. They’re also known for soft skills such as Customer-service skills, Interpersonal skills, and Physical stamina.

We break down the percentage of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 21%

    Engaged in dialogue about clinical evidence, approved indications, and product efficacy/safety profiles to support prescribing for appropriate patients.

  • Pharmaceutical Products, 8%

    Manage territory leading pharmaceutical products to cardiologists, endocrinologists and primary care physicians for the metro, north and central territory.

  • Develop Strong Relationships, 6%

    Manage and develop strong relationships with new accounts while maintaining existing accounts with physicians offices and sleep labs.

  • Territory Management, 5%

    Utilized a strategic and targeted approach for territory management while demonstrating supreme product knowledge and social skills resulting in consistent growth.

  • FDA, 4%

    Completed daily territory administrative duties and maintained sample inventory for company records and FDA reporting.

  • Business Plan, 4%

    Ensured optimum territory sales strategy execution by leveraging annual territory business plan, regional business plan, and call activity reports.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume templates

Build a professional Pharmaceutical Sales Representative resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Pharmaceutical Sales Representative resume.

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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume

Most pharmaceutical sales representatives list "patients," "pharmaceutical products," and "develop strong relationships" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important pharmaceutical sales representative responsibilities here:

  • The most important skills for a pharmaceutical sales representative to have in this position are customer-service skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a pharmaceutical sales representative resume, you'll understand why: "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives must be able to listen to the customer’s needs and concerns before and after the sale." According to resumes we found, customer-service skills can be used by a pharmaceutical sales representative in order to "promoted lovenox in 5 hospital/retail $2 million territory for 500+ customers, selling 6 different fda indications. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform pharmaceutical sales representative duties is the following: interpersonal skills. According to a pharmaceutical sales representative resume, "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives must be able to work well with many types of people." Check out this example of how pharmaceutical sales representatives use interpersonal skills: "maintained excellent interpersonal relationships with customers who included medical professionals and purchasing agents. "
  • Physical stamina is also an important skill for pharmaceutical sales representatives to have. This example of how pharmaceutical sales representatives use this skill comes from a pharmaceutical sales representative resume, "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives are often on their feet for a long time and may carry heavy sample products." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "completed both virtual and physical preceptorship in pain management"
  • A pharmaceutical sales representative responsibilities sometimes require "self-confidence." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives must be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations" This resume example shows how this skill is used by pharmaceutical sales representatives: "reinforce product confidence among prescribers and help with decisions that benefit patients. "
  • See the full list of pharmaceutical sales representative skills.

    We've found that 84.7% of pharmaceutical sales representatives have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 8.1% earned their master's degrees before becoming a pharmaceutical sales representative. While it's true that most pharmaceutical sales representatives have a college degree, it's generally impossible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine pharmaceutical sales representatives did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The pharmaceutical sales representatives who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and marketing, while a small population of pharmaceutical sales representatives studied communication and biology.

    When you're ready to become a pharmaceutical sales representative, you might wonder which companies hire pharmaceutical sales representatives. According to our research through pharmaceutical sales representative resumes, pharmaceutical sales representatives are mostly hired by QuintilesIMS, Lilly & Company, and Eli Lilly and Company. Now is a good time to apply as QuintilesIMS has 98 pharmaceutical sales representatives job openings, and there are 66 at Lilly & Company and 19 at Eli Lilly and Company.

    Since salary is important to some pharmaceutical sales representatives, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Eli Lilly and Company, AstraZeneca, and QuintilesIMS. If you were to take a closer look at Eli Lilly and Company, you'd find that the average pharmaceutical sales representative salary is $111,775. Then at AstraZeneca, pharmaceutical sales representatives receive an average salary of $93,701, while the salary at QuintilesIMS is $65,431.

    View more details on pharmaceutical sales representative salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a pharmaceutical sales representative include AstraZeneca, Glaxosmithkline, and Merck. These three companies were found to hire the most pharmaceutical sales representatives from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The industries that pharmaceutical sales representatives fulfill the most roles in are the pharmaceutical and health care industries. But the highest pharmaceutical sales representative annual salary is in the pharmaceutical industry, averaging $82,541. In the manufacturing industry they make $75,421 and average about $70,945 in the health care industry. In conclusion, pharmaceutical sales representatives who work in the pharmaceutical industry earn a 13.7% higher salary than pharmaceutical sales representatives in the finance industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious pharmaceutical sales representatives are:

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    What Representatives Do

    Representatives are lawmakers who represent the people in a specific district. They run for office to represent their districts in their hometown or their current place of living. Representatives are usually charismatic and good communicators. These characteristics are especially important during campaign and election periods. Representatives should be able to capture the hearts of the voters through their planned projects and advocacies. They are then elected by their constituents. Upon election, representatives author bills that will eventually be passed into law should it be approved by the majority of the congress. They also vote on the passage of bills authored by other representatives. They also participate in discussions and debates regarding different bills, issues, and laws. Representatives are expected to vote according to their conscience and in consideration of the voice of their constituents.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take representative for example. On average, the representatives annual salary is $32,548 lower than what pharmaceutical sales representatives make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both pharmaceutical sales representatives and representatives positions are skilled in patients, product knowledge, and standing orders.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a pharmaceutical sales representative responsibility requires skills such as "pharmaceutical products," "develop strong relationships," "territory management," and "fda." Whereas a representative is skilled in "cleanliness," "customer issues," "customer service," and "data entry." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Representatives tend to make the most money in the transportation industry by averaging a salary of $36,557. In contrast, pharmaceutical sales representatives make the biggest average salary of $82,541 in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Representatives tend to reach similar levels of education than pharmaceutical sales representatives. In fact, representatives are 2.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.4% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Territory Representative?

    A territory representative is responsible for selling the company's goods and services within a designated area, negotiating offers with potential clients, and identifying business opportunities according to market trends and customer demands. Territory representatives analyze the sales performance and strategize techniques to reach sales targets by coordinating with the whole sales team. They must be highly knowledgeable of the products offered by the company to demonstrate features and functionalities and respond to the inquiries and concerns the customers may have.

    Next up, we have the territory representative profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a pharmaceutical sales representative annual salary. In fact, territory representatives salary difference is $28,810 lower than the salary of pharmaceutical sales representatives per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both pharmaceutical sales representatives and territory representatives are known to have skills such as "patients," "pharmaceutical products," and "territory management. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that pharmaceutical sales representative responsibilities requires skills like "develop strong relationships," "fda," "business plan," and "persistence." But a territory representative might use skills, such as, "customer service," "customer relationships," "crm," and "territory development."

    In general, territory representatives study at similar levels of education than pharmaceutical sales representatives. They're 3.0% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Sales Development Representative Compares

    A sales development representative qualifies leads at the sales funnel's initial stages. Sales development representatives need to conduct research for prospective clients and qualify the leads before handing them to the sales team. They develop sales strategies to attract buyers or solicit potential customers. They need to build relationships with their customers to determine their needs and qualify the viability of interests to drive sales. Also, they collaborate with the sales executives making certain that corporate targets and goals are met.

    The sales development representative profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of pharmaceutical sales representatives. The difference in salaries is sales development representatives making $17,067 lower than pharmaceutical sales representatives.

    While looking through the resumes of several pharmaceutical sales representatives and sales development representatives we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "develop strong relationships," "persistence," and "product knowledge," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a pharmaceutical sales representative is likely to be skilled in "patients," "pharmaceutical products," "territory management," and "fda," while a typical sales development representative is skilled in "sdr," "lead generation," "customer service," and "account executives."

    Additionally, sales development representatives earn a higher salary in the start-up industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $54,512. Additionally, pharmaceutical sales representatives earn an average salary of $82,541 in the pharmaceutical industry.

    When it comes to education, sales development representatives tend to earn similar education levels than pharmaceutical sales representatives. In fact, they're 4.0% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Field Technical Representative

    Owning wide knowledge about an application, a field technical representative ensures that the customer knows how to use any application by providing technical support and solving issues if one arises. They also give advice on what application is best to use for a certain concern. They can also evaluate and give an honest review to further improve the application. They help companies install the application and apply every bit of enhancements incorporated in it to the best of their advantage.

    Now, we'll look at field technical representatives, who generally average a lower pay when compared to pharmaceutical sales representatives annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $15,906 per year.

    Each job requires different skills like "patients," "pharmaceutical products," "develop strong relationships," and "territory management," which might show up on a pharmaceutical sales representative resume. Whereas field technical representative might include skills like "customer service," "technical support," "customer satisfaction," and "technical issues."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The technology industry tends to pay more for field technical representatives with an average of $58,658. While the highest pharmaceutical sales representative annual salary comes from the pharmaceutical industry.

    Field technical representatives reach similar levels of education when compared to pharmaceutical sales representatives. The difference is that they're 2.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Does FAQs

    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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