How to become a medical sales representative

One of the most high-demand jobs is the medical sales role because the demand is always on the high side.


This is due to the fact that the field is one of the few sectors that still require some face-to-face activities and also, the aging population isn’t helping in the matter as well.

So, are you motivated about the position and wondering how to become a medical sales representative?


The medical sales rep is equally a competitive field with a ton of work to do but building a career in this field isn’t rock science once you’re ready to tick the necessary boxes.

Before we get to discuss the things you need to put in place to become a medical sales rep, it’s important to state here that you’re in for a great paycheck in this field.

How to become a medical sales representative

According to a recent report by MedReps, average total compensation for medical sales reps is $149,544 with an average base of $92,698, coupled with an average bonus of $63,318.

So let’s get to the meat of things by discussing the things you need to do to become a medical sales representative. Are you ready to learn more? Let’s get to it!


Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Though the minimum requirement to become a medical sales rep is a high school diploma, in all honesty, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree as many of these professionals have this at least.

You may also want to consider pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration as this will make you a perfect candidate for many organizations.

Also, you should consider the common fields such as marketing, pharmacology, and pharmaceutical business to focus on as this will make you a great choice for many businesses out there.

This corroborates the report by MedReps that not less than 98% of medical sales rep have at least a four-year degree from college or higher.

Follow a training program

Now that you’ve completed your degree program, the next thing you want to ensure is to follow a training program to hone your expertise, which will complement whatever you’ve learned while in the college.

But before you begin this type of training, you should be cleared about what type of training will benefit you the most.

Are you an individual who can gain enormously while following an online program or you can’t cope with such virtual classes?

If you’re like some, you may want to follow in-person classes to be able to make the most of the training program.

This type of class will also offer you the opportunity to relate with diverse students with varied experiences that can impact you positively.

The opportunity to network with not only with your colleagues but the teachers is a great thing that you can leverage in the future. You can even find a job though these networks of yours.

You also need to form the habit of prioritizing trainings even after you’ve gotten a medical sales rep position as this will help in making you a well-rounded and up-to-date rep in the field.

Because you can only learn the new developments in the field when you attend trainings and workshops.

Get some licensures

To advance your career as a medical sales rep, you need to get certified by various society and bodies on your society.

Yes, many employers care less about the certifications and all, but it’s your best bet to have these certifications.

You should reach out to the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representative to become a certified member of the association. Becoming a member of these societies will even intimate you to the terminologies used in the field.

To be a certified member, you’ll be required to sit for the membership examination, which cut across various aspects of medical sales representative. The examination is just two hours long and you’ll need to have at least 80% to be inducted to the society.

Choose a Specialization

The next thing you want to do is to choose an area of specialization where you’ll focus on. If mental health is something that sounds up your alley, then tilt towards it.

Yes, it’s good to have knowledge that cuts across many of these fields, but employers are looking for expertise in their respective fields.

It’s important to niche down to a specialization and develop expertise in it. You may want to focus on sports medicine, then you should get on medical device sales as a career path.

The idea here is to trim down your expertise to an area and develop expertise in it as this will make you an authority in that choose path.

Gather relevant experience

Having relevant experience in whatever field you’ve choose can never be overstated. Experience will teach you on this thing is done in real life cases.

It’ll expose you to the reality behind the theoretical aspects you may have had while pursuing a degree and following training.

To gain the experience, you may want to volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness or work as part time at any medical sales company.

The hands-on experience will be invaluable and help get you up and running as a new medical sales rep.


While networking at the college is something that’s highly encouraged and valuable, but networking as a professional level is critical to your success as a beginner.

Network while working or volunteering at any medical sales company with professionals already making waves in the industry.

Your networks may even link you up with opportunities available in their establishments or furnish you with some insider information regarding the industry and get you started on the right foot.

Build your online presence

You want to make sure you’re not only visible online, but accurately and professional visible. These days employers go to social media platforms and websites to do background checks on their prospective employees before they recruit.

This emphasizes the need for you to create a super cool and honest profile about yourself. Your LinkedIn profile should be top-notch, same with other platforms you’re registered on as this may make the difference.

Final thoughts

Becoming a medical sales representative in today’s world isn’t a difficult task if you’re passionate about the career path.

Medical sales generally is an exciting industry due to the progress in medical technology and the world’s population explosion.

So if you’d like to be a medical sales rep, follow some strictly the points highlighted above and you’ll realize how it’s not as hard it might have seemed in the beginning.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Become a Medical Sales Representative

Below are some of the frequently asked questions on things to do to become a medical sales representative:

What’s the role of a medical sales representative? 

A medical sales rep sells medical supplies to doctors, clinics and hospitals. They are saddled with the responsibility of contacting prospective customers, explaining the features and functions of the medical products and answering questions the prospects may have and negotiating and closing the deal.

What qualities should a medical sales rep have?

There are a ton qualities a medical sales rep should have to be able to succeed in this career path and they are as follows: excellent negotiating skills, flexible and adaptable to challenges, problem-solving skills, time management skills and awareness of recent developments.

How hard is the field of medical sales industry?

The truth is that the medical sales industry is a very dynamic field, which requires a sales rep to always continue to invest in training to be able to catch up with this speed. It’s demanding and also very rewarding as evidenced by why many people today want to get in the field.

How often do I get to travel as a medical sales rep? 

Once you’ve chosen to be a medical sales rep, you should be prepared for an overnight travel as this is what the field is all about.

As corroborated by a recent study that says medical sales reps spend an average of 20 percent of their total time traveling overnight.


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