Medical sales rep
Medical sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies, selling drugs, medicines and medical equipment to health professionals.
Salary range: £19,000 to £60,000
How to become a medical sales representative
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
- a graduate training scheme
You can get into this career by doing a degree in:
- biomedical sciences
- medical engineering
It may be possible to get in with a non-science degree. A business or marketing degree, for example, can be useful, especially if you have some knowledge of medical sales.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to start by completing an advanced apprenticeship in sales, or a business-to-business sales professional degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
You can apply directly for jobs. Employers will look for people with an understanding of what medical sales involves and have experience in nursing, healthcare, sales or marketing.
If you do not have a science or healthcare background, you’ll need a lot of sales experience and the ability to learn about medicines and therapies in detail. An A level or equivalent in biology, general science, or health and social care, may be an advantage for this.
You may be able to join a medical sales company on a graduate training scheme if you have a degree. A science degree is very useful but employers will accept other subjects if you have A levels in science and a flair for sales.
You can find out more about working in medical sales from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- customer service skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with others
- persistence and determination
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have a full driving licence
All medical sales representatives will need to take The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Medical Representatives Exam within 1 year of beginning employment, and pass all units within 2 years.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- arranging appointments to see existing clients and ‘cold call’ new contacts
- making presentations and persuading clients to use or buy your company’s products
- building strong relationships with medical staff
- providing an after-sales service
- planning work schedules
- meeting sales targets
- organising and attending medical conferences
- checking competitors’ products and prices
- keeping records and reporting back to head office
You could work in an office or from home.
Career path and progression
With experience and a good track record in sales, you could progress into area or regional management, or into marketing, product or account management.