Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Salary

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - April 15, 2018
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The following article discusses the career path of Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Pharmaceutical Sales Reps.

Job Duties

Pharmaceutical sales reps are responsible for a variety of different things such as being in constant contact with potential and existing clients in order to develop new accounts, get them to place orders, provide services to existing accounts, and ensure strategies are in place to promote the brand that are in line with the overall marketing message of the organization. Additionally, they will develop and change sales presentations so that they are appropriate to their clients and so that they can clearly demonstrate new competitive developments, policies, services, or products.

Furthermore, a pharmaceutical sales rep ensures that any complaints or concerns customers have are fully resolved. They investigate any issues that come up, create new solutions, and ensure reports and recommendations are submitted to their own management team. Additionally, they ensure that all their records are in order, create sales reports to management on a regular basis, including daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. They also analyze their own sales trends.

These sales reps work with various other professionals such as the staff of medical facilities, medical office managers, technicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, physicians, and so on. Often, they have meetings with these professionals at their places of work, which means travel is often required.

The role of a pharmaceutical sales rep is both mentally and physically challenging. They often work long hours and are on their feet for most of this time. They also travel between various locations, which means they are rarely home. Weekend and evening functions and training are also regularly required. Furthermore, these reps must be fully up to date with changes in medical issues, scientific updates, regulatory requirements, industry changes, and so on. They have to be able to accurately answer highly complex queries and questions, while also being able to report to their managers in an easy to understand manner.

Other duties of a pharmaceutical sales rep are:

  • To create, develop, and maintain data and records to show the status of accounts and process them
  • To highlight different product features depending on the needs of the customer, focusing on product capabilities. This requires strong technical knowledge.
  • To develop new relationships and maintain existing relationships with clients.
  • To regularly attend training to better understand new products and solutions
  • To sell the products of their organization to new and existing clients

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,813,500 wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives in 2016, of which the pharmaceutical sales reps form< part. The largest employers of these professionals are:

  • Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 29%
  • Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods 19%
  • Wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers 17%
  • Manufacturing 15%
  • Retail trade 4%

How to Become

In order to become a pharmaceutical sales rep, an individual must appear very neat and professional. They also have to be experienced in sales, be very strong communicators, excellent time managers, and perfect organizers. Furthermore, they must have some understanding of medical sciences and medical problems, while also being highly computer literate, including more modern devices. They often work individually and must regularly attend more training, read up on industry developments, and network with others to ensure that their skills and knowledge remain up to date.

Education Requirements

Usually, a pharmaceutical sales rep will hold a bachelor’s degree as a minimum, often in a field related to marketing. They also receive training on medical technology and on the regulatory environment surrounding the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, most employers prefer those with extensive experience in sales.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective pharmaceutical sales reps have the following traits to some degree or other:

– Strong customer service skills
– Excellent interpersonal skills
– Physical stamina
– Self-confidence
– Great communication skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s with further education, master’s preferred Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Pharmaceutical Sales Rep was $68,040. This number is estimated from over 637,336 employees, users past and present job advertisements from This equates to an hourly salary of $35.44 and monthly of $5,670.

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Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Pharmaceutical Sales Rep salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through For example, US had the largest quoted salary of $68,040 while US had the smallest quoted salary of $68,040.

Top 20 National Employers

According to, the following states had employers looking to hire a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer NameLocationAverage Salary

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Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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