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This is how to get one of the best paying jobs in medical sales

Here are the top five best-paying jobs in medical sales and tips on how to land them.


Saying medical sales jobs pay well is like saying all vegetables are good for you — it’s true, but it’s a broad statement. Vegetables have a wide range of healthy benefits, similar to the wide range of salaries in medical sales. The products you sell can have a huge impact on how much you make, according to the 2016 Medical Sales Salary Report, conducted by MedReps, where I work.

So which jobs pay the most and how can you secure a job with a top paying product? Here’s a look at the top five best-paying jobs in medical sales and how to land them:


Biotechnology sales professionals earn top dollar in medical sales. On average, these professionals take home a total of $165,028 each year. Although most medical sales reps make the bulk of their pay in commission, biotechnology professionals earn most of their pay in their base salary – $107,876 on average.

How to get the job: Biotechnology sales professionals work with complex products that are in high demand. If you’re looking to sell these products, you need a high level of expertise. Before going after these best-paying jobs, gain at least five years of strong medical sales experience. Earning a scientific degree can also boost your qualifications and make you more desirable to employers.  

When applying for jobs, show employers that you have a proven track record of strong sales, excellent relationships with clients, and industry knowledge.

Surgical devices

Surgical devices come in at a close second for the highest-paying jobs in medical sales with an average total compensation of $163,654. Unlike biotech reps, surgical sales reps earn the majority of their pay in commission – an average of $94,783. The fact that these professionals spend time working in the OR is a contributing factor for their higher pay.

How to get the job: Because surgical device reps spend much of their time in the OR providing product information to clinicians, employers look for those with a clinical background as well as strong sales experience.

In addition to gaining industry experience, learn as much as you can about the company before applying for the job. Know who their customers are, understand the products and learn about the surgical procedures they are used in, and get familiar with similar competing products on the market. The more you know, the more valuable you are to employers.

Capital and durable medical equipment

Coming in third on the list is capital and durable medical equipment sales. Professionals in this space earn an average of $152,199 total each year and their base pay and commission are almost equal — $81,840 and $78,031, respectively.

How to get the job: Durable equipment sales is more focused on customer or end user of the product, so sales professionals need strong communication skills to demonstrate their value to pharmacists, physicians, medical directors, and other providers. Take the time to become an expert on the employer’s products and practice interviewing. You want to show employers that you’re approachable, a great communicator, and that you do well under pressure.

Health IT and software

While health IT and software sales no longer earn the top salaries in the field, as they did a few years ago, they are still among the best paying jobs. Professionals who work with health IT and software make $149,985 in total compensation each year.

How to get the job: If you have a background in technology or IT, it may be easier for you to break into the industry. These jobs require more specialized knowledge, so you may need to start at a smaller firm. The pay won’t be as high to start, but with the right experience you can move on to better opportunities and start earning the big bucks.

Medical devices

Rounding out the list of the top five best-paying jobs in medical sales is medical device sales. There’s a wide variety of different devices in the industry, but on average, professionals earn $147,857 total each year.

How to get the job: To be hired in medical device sales, sales experience and success are the most important requirement. No matter which sales niche you’re coming from, show employers that you have a proven track record and strong sales numbers to backup your resume. But even with excellent sales skills, you typically need to gain experience in the medical sales field before your paycheck exceeds your expectations.

Medical sales jobs come with big salaries and great perks and benefits, but they’re not easy. The best-paying jobs require top sales skills, specialized knowledge, and years of experience. Take the time to gain the right qualifications and you’ll be on your way to earning top dollar in medical sales.

Photo:  atibodyphoto, Getty Images


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