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Medical sales representative

Medical Sales
Full Time
Europe Israel United States

If you’re target-driven and want to use your knowledge in a medical field, a career as a medical sales representative could suit you


Medical sales representatives, widely referred to as reps, are a key link between medical and pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals.


As a rep you’ll sell your company’s products, which include medicines, prescription drugs and medical equipment, to a variety of customers including general practitioners (GPs), hospital doctors, pharmacists and nurses. You’ll work strategically to increase the awareness and use of your company’s pharmaceutical and medical products.


It’s likely that you’ll be based in a specific geographical location and specialise in a particular product or medical area. You may have to make presentations and organise group events for healthcare professionals, as well as working with contacts on a one-to-one basis.


In any setting, the process of selling involves contacting potential customers, identifying their needs, persuading them that your products or services (rather than those of competitors) can best satisfy those needs, closing the sale by agreeing the terms and conditions, and providing an after-sale service.

As a medical sales representative, you’ll need to:

  • arrange appointments with doctors, pharmacists and hospital medical teams, which may include pre-arranged appointments or regular ‘cold’ calling
  • make presentations to doctors, practice staff and nurses in GP surgeries, hospital doctors and pharmacists in the retail sector
  • organise conferences for doctors and other medical staff
  • build and maintain positive working relationships with medical staff and support administrative staff
  • manage budgets for catering, outside speakers, conferences and hospitality
  • keep detailed records of all contacts
  • reach, and if possible exceed, annual sales targets
  • win new customers, as well as developing long-term relationships with existing ones
  • plan work schedules and weekly and monthly timetables with the area sales team or discuss future targets with the area sales manager
  • regularly attend company meetings, technical data presentations and briefings
  • keep up to date with the latest clinical data supplied by the company, and interpret, present and discuss this data with health professionals during presentations
  • analyse sales data to improve results and make sure resources are effectively allocated
  • monitor competitor activity and competitors’ products
  • keep up to date with new developments in the NHS, anticipate potential negative and positive impacts on the business and adapt strategy accordingly
  • develop strategies for increasing opportunities to meet and talk to contacts in the medical and healthcare sector
  • stay informed about the activities of health services in a particular area.


  • Starting salaries for medical sales representatives typically range from £18,000 to £24,000.
  • With experience you can typically earn between £25,000 and £40,000. Salaries for managers and senior-level roles start at around £40,000.
  • Pay is supplemented by bonuses or performance-related pay and you can achieve high earnings if you’re successful in meeting and exceeding sales targets.

You may work as part of a team of sales reps, sharing the same sales results, or independently.

Many companies offer other incentives and benefits such as a company car, laptop, mobile phone, pension and private health insurance.

Income figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours

Working hours typically include regular extra hours and some evenings, but not weekends or shifts. For example, you may have to attend breakfast meetings or conduct presentations in the evenings at a local hotel or conference venue.


Work is generally office or home based but you’ll spend a substantial amount of time travelling to and from clients. Part-time work is also possible.


Self-employment and freelance work is uncommon.

What to expect

  • Opportunities occur throughout the UK, but the job usually involves responsibility for a particular geographical area, often called a ‘territory’. If you’re successful, you may find yourself head-hunted from one company or region to another.
  • Smart dress and a professional appearance are essential.
  • There is a lot of travel during the day with occasional absence from home overnight. You may have to attend client dinners on some evenings.
  • There may be some opportunities for overseas work or travel with multinational pharmaceutical companies.


Although this career is open to all graduates, the following subjects may improve your chances:

  • dentistry
  • life sciences
  • medicine
  • nursing
  • pharmacy.

You don’t need a science degree, however, and a good number of medical sales representatives have a non-science degree. A business or marketing degree, for example, can be particularly useful, especially if accompanied by some knowledge of medical sales and what this involves.


Entry with an HND or foundation degree is possible. Life science or healthcare subjects are particularly useful or experience in marketing or ethical sales.


A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not necessary, although a relevant Masters can be an advantage for medical sales positions requiring specific, technical knowledge.


Entry without a degree, HND or foundation degree is possible if you have a strong record in sales and business development.


You’ll need to have:


  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • an outgoing and persuasive manner and negotiating skills
  • sales and customer relationship skills
  • confidence and persistence
  • patience and self-motivation
  • analytical and planning skills
  • a flexible approach to work in order to adapt to changes, for example in the healthcare system or product and drug formularies
  • strong teamwork and networking skills
  • commercial and business awareness.

A driving licence is essential.

Work experience

Try to gain pre-entry experience and find out as much as possible about the realities of the job by arranging to shadow a medical sales representative. Contact pharmaceutical companies to arrange work shadowing or try your doctor’s surgery or local pharmacy.
Relevant work experience in a hospital placement or in a commercial environment may also improve your chances. Experience in a sales or marketing role is particularly useful.


Research the pharmaceutical industry and keep up to date with developments in the NHS. Talk to chemists and pharmacists.


Professional bodies may have local groups, and networking opportunities may be provided with student membership of organisations such as The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).


Apply for this position

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Physician Investor Partners

Physician Investor Partners
Part Time

Job Description

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type…


  • Experience/Education: Ideally a 2:1 degree – any degree discipline will be considered although a general interest in science/medicine is important.
  • Work Location: USA
  • Salary: $5,000-$8,000
  • Contract, dates and working times: Full-time
  • Number of Positions Open: 2

Job brief

  • CV support
  • Assessment support and techniques
  • Research and industry insight
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical knowledge
  • Training and mentoring
  • Excellent pay and job packages

Apply for this position

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