Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Job- Description, Their Salary, And Duties

Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Job

A Pharmaceutical sales representative is employed by pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors to tell and educate physicians about medicines and other pharmaceutical products produced in the swiftly growing and excelling pharmaceutical industry. Here, let’s know about Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Job.

These representatives have good interpersonal skills and sound knowledge of pharmaceutical products to influence the practitioners to prescribe the products manufactured by the companies they represent.

They provide physicians with drugs, treatments, and knowledge about the products they provide. Their role is to provide good healthcare to the patients by supplying new and advanced drugs and products. Their role is not directly linked to sales. Rather, they provide doctors, clinics, and hospitals with products manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies they represent. 

What is the job of a pharmaceutical sales rep?

  1. They have good knowledge of different drugs manufactured by various companies in the market. The pharmaceutical representative should be able to inform and describe the benefits of products they represent and compare them with the other products manufactured by other companies.
  2. They have good knowledge of pharmacy, the science of medication, and their effects on the human body. They can describe the biochemistry of drugs, modes of action of different drugs, their adverse effects, and their interaction with other drugs.
  3. A pharmaceutical sales representative also has excellent knowledge in their specialized field and communicates with their targeted practitioner.

For Example- A pharmaceutical sales representative with a specialization in heartburn disease communicates with internists and gastroenterologists.

  1. They work on charge within a certain geographical zone and are busy making schedules and attending conferences, following leads, and acquiring a new customer for their company.
  2. Their role involves attending conferences, event speaking, and conducting educational sessions. 
  3. They also undergo field research from the instructions provided by the pharmacists they work for. 

For Example, they monitor prescription patterns of a physician and measure reactions to a new treatment. 

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  1. They are well adept at influencing, building relations, and providing knowledge to healthcare practitioners.
  2. They are also supposed to visit the same practitioner several times to be sure that they are aware of the newest pharmaceuticals for sale.

Typical duties of a pharmaceutical sales representative

  • They gauge clients’ needs and provide them with suitable products.
  • They reach the targeted doctors and hospitals and provide them with their company products by utilizing their sales skills to persuade them. 
  • They provide product descriptions to the doctors and give samples also.
  • They build a network with healthcare providers, doctors, and pharmacists.
  • They are also responsible for departmental duties like taking buying orders or building new accounts.
  • Their role also involves reviewing the literature of a product.
  • They actively resolve complaints of consumers.

Necessary skills to be a PSR (Pharmaceutical Sales Representative)

  1. Exceptional interpersonal skills- they are well pro in establishing good relations with doctors, pharmacists, and healthcare providers.
  2. Excellent verbal communication skills to describe the detailed description of a product, its detailed statistics, and ingredients of medicines.
  3. Excellent written communication skills.
  4. Excellent sales skills to gain buying orders.
  5. Good scientific knowledge to know various drug interactions, drugs biochemistry, and their adverse effects.
  6. Organizational skills to handle multiple contractors with great liberty.
  7. He should be goal-oriented, self-motivated, polished, and determined.
  8. Good mental strength to endure the strain of sales quota.
  9. Assertive, extroverted, ambitious, adventurous, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.
  10. He should be dominant and persuasive to gain more sales and profit for the company they represent.
  11. They should have good knowledge of Microsoft office suite and other software, including spreadsheets and databases.
  12. Good negotiation skills.
  13. Time management strategy to reach targets in the allotted period.

The work environment of a pharmaceutical sales representative

  • They mostly do fieldwork which includes research and interaction with physicians and pharmacists.
  • They are supposed to visit around 4 to 8 physicians’ clinics per day.
  • Their day-to-day work includes attending sales meetings, conferences, training sessions with the management team.
  • They are required to check-in at a local office or a regional center.

Qualification of a pharmaceutical sales representative

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree is a must
  • A Master’s degree is not required. However, some pharmaceutical sales representatives hold master’s degrees with college course works in life science, chemistry, and biology
  • Some hold degrees in sales, marketing, advertising, and business administration
  • Some universities offer a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Universities provide elective courses like organic chemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, and toxicology, which the students can opt to sharpen their skills and gain the necessary exposure
  •  Some students opt for master’s courses like Master’s in Public Health (MPH), Master’s in Health Sciences (MHS), and Healthcare MBA

Salary of a pharmaceutical sales representative

The average salary of a pharmaceutical sales representative in the United States is $81,533 per year.

Salaries vary between $41,340 and can go up to $160,804.

Earnings by seniority

  • The average salary of a top-level pharmaceutical sales representative is $160,804 per year and the per hour salary of top-level PSR is $77.31
  • The average salary of a senior-level pharmaceutical sales representative is $116,567 per year. The salary per hour is $56.04.
  • The average salary of a mid-level pharmaceutical sales representative is $81,533 per year. The salary per hour is $39.20.
  • The average salary of a junior-level pharmaceutical sales representative is $57,029 per year. The salary per hour is $27.42.
  • The average salary of a starting-level pharmaceutical sales representative is $41,340 per year. The per-hour salary is $19.88.

Salaries by states

State NameAverage Salary
Alaska$75,720
Alabama$71,337
Arkansas$60,270
Arizona$73,510
California$81,140
Colorado$91,750
Connecticut$91,160
District of Columbia$76,920
Delaware$100,340
Florida$70,750
Georgia$69,390
Hawaii$80,960
Iowa$88,520
Idaho$78,790
Illinois$79,380
Indiana$101,106
Kansas$78,140
Kentucky$96,381
Louisiana$61,490
Massachusetts$83,590
Maryland$96,140
Maine$57,210
Michigan$77,190
Minnesota$76,970
Missouri$74,590
Mississippi$64,550
Montana$77,250
North Carolina$98,640
North Dakota$59,050
Nebraska$66,380
New Hampshire$91,320
New Jersey$87,040
New Mexico$59,920
Nevada$81,300
New York$92,810
Ohio$75,430
Oklahoma$67,610
Oregon$77,140
Pennsylvania$82,072
Puerto Rico$53,570
Rhode Island$68,050
South Carolina$58,270
South Dakota$74,190
Tennessee$62,800
Texas$92,610

Comparison between the salaries of pharmaceutical sales representatives and other careers in the United States

CareerMedian Salary
Advertising manager salary$110K
Sales engineer salary$99K
Talent agent salary$74K
Pharmaceutical sales representative salary$82K
Marketing manager salary$80K
Consultant salary$78K
Sales manager salary$63K
Market research analyst salary$63K

Job titles that are similar to a pharmaceutical sales representative

  • Medical sales representative
  • Division sales representative
  • Specialty pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Primary care sales representative
  • Medical supply sales representative
  • Medical device sales representative

Working hours of a pharmaceutical sales representative

The typical working hours are usually between 9 am to 5 pm, with some exceptions. 

Future Prospects

As per the NIH report, the United States consumes about 75% of the drugs prescribed worldwide. Nearly three in five adults worldwide are advised of at least one medicine. These increased consumptions of medicines provide a favorable outlook to a pharmaceutical sales representative who is dealing with drugs. 

Approximately 400,00 more pharmaceutical jobs will be created by 2022. More and more pharmaceutical sales representatives are recruited by hospitals, clinics, research institutes, distributors, and wholesalers.

Sites where to find the jobs

  • LinkedIn 
  • Indeed
  • Monster
  • Glassdoor
  • Zip recruiter
  • Career Builder
  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Medreps

The job market for pharmaceutical sales representative

The job market for a pharmaceutical sales representative in the United States is expected to grow by 5.2% between 2016 to 2026. 

There are approximately 343,600 pharmaceutical sales representatives in the United States. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Which states in the United States have more concentration of pharmaceutical sales representative industry?

California, Texas, and Florida.

  1. How much time is required to complete the pharmaceutical sales training?

The pharmaceutical sales training takes about 4 weeks to complete. It is usually self-paced, so the timings of each vary. 

  1. What is the cost of pharmaceutical sales training?

It usually costs around $500 for pharmaceutical sales training. If one expects to earn a certification from an accredited university, it costs around a thousand dollars. 

  1. Is a pharmaceutical sales representative a good career?

It is a popular and lucrative career because it provides an excellent salary, great flexibility, good exposure, potential to grow, travel, use the company’s car, etc.

  1. Is it difficult to get into a pharmaceutical sales job?

It could be a bit difficult if you lack experience and the necessary skills. Chances are quite low if you haven’t built a great network. Once you gain some experience and skills and build a network of established contacts, you can easily land up the job. However, competition is always in every field. 

Pharmaceutical sales representatives play an important role in delivering necessary drugs to hospitals and physicians. They provide an excellent link between drug manufacturers and pharmacies to supply crucial drugs worldwide. It is a growing and lucrative field as per increased consumption of medicines and their growing demand in the healthcare institutes and pharmacists.

Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Job- Description, Their Salary, And Duties

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