Readers ask: How To Get A Job As A Pharmaceutical Representative?

What Does a Pharma Rep Do?

Pharmaceutical sales reps have a strong grasp of pharmacology, or the science of medications and their effects on the human body, and they connect providers with the knowledge, drugs, and treatments they need to provide cutting-edge care. Reps get a lot of satisfaction from educating stakeholders about cutting-edge medical advances.

Workplace Details

Pharmaceutical sales reps work independently and have a lot of flexibility with their schedules; half earn between $59,590 and $127,800 per year, with a mean annual salary of $99,680. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS expects a 4% increase in job growth for all sales representatives of technical products.

Steps to Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

To become a pharmaceutical sales representative, there are no specific educational requirements; however, representatives with graduate degrees in business or the life sciences are particularly appealing to employers. Aspiring reps should take biology, chemistry, and statistics coursework to hone their sales and negotiation skills.


A bachelor’s degree is required for most pharmaceutical sales jobs, and many companies recommend majoring in pharmacology or biopharmaceuticals.

Pharmaceutical business and management

Students will learn about the pharmaceutical industry’s impact on health and the human body through a combination of science and healthcare business classes.

Biological sciences

This includes majors such as biology, biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, and animal science, as well as giving you credibility with potential clients, such as physicians and other health care providers.

Business and marketing

Having a background in sales, marketing, and communications will help you succeed in this field, and the courses listed below can help you develop the skills and knowledge you’ll need in this field.


Investigate the structure and interaction of biological molecules at the atomic level, as well as the impact of electricity on human body function.

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If you want to work as a pharmaceutical sales rep after graduation, larger companies like Pfizer, Merck, and Novartis will be your best bets; another common path is to gain a few years of business-to-business sales experience in another industry.


An MBA prepares you for a senior leadership position in a company, such as sales manager or marketing executive in pharmaceutical sales. Some pharmaceutical companies only hire sales representatives with a master’s degree. Some programs offer concentrations in healthcare or pharmaceuticals.

Supply chain management

Investigate methods for designing, constructing, managing, and evaluating the strategic partnerships required to develop a pharmaceutical product.

Health care policy

Examine how laws, regulations, and court decisions affect the cost, quality, and accessibility of healthcare, as well as how they affect patients’ lives.


According to the US National Institute of Pharmaceutical Marketing (NIMH), which markets and distributes prescription drugs to the people who buy them, pharmaceutical sales reps must have the curiosity and intellectual capacity to understand the science behind the products they sell.

Knowledgeable about sales

Prior sales experience is preferred (but not required) for pharmaceutical salespeople. Before enrolling in a certification program, talk to your network or a real-life recruiter about your options.

How do you become a pharmaceutical rep?

1. Get a bachelor’s degree. Education requirements vary by employer, but you’ll almost certainly need a bachelor’s degree to work as a pharmaceutical sales rep. According to the MedReps 2018 Pharmaceutical Sales Salary Report, 98% of the reps surveyed have a four-year college degree or higher.

How do pharmaceutical reps get paid?

Most pharmaceutical companies pay you a salary as well as a commission on the drugs you sell; for example, if you sell 160 percent of one product, you will be paid on 60 percent of what you sell over that quota. The more you sell, the more money you will make, so the harder you work, the more money you will make.

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How do I start a pharmaceutical sales career?

Here are the steps to starting a successful career as a pharmaceutical sales representative:

  1. Earn your high school diploma or GED.
  2. Pursue a bachelor’s degree.
  3. Consider pursuing a graduate degree.
  4. Become certified.
  5. Network.
  6. Hone your skills.
  7. Prepare a resume and cover letter.

How can I get into medical sales with no experience?

How to Get a Job in Medical Sales if You Don’t Have Any

  1. Develop a resume that highlights or bullets your sales achievements.
  2. Include keywords like medical products, medical devices, and pharmaceutical in your resume.
  3. Network with people in your desired industry.
  4. Target your applications.

Is pharmaceutical sales a good career?

Pharmaceutical sales is a popular career choice among job seekers due to its high potential for advancement, income, and benefits.

How long is training for pharmaceutical sales?

According to NAPSRx, studying the book for 60 to 80 hours is the average length of time it takes to complete the online training program to become a pharmaceutical sales rep.

How many hours a week do pharmaceutical sales reps work?

Medical device sales representatives, on the other hand, have a poor work-life balance due to extensive travel to meet with clients; the majority work more than 40 hours per week in a stressful, high-pressure environment where meeting quotas is paramount.

Is being a pharmaceutical sales rep stressful?

Pharmaceutical reps don’t have it easy, as they typically spend their days overcoming Olympic-sized obstacles to get the job done. The first hurdle: getting an appointment with a doctor. Doctors aren’t known for having a lot of free time, and they rarely carve out time just to talk to pharma reps.

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Do pharmaceutical reps make good money?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives employed by small manufacturers earn less, on average $119,933, but the highest paid work is for large, multi-national manufacturers, with an average compensation of $133,407 per year.

How do I break into pharmaceutical sales?

5 Ways to Get a Job in Pharmaceutical Sales

  1. Attend a job fair (but not for the reasons you might think)
  2. Be open to relocation.
  3. Think about a 1099 position.
  4. Think about other industries.

How do I get CNPR certified?

After completing the CNPR training program, visit the NAPSRx website to register for the CNPR exam, which consists of 160 questions and takes 120 minutes to complete. Earning your pharmaceutical sales certification is an important step toward a rewarding career as a pharmaceutical sales representative.

How long is CNPR training?

Students must thoroughly study the CNPR Pharmaceutical Sales Training Manual in order to sit for the CNPR examination, which takes an average of 60-80 hours of study time to pass.

What is Mr job salary?

Medical Representative Salary and Pay Scale

Category/ Profile Salary
Initial Highest Salary INR 4.88 LPA
Initial Average Salary 2.9 LPA
Initial Salary for Pharmaceutical Sales Representative INR 20,000 Per Month
Initial Salary for Area Sales Manager INR 45,000 Per Month

What are the 5 main qualities a medical representative should have?

To be a good Medical Representative, they must be experts in product knowledge, selling skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and time management.

How much does CNPR certification cost?

Optional Orders

Total Package CNPR Examination
NAPSRx Career Center
Great Value
$268.00 $149.00

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