Pharmaceutical sales representatives are responsible for providing prescription drug information, giving samples to physicians, and monitoring prescriptions written by doctors throughout their territory. Depending on the nature of the drug pharmaceutical sales reps would handle a specific group of physicians, such as gastroenterologists, dermatologists or psychiatrists. Knowledge of the drugs, including what they are intended to treat and possible side effects are also pertinent to the position. Candidates that enjoy the job market, but do not have necessary sales skills could find employment in other aspects of business such as a Pharmaceutical Technician.
Daily Pharmaceutical Sales tasks include:
Reviewing information on potential clients
Visiting physicians' offices
Making follow-up phone calls
Studying information on new drugs
Attending sales meetings
These are just a few of the tasks performed, but depending on the company, more tasks and travel may be required.
Pharmaceutical Sales Job Education Requirements
Educational requirements vary from job to job, but a majority of employers require at least a bachelor's degree. However, much of the necessary qualifications are more from a personality perspective. A candidate must be able to perform under pressure and under high levels of stress. They are also required to meet sales numbers over a given period of time.
Memorization of all drug information is also integral to a pharmaceutical sales job. Because the products can adversely affect the health of patients, every outcome of drug usage must be understood. Candidates that cannot handle the pressure of such a high-stress job, but are interested in pharmaceuticals may also consider jobs in Pharmaceutical Research.
Pharmaceutical Sales Job Market
Pharmaceutical sales jobs are in high demand compared to the rest of the sales market because of the vast number of new medications that come out each year. From now until 2022, the job market for this position is expected to increase by 9 percent, or just under the national average.
Those wishing to progress to management positions, such as district or regional sales manager, will have to meet or exceed potential sales numbers. Moving might also be a necessity to gain promotion to these positions.
Pharmaceutical Sales Job Salary Information
The average starting salary for a pharmaceutical sales job varies, as most of the earnings are commission-based. Typical entry-level candidates should make around $57,000 a year, while the average person with five or more years of experience has an annual salary of over $120,000.