2016 Surgical Sales Salary Report

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Surgical Sales Salary Report

2016 Surgical Sales Rep Salary Report

What is the average surgical sales salary?

How much money do surgical sales reps earn? According to the 2016 Surgical Sales Salary Report, the average surgical sales salary is $163,654, with an average base of $83,962 (Median Base $65,000, Median Total $155,000). Surgical sales professionals earn the second-highest average incomes, just under biotech sales professionals. However, the median incomes for both biotech and surgical were equal at $155,000.
Median and Average Surgical Sales Salary

About the Survey

A third of the survey respondents (1,137) noted that they sell “Medical or Surgical Devices.” The average total income for this group was $158,842. However, for the purposes of this report, these respondents were further segmented into two groups – medical device and surgical – based on whether or not they regularly spend time working in the OR. This report focuses on the income of those who do work in the OR, who we placed in the surgical category.

The survey asked respondents to reveal the details of their incomes, as well as information about their job titles, the products they sell, the type and size of their employers and more. Even factors that shouldn’t impact income such as gender, age, and ethnicity were analyzed to look for correlations with surgical sales salaries.

Surgical Sales Salary Survey
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Surgical Sales Salary by Job Title and Company Size

Most surgical sales respondents work for manufacturers (75%) in a field sales capacity (80%). The average surgical sales rep salary for those working in the field is $163,638, however, those in management and director or VP roles can earn even more. Sales Directors and VPs report an average total income of $234,714.

As is true in medical device, surgical device manufacturers pay more than distributors. Large and medium sized manufacturers pay considerably more than small manufacturers.

Surgical Sales Salaries by Job Title

Surgical Sales Rep Salary by Company

Average Income by Product Type

The types of products sold by surgical sales professionals can impact the surgical device sales salary.  Respondents in this category sell a wide variety of products, and many selected “other” when asked about the type of product they sell. Of those types we asked about, products falling under the cardiac category garnered the highest average surgical sales rep salary at $185,086. Cardiovascular products command the second-highest average total income. See the full list below, but keep in mind, many products fit into multiple categories.

Surgical Sales Representative Salary by Product

Surgical Sales Salary by Age and Experience

As surgical sales reps get older and gain experience, the average surgical device sales salary does increase, but only to a point. Respondents with more than 20 years of experience report slightly lower average incomes than those with 11-20 years of experience, and those over 60 report an average income lower than every other age group except the 20-30 group.  The most significant jump in income happens when professionals pass the age of 30 and the 5 years of experience mark.

What does this mean? The first few years may be spent paying your dues, but the hard work is eventually rewarded.

Surgical Sales Salaries by Age & Experience


Surgical Sales Rep Salary by Gender

Respondents identifying themselves as White make up 85% of respondents in this category, while those identifying as Hispanic and African American comprise 3.6% and 2.4% of respondents, respectively. Women account for just 17% of respondents and earn an average income that is 84% of that of their male peers. Income discrepancies that correlate with gender and race are particularly hard to make sense of. However, a closer look at the data shows that women and African Americans specifically are less likely to hold the higher paying job titles of Sales Management, Director and VP. Female survey respondents make up just 10% of respondents with these job titles, and African Americans make up 1%. This in and of itself is a major problem, and the industry is making efforts to increase diversity and foster leadership and career growth among both women and minorities.

Surgical Sales Rep Salary by Gender


Surgical Device Sales Salary by Travel and Location

The average surgical sales salary goes up with increased travel, but only to the 50% mark. In fact, respondents traveling 75% of the time report a lower average income than those who don’t travel at all.

Where respondents live may also impact surgical sales salaries. The states with the highest reported average surgical sales salary are Kentucky ($172,471), Nebraska ($164,333), and Connecticut ($163,338). However, the relatively low number of respondents in these states makes these figures less reliable. Among the states with the highest number of respondents, Florida reported the highest earnings.

Surgical Sales Salary by Amount of Travel Surgical Sales Salaries by State

Year-Over-Year Surgical Sales Representative Salary

The year-over-year average surgical device sales salary shows a 3.2% increase over 2015, the first year in which we segmented surgical from medical device. At the individual level, 43% of surgical respondents received a pay increase in the previous year, at an average increase of 8%.

Surgical Sales Rep Salary by Year


Surgical sales professionals earn more money than almost any other medical sales professionals. While all device sales professionals earn impressive incomes, the results of this year’s study show that those who spend time working in the OR earn significantly more than those who do not. The perks of surgical sales jobs are also impressive with company cars or car allowances (76%), expense accounts (66%), stock options (47%), and more. Job satisfaction is high in surgical sales as well – 31% report being very satisfied with their overall job and 47% report being somewhat satisfied. These professionals certainly work hard, but the rewards appear to be plenty.

View Previous Surgical Sales Salary Reports

2015 Surgical Sales Salary Report


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