2017 Medical Sales Salary Report

medical sales-salary





2017 marks the seventh year MedReps has conducted an annual medical sales rep salary report. According to the most recent research in 2017, the average medical sales rep total compensation is $147,424, with an average base of $95,791, and an average bonus of $53,405.

2017 compensation

Medical sales reps know their income potential varies for several reasons. The 2017 Medical Sales Salary Report examines the following key factors that impact salaries:

  • Product
  • Market
  • Job title
  • Company type and size
  • Age
  • Experience
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity/race
  • Travel
  • Location

As medical sales reps continue their adventurous climb throughout their career, they tend to reap the rewards both financially and in terms of job satisfaction.


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About the Survey

Age Range of Respondents

This year, nearly 2,854 employed medical sales professionals participated in the survey. The majority of respondents (70 percent) were between 21 and 50 years old. Overall, the field of medical sales shows a wide range of age among current professionals.


Experience widely varies among the respondents, as well, but the majority of them (54 percent) had between six and 20 years of experience.

Approximately three out of four survey respondents travel for their medical sales jobs in some capacity, and a whopping 96 percent of them have at least a four-year degree. It’s also worth noting that seven out of 10 respondents are men.  

Average Travel: 74% travel for their jobsLifeworks_Mental_Health

4-year degree or higher: 96%

Male: 70%
Female: 30%

Let’s take a look at the earning potential of medical sales reps and how each aspect contributes to total compensation:

Product and Market

Just as climbers have multiple paths to the summit, medical sales reps have so many options to reach the top of their potential. While pharmaceuticals and medical supplies are the most popular products sold by the survey respondents, there are several other products that reps can sell.

Lifeworks_Mental_HealthProduct Sold

  • Medical or Surgical Device: 35% of respondents
  • Pharmaceutical: 15%
  • Specialty Pharmaceutical: 10%
  • Capital Equipment / Durable Medical Equipment: 10%
  • Biotechnology: 8%
  • Medical Supplies / Disposables: 8%
  • Diagnostic Imaging: 3%
  • Health IT / Software: 2%
  • Other: 10%

In fact, product is one of the biggest factors in determining medical sales rep salary. Reps selling health IT/software are the top earners, making an average of $176,012 in total compensation.

Those who sell biotechnology and medical or surgical devices are a close second and third, earning an average of $162,544 and $159,130 respectively in total compensation. Here’s a breakdown of income by products sold:

Income by Product

Health IT/software

  • Total compensation – $176,012
  • Total bonus – $68,157
  • Total base salary – $108,750


  • Total compensation – $162,544
  • Total bonus – $47,250
  • Total base salary – $115,545

Medical or surgical device

  • Total compensation – $159,130
  • Total bonus – $72,245
  • Total base salary – $90,719

Capital Equipment / Durable Medical Equipment

  • Total compensation – $151,882
  • Total bonus – $64,974
  • Total base salary – $89,220

Specialty Pharmaceutical

  • Total compensation – $147,318
  • Total bonus – $39,111
  • Total base salary – $108,548

Diagnostic imaging

  • Total compensation – $143,564
  • Total bonus – $55,892
  • Total base salary – $88,942

Medical Supplies / Disposables

  • Total compensation – $133,572
  • Total bonus – $49,822
  • Total base salary – $82,822


  • Total compensation – $128,488
  • Total bonus – $31,965
  • Total base salary – $99,086

The 2017 report also looked at how markets impacted earnings. The top market segments included surgery/OR, pharmacy, and hospitals, and the lowest earners worked in nursing homes, home health, and rehabilitation.


Title and Company

Unsurprisingly, sales directors and sales VPs hold the top spot with the highest average total compensation, earning $207,053. Sales management and national accounts followed closely behind, with an average total compensation of $185,696 and $185,307, respectively.

Job Titles

The size and type of employer also has a big impact on salaries. The highest earners, who make an average of $156,730 in total compensation, work for large manufacturers. In fact, no matter the size of the employer, manufacturing pays the most. Distributors pay the second most, followed by service providers.

Income by Company Type and Size



Age and Experience

Those with over 20 years of experience make a lot more than rookies — their average total compensation is $168,983, versus $101,175 for those with less than two years experience. However, these scaling numbers can be encouraging for professionals who are new to the industry.


Similarly, professionals over 61 years old earn nearly $50,000 more in average total compensation than their 20- to 30-year-old counterparts. Yet, those in their 20s still enjoy a comfortable income of $101,175.


Lifeworks_Mental_HealthSimilar to previous reports, men make up the majority of medical sales. In fact, just 30 percent of respondents are female. Women are outnumbered and earn significantly less than men.

They make just 83 percent of men’s average total compensation. Their commission and base salary are also well below their male counterparts.


Most respondents (87 percent) identified as White/Caucasian, which is a clear indication of the lack of diversity in the medical sales world. What’s more astounding is the lack of Hispanic and African American professionals – they made up just 4.4 percent and 3.9 percent of respondents respectively.

  • 87 percent of respondents are White/Caucasian
  • 4 percent Hispanic
  • 4 percent Black
  • 2 percent Asian
  • Less than 1 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 2 percent other

It’s also important to note that white medical sales professionals make up the majority of top earning positions – 90 percent of sales management, 92 percent of sales director/sales VP, 90 percent of national accounts, and 87 percent of sales (field).

Travel and State

The survey also found that, generally speaking, the more you travel, the higher you climb. Professionals who travel tend to earn a generous amount more than those who don’t.

In fact, those who don’t travel earn $83,799, the lowest average base salary. However, their average total compensation is a generous $129,876.

Their average total compensation is far less than those who travel 10 percent of the time. They earn $142,717, and those who travel 50 percent of the time make $169,669.


  1. Do not travel overnight – total – $129,876, but they have lowest base salary – $83,799
  2. 10% of time spent traveling – total $142,717
  3. 25% of time spent traveling – total $157,308
  4. 50% of time spent traveling – total $169,669
  5. More than 75% of time spent traveling – total $155,139

Location can also have an impact on earning potential. The following chart looks at the top ten states with the most survey respondents and what the average total compensation is in each state.

States with the highest number of respondents

State                   Count     Base Salary     Bonus             Total Compensation    
California 257 $101,755 $54,279 $155,458
Florida 232 $95,240 $53,426 $147,777
Texas 227 $94,049 $52,162 $142,724
New York 127 $90,094 $58,857 $149,773
Pennsylvania 115 $94,334 $47,500 $137,595
Ohio 112 $94,868 $53,666 $147,200
Illinois 108 $96,724 $50,736 $143,000
North Carolina 102 $94,235 $55,411 $147,871
Georgia 100 $100,327 $64,430 $158,500
Michigan 91 $93,648 $41,750 $130,159

Total compensation increased in Florida, California, Ohio, New York, and Georgia since 2016. In fact, the field of medical sales has enjoyed a consistent increase in salary over recent years.

Year Over Year

As you can see, over the past three years, there has been a steady climb in average total compensation. While commission dipped since 2016, base salaries saw a big boost.

2017 Year over year Other Medical Sales Perks

On top of rising average base salaries, medical sales reps also enjoy the following perks:

Compared to last year’s report, all of the perks, except for stock options, slightly increased in popularity among survey respondents.

2017 - Perks

Job Satisfaction and Income

While climbers seek out the dangers and challenges of pushing themselves to their personal limits for the sake of satisfaction, the question remains – do professionals who work in medical sales like what they do?

It turns out, a large majority are happy in their careers. While six-figure paychecks and perks aren’t the most important aspect to consider, they certainly play a major role.

In fact, 43 percent of top 20 percent of earners are very satisfied with their compensation, whereas just 19.5 percent of the lower 80 percent of earners can say the same. That being said, overall, 76 percent of all respondents are satisfied with their compensation, and 77 percent are satisfied with their overall job.

For more information on medical sales salaries and the medical sales jobs that pay them, stay tuned into MedReps.com.


View Previous Medical Sales Salary Reports: