pharmaceutical sales
Insights & Trends

80% of Pharmaceutical Sales Pros Love Their Job. Here’s Why

pharmaceutical salesMedical sales is a competitive field for a simple reason — professionals love their jobs.

This is especially true for those who work in pharmaceutical sales. In fact, as our 2018 Medical Sales Salary Report shows, they report some of the highest satisfaction rates. A whopping 80 percent say they’re happy with their pay, and 80 percent say they’re happy with their job, overall.

It’s easy to assume job satisfaction is linked to their high earnings. After all, the average total compensation for pharmaceutical sales professionals in 2018 is $133,563, as the survey found. Plus, their average bonuses are the highest they’ve been in three years, totaling $36,398.

But compensation aside, medical sales professionals who sell pharmaceuticals have a lot more to smile about:

Variety of Options

The world of pharmaceuticals is massive and continues to grow. There are plenty of opportunities to thrive with different kinds of employers and in different roles.

Every professional can find a role that suits them, and they have lots of room for growth. For example, an inside sales representative can eventually work as a contractor or develop their leadership skills.

As they adopt a leadership mentality, they’re better equipped to advance to higher ranking positions, like a sales director or sales VP.

Pharmaceutical sales professionals also have a variety of companies to work for based on size.  If they prefer to work for larger organizations, they can find opportunities with some of the best pharmaceutical companies, like Johnson & Johnson, which has a four-star rating on Glassdoor.

Those who prefer smaller organizations have plenty of options, as well. They enjoy the advantages of working at a small company, like working closely with their colleagues and being recognized more readily by leadership, while continuing to earn a great paycheck.

As our survey found, smaller organizations pay the most in average bonuses — nearly $10,000 higher than the bonuses offered by medium- and large-sized companies.

Plus, there are a few types of companies a medical sales professional can work for in pharmaceuticals. All three of them — manufacturers, service providers, and distributors — pay six figures.

Bottom line: medical sales professionals in pharmaceuticals can grow and earn plenty with any type of employer, in any role, and with any company size.

Benefits and Perks

Employers in medical sales strive to retain their employees, which is why they provide many perks and benefits. Pharmaceutical sales is no exemption.

The most commonly offered benefits, as our survey found, help pharmaceutical sales professionals with short- and long-term financial health.
For example, health benefits, the most common benefit, obviously alleviates medical costs they incur. For those who travel and spend money to build client relations, benefits like a gas card, expense account, company car, and car allowance ease their personal financial burden.

Profit sharing, stock options, and 401(k) with matching are all also commonly offered. These give them more money for their future needs as they plan for retirement and investing.

Options to Travel

Many positions include travel opportunities, which is great for those who want to visit other places. Traveling to clients is an important aspect for many of the jobs in this field.

Plus, it pays to be on the road. Our survey found that those who travel 50 percent of their time earn the highest in average total compensation ($174,641), which is over $50,000 more than those who don’t travel at all.

What’s more, those who travel get to expand their professional network in areas outside their current location. Your contacts in the medical sales world are incredibly valuable. The more people you meet and build relationships within the industry, the better positioned you are to advance your career.

Closer to Pay Equality

While the gender gap still exists in medical sales, it’s smallest in the world of pharmaceutical sales. Females make 90 percent of what their male counterparts take home, our survey found.

What’s more, the majority (three-fourths) of those who work in pharmaceutical sales don’t think gender impacts their income. This shows that the field is embracing diversity and moving toward pay equality.

Despite being competitive, professionals can rally together and advance the discussions about pay equality by advocating for each other and talking about the gender bias.

A Promising Future

It’s hard to ignore the growing controversies in the world of pharmaceuticals. Opiate addictions and deaths are soaring.

But despite this, the industry continues to boom. According to the 2017 State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery Report from PMMI, the sector of pharmaceuticals is expected to grow the fastest in the next five years.

This is caused by a variety of reasons. First, research and development is fueled by billions of dollars, which will lead to more products being introduced. In fact, as the PMMI report found, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 51 new drugs in 2015, which is the most in the last 66 years.

Also, competition is heating up as more companies are introducing low-cost alternatives, thanks to big-named patents expiring.  

To put it simply, this growth of the sector yields more opportunities for professionals to build their sales career.

What are some other reasons pharmaceutical sales professionals are happy? Share in the comments!