Breaking into Medical Sales Salary Articles

Find Your Entry-Level Earning Potential by Medical Sales Category

If there is one thing you’ve heard about medical sales jobs it’s that they are rewarding in numerous ways. But that excitement can extinguish fast if you start to overthink your qualifications. Breaking into any new industry can be overwhelming.

Your experience in medical sales however does not define your success in getting your foot in the door. Several careers can lead you to a smooth transition into medical sales, and you’ll only gain momentum in your career from there. In fact, you heard right, your salary is set to soar as you reach 10 or more years of experience.

While it’s great to see the promise of reaching your long-term financial goals once you’ve put the hard work in, there’s not much information about entry-level salaries to give you the confidence to make the leap. We intend to change that by digging into the details you need to know about how your life in sales can change now.

Our 2021 Medical Sales Salary Report revealed medical sales reps with less than two years of experience earned an average of $97,156, even amid a global pandemic and recession. Remarkably, medical sales reps with just two to five years of experience report an average total compensation increase of approximately $45,372, meaning your earnings trajectory is fast-paced in medical sales.

To help you understand your potential breaking into medical sales and see the big picture of what your future holds, we broke down entry-level salaries by individual categories. Here’s what you need to know:

Surgical sales

Total average compensation with less than two years of experience: $83,353

What you’ll sell: Surgical sales reps spend their time in an OR setting selling surgical products. In this role, reps discuss product details and benefits with customers and align specific features with their current patient needs. Reps also negotiate both price and service agreements. 

What you’ll earn: After gaining 11-20 years of experience, surgical sales reps take home an average of $224,722 in total compensation. However, with fewer than two years of experience, reps still report an impressive total average compensation. This is thanks to $64,733 earned in average base salary and $40,545 in commissions, according to our 2021 Surgical Sales Salary Report

Pharmaceutical sales

Total average compensation with less than two years of experience: $96,846

What you’ll sell: Pharmaceutical sales reps connect doctors with drugs and medicinal treatments that will improve the care and well-being of their patients. It’s a pharmaceutical rep’s responsibility to keep medical professionals up-to-date on new prescription developments, such as side effects, advancements, and ongoing research. 

What you’ll earn: The top earners in our 2021 Pharmaceutical Sales Salary report have 20+ years of experience with an average total compensation reaching $176,231. That seems a long way to go to reach maximum earnings but as a less experienced rep, you have the potential to take home an impressive $72,077 in average base salary and $28,000 in commissions, according to our survey respondents. 

Medical equipment sales

Total average compensation with less than two years of experience:$71,545

What you’ll sell: Medical equipment sales reps sell a wide variety of products to several types of clients who oversee patient care. In this field, you can sell anything from hospital beds to IV stands, and blood pressure cuffs. 

What you’ll earn: On average, medical equipment sales reps with just two to five years of experience reported reaching six figures with an average total compensation of $156,379 in our 2021 Medical Equipment Sales Salary. This means you have the potential to double your earnings in capital equipment sales with just two years of experience on the job, largely in part to a hefty bump in commission to $91,821. 

Medical device sales

Total average compensation with less than two years of experience: $106,132

What you’ll sell: Medical device sales reps sell their unique products to doctors in specialized areas. This can range from artificial joints and pacemakers to something as large as an MRI machine. This specialty requires in-depth knowledge of medical device applications for an array of patients.

What you’ll earn: Reps in this category with 11-20 years of experience earn $115,528 in commission alone! This is just a little less than $10,000 more than the total average earnings of those with fewer than two years of experience, according to our 2021 Medical Device Sales Report. What does this mean for entry-level medical device sales reps? Well, for one, you can earn six figures at the start of your career, but also your total earning potential is only limited by the goals you set and exceed for yourself. 

Biotech sales

Total average compensation with less than two years of experience: $136,429

What you’ll sell: Biotechnology is a specialized field in which biochemists, geneticists, and other scientists develop medicines and other products. Biotech sales reps are often considered to be specialized pharmaceutical reps. 

What you’ll earn: The biotech sales category tops the earning potential compared to all other categories year over year. High entry-level sales earning potential stems from $97,333 in average base salaries and an impressive $57,286 in commissions, according to the 2021 Biotech Salary Sales Report

Many variables impact entry-level medical sales salaries. Employer size, market segments, and travel determine the amount you can make in the medical sales field. But medical sales jobs have proven year over year to reward hard work and dedication to a commitment to making a difference in the world. 


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