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How to Find a High Paying Medical Sales Job in the New Year

AndreyPopov; BigstockAs the new year approaches, you’re setting new goals both professionally and personally. On the top of the list? Finding the medical sales salary you want.

A better medical sales salary starts with your job search tactics. You need to be looking in the right places and for the right things, to score that top-paying job.

Here are a few things you can do in your job search to advance your career and your salary in the new year:

Expand your job search

You know what they say — location, location, location! And location impacts your medical sales salary. Depending on your region, state, or city, your salary could be radically different from a sales rep in a similar position with similar experience.

For example, our 2015 Medical Sales Salary Report found that reps in Georgia take home the most money, with an average compensation (including salary, bonuses, and commission) of $154,704. New York, Texas, Michigan, and Florida all ranked within the top-paying states.

Salary varies by city too, according to our infographic on the best places to find medical sales jobs. Professionals in Phoenix brought in the top average medical sales salary of $178,407, followed by Los Angeles with $173,205, and Detroit with $165,553.

To bring in more cash in the new year, consider expanding your job search to areas with more lucrative medical sales job opportunities. Before making the relocation leap, do your research to make sure the move is right for you and your career. If the job will benefit your career and your paycheck, and you can see yourself living in the new city, it might be an offer too good to refuse.

Transition to device sales

You can have a fulfilling and high-paying career in pharmaceutical sales, but you could make significantly more money in medical device sales.

Our salary report found that, on average, pharmaceutical reps earn $116,334 each year, compared with $156,914 for medical device reps. Although pharmaceutical reps make a higher base salary, medical device reps earn a much higher commission — only $29,369 for pharma reps compared with $80,885 for device reps. In addition, 42 percent of professionals earning a medical sales salary of $250,000 or more work in medical device sales.

If your eyes are set on a medical device salary, start taking steps to transition into the industry in the new year. Look for device positions related to your current role in pharma, network with medical device connections, build a brag book, and draft a 30-60-90 day business plan to show your skills, or consider working with medical supplies sales first.

Focus on commission

Your medical sales salary is also dependent on the work you put in and the products you sell, or your commission. A high base salary is nice, but to boost your pay, you need to sell top-earning products.

For example, reps who sell surgical devices only make an average base salary of $69,707, which is among the lowest base pays reported. Yet, they rank second for overall compensation because of commission. On average, commission for surgical device reps is $88,621, bringing their total compensation to $158,328. Health IT and software, capital equipment and DME are other products that bring in top commissions.

For a bigger paycheck, consider taking a hit on base pay in favor of selling products with a higher commission potential. Get the details on commission structure and earning potential, before saying no to a lower base pay.

Change up your employer

If you want a higher medical sales salary, you might be looking for a new job. But a new job with a similar employer won’t do much for your paycheck. Instead, look for medical sales jobs with different types of organizations.

As company size increases so do salaries. In addition, manufacturers pay the most money, followed by distributors and then service providers. Reps working for large manufacturers earn $152,964 on average, while those working for small service providers take home $108,542.

Break out of your comfort zone and target large employers, especially manufacturers, to bump your pay in 2016. Network with colleagues to make contacts and get an “in” with major companies.

Money isn’t everything in medical sales, but it is important. Switch up your job searching strategies, to find a new position with a higher medical sales salary in the new year.

Is salary high on your priority list in the medical sales job search? How do you search for top-paying jobs? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and tell us the details!