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Entry Level On The Job

Here’s What You Need to Know About Working in Medical Device Sales

Navigating the world of medical sales is a major task. Understanding where you’ll excel, the differences between each niche industry, and then, ultimately, deciding where your skills and values fit requires intensive research.

This type of research is especially important when a specific industry is trending. Medical device sales, for example, has seen plenty of growth in today’s technological world, thanks to the constant innovation and creation of new products. New innovations are leading to exciting opportunities. While each opportunity is enticing, it’s important to know all the details about the field before jumping into deep research and another job search.

Of course, as a busy career-minded professional, there’s barely any time to apply for a new job — let alone research medical device sales. So we’ve put together a list of everything you need to know about the industry.

Here’s what you need to know about working in medical device sales:

The types of medical device sales jobs

In medical device sales, it isn’t as easy as picking a product and employer. You can work for manufacturers or distributors — and all have something unique to offer. Let’s take a look at the differences:


Working for a manufacturer means you’re selling the products they make in-house. They’re in charge of development and pricing for each device they create. When selling for a medical device sales manufacturer, the biggest pro is your opportunity for competitive pricing.

You have the power to drop prices much lower than distributors’ sales reps. This is true even if they’re selling the same exact product. Another added bonus is that you have name-brand status. That means buyers will likely feel more comfortable purchasing a product directly from the manufacturer than from other distributor competitors.

Working for a manufacturer also comes with high monetary perks. According to the 2021 Medical Device Salary Report, manufacturers offer the highest base salary at $97,383 and a total average compensation of $177,993.

It’s not all positives in the manufacturing world, though. Selling for manufacturers means you only have their products in your portfolio. This means you’re limited to those products when helping customers resolve specific problems. At times, distributors will have more options to better match their needs.

Medical device sales manufacturing company examples:


Selling for a medical device sales distributor means you have various product options. Each distributor usually has contracts with various manufacturers. The manufacturers offer pricing levels that allow distributors to make a profit. What this means for sales reps is they can only negotiate prices so far before dipping into profits.

Something to consider when working for a distributor is “value-added services.” This means you can sell customers installation and product servicing packages to add to the company’s profit and your commission.

As a distributor medical device sales rep, the field will be even more competitive than those working for manufacturers. You’ll be selling the same product as other distributor reps and as manufacturer reps. Your desire to form meaningful relationships with clients, servicing capabilities, and ability to match products to customers’ needs will determine your success.

While distributors offer less total compensation than manufacturers, their wages are still impressive. The above-mentioned salary report found the average total compensation distributor reps is an impressive $188,545.

Medical device sales distributor company examples:

Keeping up with the trends

The world of medical device sales has evolved far beyond many of our imaginations. From diagnostic machines changing how early doctors detect medical issues to prosthetics, heart care, diabetic products — and the list could go on forever.

Working in this field means you must be ready and excited for changes. Today’s companies are no longer focused on improving healthcare. They’ve evolved to change the overall quality of life of patients. If this isn’t your passion and life’s mission, you’re not yet ready for this field.

Medical device sales is just one of the many different types of medical sales out there. If you have a passion for medical technology and enjoy learning more about and seeing the different devices that have been created and updated, then this is the field for you.

Reach out to a top medical device company today

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