The United States is gigantic. Each region comes with its own character and bundle of advantages that moving from one end of the country to the other feels like a major lifestyle adjustment. Not to mention, there are huge differences in the cost of living and opportunities for all sales regions.
In recognition of the differences of experiences among medical sales reps, we’d like to take you on a tour of all the sales regions. We’ll examine the product, pay, travel requirements, and benefits in each area to keep you informed about the various options in the industry.
If you have a favorite area in mind,, feel free to jump ahead to any of the sales regions using the links here:
Otherwise, let’s get started!
We’re focusing on the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona for the Southwest region.
Of the five major categories in medical sales, surgical, medical device, and pharmaceutical sales are most common in the Southwest.
According to our 2021 Medical Sales Salary survey, the Southwest has the lowest total salary out of the sales regions by a margin of about $3,200. Its total average is $167,301, but don’t read too much into it. The average base pay ($104,808) and commission earnings ($76,788) are consistent with the rest of the country.
Hardly any reps in the Southwest have to travel overnight 75% of the time; most only travel 10% or not at all. However, over two-fifths of our respondents from the Southwest reported that their employers require them to travel overnight 25-50%.
We’ll use the Southwest as the standard by which to measure the benefits in each region.
In the categories of health, investment, and travel benefits:
- – Over 80% receive health benefits and 401(k) with matching.
- – The percentage of respondents who have an expense account from their employer is in the mid-70s.
- – Car allowance/mileage reimbursement, gas card, company car, and stock options are all between 40% and 45%.
- – Only about 10% receive profit sharing.
For family and lifestyle benefits:
– Paternity leave and tuition assistance are the top benefits in this grouping across the country, with about 40% of recipients.
- – Online or telehealth services benefit almost 30% of respondents.
- – About 25% of respondents indicated their employer provides adoption assistance and healthy living credits applied to their insurance premium.
- – 10-20% receive flex-time, pet insurance, professional mentorship programs, and unlimited PTO.
- – The least common benefits are backup caregivers, on-site health services, and on-site daycare. Less than 10% receive them.
- – However, 27% of survey participants from the Southwest reported that they received none of the second grouping benefits.
The Pacific region includes California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Given the substantial geographic area this region covers, take the information about compensation with a grain of salt. The cost of living in southern California is drastically different than in Alaska.
This area can be more crowded for reps than other sales regions. Our survey found it is the most popular region for both medical equipment reps (capital equipment/ DME) and medical device reps. Moreover, it is the second most popular for surgical device reps.
Even with the tight competition, the sales reps from the Pacific have the highest average earnings in commissions at $83,150! The attractive commission rate likely helps motivate representatives to work harder and ensure their products stand out. If you prefer a more laid-back lifestyle, the sales grind in the Pacific may not be the best fit for you.
However, the advantage of working in such a populated area is that customers are more likely to be nearby. Most reps travel overnight only 10% of the time, and it’s very rare for employers in the Pacific to require as much as 75% of travel for in-person sales calls.
The Pacific has slightly higher rates of providing health benefits and a 401(k) with matching. Other benefits from that first grouping are consistent with the Southwest standard in this region. However, it is concerning that 32% of reps in the Pacific do not receive any of the family and lifestyle benefits we listed.
The Mountain region includes the states of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
This part of the country had the highest percentage of respondents reporting they sell surgical devices and biotechnology than any other part of the country.
Here, medical sales reps make about $111,148 base pay, $74,782 in commissions, and $170,529 total.
It’s critical to understand that the Mountain region demands the most travel time. Less than a fifth of respondents reported they never have to drive overnight for their job. Most (27%) must travel 25% of the time, and as many as 9% must commit over 75% to travel.
Employers do provide more sales reps with car allowance, gas cards, and/or a company car than the Southwest standard, as appropriate. Representatives here are also most likely to receive adoption assistance, flex-time, unlimited PTO, and pet insurance.
The Midwest is vast. It consists of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
However, even with all that territory, the population density is pretty low. That means less competition for the popular medical device, surgical device, and biotechnology sales in the region.
It also has a less expensive cost of living compared to other regions we’ve explored. So although the total average income for this area is the third highest in the country at $177,803, those who enjoy it probably feel wealthier than their peers in the Pacific.
For so much ground to cover, the travel requirements are not too bad. In fact, 20% say their employers expect them to travel overnight about 25% of the time, but the majority in this region drive less frequently for work.
In addition to the lower competition and higher earnings, the Midwest has some of the highest rates for coveted benefits. More respondents indicated they receive health benefits, 401(k) with matching, an expense account, and healthy living credits here than any other part of the country.
We’re considering Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia as the Southeast region.
The most popular markets in the Southeast are in medical device sales and pharmaceutical sales, which means those reps face the most competition in this sales region.
The total average salary is on the lower end compared to other regions at $171,855. But it is reasonable, as living in these states is not as expensive as in other parts of the country.
In terms of travel, 31% never have to travel overnight, and 28% travel only 10% of the time. Although a decent percentage must travel more frequently, chances are good for reps in this region to get to spend time with family.
The benefits in the Southeast are very similar to the standard set by the Southwest. The most notable differences are in the percentage of respondents with gas cards and stock options, which both increase in this region compared to the Southwest.
The Mid-Atlantic consists of Maryland, the District of Columbia (DC), Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.
It has the second-highest ratio for pharmaceutical sales. And, as with the rest of the country, medical device sales thrives here.
On average, medical sales reps earn about $104,418 base pay, $77,318 commission, and $172,592 total income.
Interestingly, the Mid-Atlantic sees the least amount of overnight travel for reps out of all the sales regions. Less than 1% must travel 75% of the time, and about 76% only travel with 10% frequency or less. This is likely the result of the Mid-Atlantic having some of the country’s largest economic centers located relatively close together.
Even with the least required travel, the Mid-Atlantic has the highest rates for providing car allowance/ mileage reimbursement for medical sales reps. It also has the highest percentage of respondents receiving health benefits, and it’s the region most likely to provide reps with all the family and lifestyle benefits previously listed.
New England includes Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine. It’s also the smallest geographical region on this list.
There are numerous medical centers in this region. So it’s no surprise that these states have the highest ratio of pharmaceutical reps and second-highest of medical equipment reps.
Out of all the sales regions, this one wins the highest average income ($186,219) and the highest average base pay ($112,420). However, as with the Pacific region, the New England states are notorious for high costs of living. It’s certainly a comfortable income, but you wouldn’t necessarily feel its advantages the way you would somewhere like the Midwest.
Conveniently, more than seven out of ten reps travel overnight with 10% frequency or less. That’s not as low as the Mid-Atlantic, but it is very close.
Even with the reduced travel, more New England medical sales reps (54.67%) have a gas card than those in the Southwest (44.24%). 8% of respondents said they receive all the health, investment, and travel benefits we listed, more than any other region. But they are also unlikely to receive the family and lifestyle benefits; 28% said they don’t get any.