medical representative
Breaking into Medical Sales Job Search

New Grads: Your 5-Step Guide to Starting a Career as a Medical Representative

Guest post by Aubrey, writer and contributor to

Pursuing a career can be intimidating and scary. And with the current issues with the global pandemic, you can’t help but wonder how starting a new career will fare. Luckily, a career as a medical representative combines two industries that will always be in need: medical and sales. 

The average base salary of a medical representative is $95,296, according to the 2019 Medical Sales Salary Survey, so it goes without saying that this career path is incredibly lucrative.

And regardless of the constant changes in the economy and society, the demand for medical representatives is still there. 

You have done all you can to prepare in a school setting. Now, it’s time for some post-graduation preparation to ace your med rep career. Here are five steps to successfully jumpstart your career as a medical representative:

1. Get relevant experience

You may think this is counterproductive since you just graduated, but having practical knowledge or skills related to the industry gives you an advantage. Gaining relevant experience can be done through internships with medical sales companies, volunteering at a medical clinic, or shadowing a health care professional. 

Hiring managers tend to favor applicants who have experience in sales and knowledge in the medical field. For the latter — while you do not need to be an expert — being familiar with medical terms will help you be more effective in promoting or selling the products, hence, contributing to a speedier process of starting your career.

2. Specialize and further train

Effective selling often requires focusing on specialization. After all, selling a bunch of products or services in one go can be exhausting to the seller and overwhelming to the potential buyer. 

You have a lot of options to choose from since there are a variety of specializations or categories in medical sales. The common ones are medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical supplies, and medical management services. 

Once you pick a specialization, consider undergoing further training and seek the opportunity to test the products personally. Having a clear and full understanding of what you’re selling or promoting will enable you to effectively communicate and market to your clientele.  

3. Be brazen

Key traits for successful medical reps include being bold and brazen. Before you can even land the job, you will need to go through job searches and hiring processes. First impressions are — and will always be — important. 

Whether it’s making an impression through an online interview or creating a lasting impression on your resume, do not be shy in promoting your skills, value, and qualifications during your job search. This type of attitude is what sets medical reps apart from other salespeople: confidence and brazen sales skills.

This carries over to when you start your career, too. 

4. Nurture your relationships and grow your network

Although it is just business, the tantalizing element of sales is being human. A medical rep’s career growth relies heavily on high-yielding networking and building strong relationships with your clientele. 

It does not take an expert to spot a fake or forced connection. Thus, you should be genuine in your interactions when dealing with professionals and experts. A strong relationship means your clients will be more inclined to repeat business with you. 

5. Stay ambitious 

This career is not for the fainthearted. While a career as a medical representative can be lucrative, it’s also demanding. You have to have the right attitude and temperament for the job. 

Having a lot of prospective clients and scheduling visits is well and good, but that will not have a long-term, beneficial outcome if you aren’t ambitious. Other than your knowledge of the product and your unfailing charisma to get clients on board, being determined to do more in your career is a crucial driving point and motivation to succeed in the medical sales industry. 

Ambition and passion go hand-in-hand. Being passionate means you see your work as more than a job, and being ambitious means you have a genuine desire to keep growing and evolve in this industry.

As long as you are willing to put in the time, find your drive, and work hard, you’ll likely be successful and prosperous. And, even better, you’ll get to enjoy a fulfilling career — according to a recent MedReps survey, an overwhelming 90% of reps are satisfied with their jobs. 

Just remember that learning doesn’t end when your career starts. It’s a constant process.

Aubrey is a writer and a contributor to She is interested in writing about job searching and career development tips.