What Type of Medical Sales Rep Earns the Most?

Oct 13, 2022

2022 medical sales rep salary

A medical sales representative is a highly sought-after position. Not only is this field interesting and competitive, but it can also be lucrative. A medical sales representative’s salary will change depending on geographic location, experience level, and, of course, the category of products that are being sold. It’s a diverse field, so it’s hard to generalize about what a medical sales rep earns, but there’s a lot of potential there. The medical sales field encompasses a wide variety of positions, including those selling many different types of medical materials and technologies to all kinds of doctors, to those selling pharmaceuticals.

As with most sales positions, the majority of medical sales reps are paid a base salary plus a commission. But this can also depend on the company. On average, sales representatives have more than 300 accounts to manage and spend close to four days a week in the field.  If you are interested in getting into the medical field and are wondering what type of medical sales rep earns the most, we have valuable information to help you fully understand what a medical device sales rep’s salary is.

what type of medical sales rep earns the most
Medical sales rep salaries depend greatly on location, business size, experience and industry. 

Medical Sales Rep Categories and Associated Pay

We have broken the medical sales rep salary information into a few different categories based on the type of representative. There are many areas of medical sales, and they all have different responsibilities, pay rates, and structures.

Medical Device Sales Rep

medical device sales rep
Medical device sales reps need deep product knowledge and understanding of how it will be used clinically.

A medical device sales representative is a salesperson that will have a designated territory for selling medical devices and related equipment. The medical device sales rep salary will vary depending on the type of product they are selling.

This job requires strong communication, route planning, impressive customer relationship building, and the vision to grow and expand a territory. A medical device sales rep’s salary almost always has a base plus commission, and many companies offer benefits.

Here a medical device sales rep reports an above average salary range, and addresses what kind of a background might lend itself well to selling these kinds of products.

what type of medical sales rep earns the most
Source: Reddit

And according to another medical device salesperson on Reddit, specifically startup medical device companies tend to have particularly big budgets for their salespeople. They report that it’s not uncommon for medical device salespeople to take home between $160,000 and $200,000 in on-target earnings (OTE) per year, and startup medical device companies can often pay up to $50,000 more than that.

what type of medical sales rep earns the most
Source: Reddit

Salary Range: $46,000 to $112,000

Requirements For The Job

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business or something similar
  • Strong sales background
  • Strong communication skills
  • Knowledge of medical terms and devices
  • Ability to manage a CRM

Top Hiring Companies

Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs

pharmaceutical sales rep medical sales rep salary
Pharmaceutical sales reps can make up to $135,000!

Pharmaceutical sales representatives will be the face of the company for drug and treatment manufacturers. As a pharmaceutical sales rep, there are appointments and meetings with doctors and professionals that need to stay up to date with the latest pharmacology treatment options for their patients.

Depending on the area of pharmaceutical sales or the company, the salary range for a pharmaceutical sales job will vary. These packages often contain benefits for vehicle expenses, health insurance, salary, and commission incentives.

Salary Range: $60,000 to $135, 000

Requirements For The Job

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or Marketing
  • Strong understanding of science
  • Ability to learn a wide range of products
  • Good route planning and time management
  • Impressive follow-up and sales history

Top Hiring Companies

Medical Equipment Sales Rep

medical equipment sales rep
Medical equipment sales reps will often sell a large variety of products and supplies.

With the medical equipment sales rep job, there can be more follow-up involved with talking to customers about the current product offerings and working out any gaps or issues in supply. In addition, medical equipment sales reps will often sell a wide variety of equipment as opposed to one specific device. This can include more volume-based instruments and supplies as opposed to a single medical device.

The commission may be a smaller percentage of the total package with this position. A sales rep’s salary often tends to be higher when a job is more about education and maintaining relationships with customers, as opposed to purely focusing on sales.

Salary Range: $45,000-$90,000

Requirements For The Job

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or something similar
  • Proven sales experience
  • Ability to manage customers and relationships
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of a CRM system

Top Hiring Companies

Surgical Equipment Sales

surgical sales representative medical sales rep salary
Commissions on high-priced surgical equipment can equate to a lucrative income.

Surgical equipment typically comes with a high price tag, and that is a good thing for a commission based pay structure that we often see related to surgical equipment sales. This position can be either an inside or outside sales position, but it requires some technical knowledge.

The surgical equipment sales positions are typically not going to be entry-level positions and will instead require a few years of proven sales experience. The ability to manage a territory effectively is a major benefit to succeeding in a surgical equipment sales representative position.

Salary Range: $50,000-$150,000

Requirements For The Job

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 2-4 years of sales experience, potentially more
  • Deep product knowledge
  • Ability to close
  • Confident with a CRM system and managing customer needs

Top Hiring Companies

Dental Sales Representative

dental sales rep medical sales rep salary
Dental sales reps can sell one product or a wide variety of products.

A dental sales representative will identify dental office prospects within a territory and then educate and sell products geared towards customer needs. With a dental sales representative position, the products being sold can be large equipment or smaller equipment. Some companies will offer a range of products to customers, and others will provide a single product.

Dental sales representatives also support customers if there are issues with products already in place. Depending on the type of dental product sold, the salary range will vary. The highest paying senior sales representatives make well over $100,000.

Salary Range: $40,000 to $110,000

Requirements For The Job

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Strong understanding of dental products
  • Ability to lead a sales presentation
  • Strong understanding of CRM and route planning

Top Hiring Companies

Which Sales Field Pays the Most?

So, does the field of medical sales pay higher than non-medical? Again, it’s tough to say, without factoring in an individual sales rep’s specific level of experience, geography, and other factors.

According to Monster.com, B2B sales in general–which all the medical sales niches covered here are–pay more than direct-to-consumer sales. It’s not clear whether medical sales in general definitely pays more than other sales fields, but it is up there. According to the same Monster.com article, consulting sales, consumer packaged goods sales, digital media sales, software sales, telecommunications sales, and medical device sales are the highest-paying sales gigs that will usually net you six figures, when base salary and commissions are taken into account.

According to Compgauge, in 2022, the top highest-paid salespeople are not medical sales reps, but those selling in the technology industry, making generally a total of at least $350,000.

The Muse cites pharmaceutical sales reps as among the highest-paid in the medical sales field, with an average salary of $81,798, with medical device sales reps coming in second, making an average of $60,138. They too list that as comparable with sales reps in several other industries, including software and real estate.

Medical sales reps have a high earning potential due in large part to their potential for commission and bonuses, which can make up the majority of their take-home pay. Travel also seems to be a factor. Those medical sales reps that travel a significant amount of the time selling high-ticket items tend to make more than those who don’t.

Medical Sales Rep Salaries are on the Rise

The vast field of medical sales is rife with opportunity, and we’ve only scratched the surface here. There are tons of other subfields to consider too. One medical sales rep on Reddit reports that none of those listed above but rather medical Contract Research Organization (CRO) sales rep positions are on the up and up.

what type of medical sales rep earns the most
Source: Reddit

Here’s what another had to say:

what type of medical sales rep earns the most
Source: Reddit

So, the answer seems to be that medical sales generally are listed as among the highest paid of sales positions, along with industries like tech, software, digital media sales, consulting sales.

And within the field of medical sales, the earning potential within each niche is highly dependent on what part of the country you’re selling in, how big your company is, how saturated your industry is, your educational background, and how experienced you are, although pharmaceutical sales, surgical equipment sales, and medical device sales are commonly listed as exceptionally high potential positions.

And according to Medical Sales News, salaries in this field are generally on the up and up. They increased by at least two percent from 2021 to 2022. And medical sales reps ages 41-50 make much more than those 20-30 and 31-40, suggesting that longevity pays off and is the way to actualize the higher end of those high-potential medical sales rep paychecks. A 2018 study of medical sales reps’ salaries found that compensation is in fact directly tied to tenure in the field.

The field of medical sales will continue to be essential and in high demand. The population is aging, medical technology and innovation marches on, and despite automation in sales in general, medical sales continue to depend on face to face sales calls. So sales reps are necessary!

The medical sales rep salary is just a starting point for most that are getting started in this career. There are complicated commission structures to work out, benefits, bonuses, and more. In addition, a senior medical sales rep may make a considerably larger sum of money than a lower-level sales rep. The key is to be informed and knowledgeable when you are going through the interview process, armed with an idea of what type of medical sales rep earns the most. Setting your expectations can help in eventually reaching your goals of being a medical sales representative.