What is the average sales representative salary?

What is the average sales representative salary?

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Articles | 0 comments

Average Medical Sales Representative Salaries for 2020 in the USA

Type of Medical SalesTotal Average Annual IncomeAverage Base SalaryAverage CommissionAvg. for reps with <2 yrs exp.Avg. for reps with 2-5 yrs exp.Avg. for reps 6-1 0 yrs exp.Avg. for reps 11-20 yrs exp.
Medical Device$177,993$97,383$97,303$106,132$143,815$179,490$209,266
Pharmaceutical$158,013$115,244$44,798$96,846$142,353$147,948$164,598
Medical Equip.$188,351$95,748$105,508$71,545$156,379$167,560$220,171
Biotech$198,523$142,776$61,122$136,429$172,231$209,219$195,716
Surgical Device$176,056$92,083$104,899$83,353$127,500$184,286$224,722
(Source: Med Reps 2021 Medical Sales Representatives Salary Reports)

As evidenced in the table above, the type of medical sales and tenure greatly impact sales reps’ earning potential.  Medical sales reps with less than two years of experience can expect to make an average of $70,000 annually. However, this amount can double for those with two to five years’ experience, who reported an average take home of approximately $150,000.  Unsurprisingly, sales reps with the most experience (20 plus years of experience) receive the highest compensation, with a reported national average of around $230,000.

Additionally, a medical sales rep’s willingness to travel can influence their earning potential.  Sales reps who routinely travel overnight for work earn more than their colleagues who do not.  Reps who travel more than 50% of the time reported higher incomes.

How much do medical sales representatives earn in the USA?

Medical sales representatives have the opportunity to earn an impressive income.  According to Med Reps 2021 Medical Sales Salary Report, the average base yearly salary for medical sales reps in 2020 was $104,649. Including commission and bonuses, Med Reps reports that the average total annual medical sales rep salary for 2020 was $172,527, with the average base salary increasing 4.7% over 2019. Med Reps is an organization with thousands of members currently working in the medical sales field, and they survey their community multiple times a year to gain accurate insight and data on industry salaries. However, there are a few factors that can have an impact on a medical sales rep’s earnings.

Company size can influence salary ranges.  Medical sales representatives employed by larger companies generally earn the highest overall income, while those working for smaller companies tend to take home a higher base salary. The type of company sales reps work for also factors into their earning potential.  Reps that work directly for manufacturers earn a higher base salary and commission than reps who work for distributors and service providers.

In 2020, people with sales rep job titles who worked for large manufacturers (1,000 plus employees) took home an average total income of $186,202, while reps employed by small manufacturers (50 or less employees) earned an average of $174,686.   Sales reps working for large service providers had average sales salaries of $131,556, barely more than the annual average of $129,579 reported by reps employed by small service providers. The largest salary discrepancies occurred between sales reps that work for distributors. Reps who work for large distributors brought in an average sales representative salary of $183,691, while those working with small distributors earned an average of $142,217, annually.  

Education level also factors in a medical sales rep’s income. Completion of a bachelor’s degree is a standard requirement for most medical sales rep jobs, yet reps with master’s degrees tend to make more money. According to the research site Zippia.com, sales reps that hold bachelor’s degrees make, on average, 88% of the amount earned by reps with master’s degrees. Additionally, medical sales reps with clinical training or backgrounds in laboratory work and healthcare are in a position to earn higher income because of their specialized knowledge.  The type of product a rep is selling also impacts earnings, as does length of time working in the field.  

What are the various types of medical sales rep jobs?

Medical Device Sales

Thousands of different medical devices are needed to keep doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare organizations up and running.  Devices such as insulin pumps, sterilizers, defibrillators, pacemakers, blood pressure cuffs, catheters, and many more are integral in treating patients on a daily basis.   Medical device sales representatives are responsible for selling these products directly to healthcare facilities and physicians. While Med Reps reports that the average compensation for a rep with less than two years’ experience is $106,132, this amount can increase drastically over time, with reps with 11-20 years in the field pulling in an average of $209,266. The average base salary for a medical sales rep selling medical devices in 2020 was $97,383, while average commission reported was $97,303.  Total average annual income for medical device sales reps in 2020 was $177,993.

Pharmaceutical Sales

Pharmaceutical sales representative is arguably one of the most sought-after positions within the medical sales world.  As opposed to making direct sales, pharmaceutical sales reps are employed by manufacturers and distributors to educate physicians about their products.  Pharmaceutical sales reps conduct one on one meetings with physicians in order to convey the benefits and value of the pharmaceutical they are promoting.   Med Reps 2021 Pharmaceutical Sales Salary Report states that pharmaceutical sales reps averaged $158,013 total earnings in 2020, with an average base pay of $115,244, and an average commission of $44,798. Newer reps with less than 2 years’ experience reported an average total salary of $96,846, while those with 11-20 years’ experience made, on average $164,598.  

Medical Equipment

Medical equipment sales representatives are tasked with selling “the big stuff.”  Products such as wheelchairs, IV stands, patient lifts, hospital beds, surgical lighting, and even operating tables fall under the umbrella of medical equipment.   Due to the size and cost of these purchases, medical equipment sales representatives often deal directly with top-level hospital executives, healthcare facility managers, and surgeons.   Because these larger purchases are not made as often, it is important for the sales rep to build meaningful, lasting relationships with these clients. The client’s ability to remember and stay loyal to a sales rep is integral in ensuring long-term success in the field.   Med Reps reports that medical equipment sales reps took home an average of $188,351 in 2020, with base salary averaging $95,748, and an average commission of $105,508.  Reps on the job less than two years earned an average of $71,545, and those reps with 11-20 years’ experience brought in an average of $220,171.

Biotechnology Sales

Biotechnology (or ‘biotech’) sales is a rapidly growing field. Biotech harnesses biomolecular and cellular processes to develop technology that helps improve our lives and health. Sales reps that choose to focus on biotech sell innovative products developed with exciting technology like bioenergy and 3D bioprinting, which uses cells and other biocompatible materials to print, layer by layer, living structures that are capable of mimicking the function of natural living systems. While biotech sales reps interact with a variety of clients, their main sales markets are physicians, hospitals, and surgery/operating room supervisors.  Biotech sales rep jobs are well suited for those with a background in life-science or laboratory work.  Medical sales reps selling biotech products averaged a base salary of $142,776 in 2020, with a commission average of $61,122.  The average total compensation for a biotech sales rep in 2020 was $198,523. 2020 saw biotech sales reps with less than 2 years’ experience earning, on average $136,429, and reps with 11-20 years on the job averaging an income of $195,716.

Surgical Device Sales

Unlike other medical sales reps, surgical device sales representatives spend a significant amount of time in the operating room providing product information directly to surgeons.  Because of this, sales reps with a strong clinical background make ideal candidates for these positions.  Learning about surgical procedures, knowing their product’s role, and the ability to clearly convey these benefits to clients are key components to a surgical device sales rep’s success. In 2020, the average base salary for surgical device sales reps were $92,083, average commission was $104,899, and average total annual income was $176,056. Surgical device sales reps with less than two years in the field made an average annual income of $106,132 in 2020, while reps with 11-20 years’ experience earned an annual average of $209,266.

What are the best US cities for medical sales rep jobs?

Medical sales reps tend to be higher paid in coastal areas, with New England, Pacific, and Mid-Atlantic region reps reporting the highest average incomes. These are followed by the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest regions, respectively. According to ZipRecruiter, the top three best cities for medical sales representative jobs are currently Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa, all of which are in California. Williston, ND, Manhattan, NY, Barnstable Town, MA, and Cambridge, MA are next, with Arlington, VA, Dickinson, ND, and San Mateo, CA rounding out the top ten list.

It is important to factor in cost of living and level of competition within a sales rep’s chosen market.  While reps in New England, California and New York earn the highest average incomes, cost of living in these places is significantly higher than it is in the Midwest, Southwest, and Southeast regions. Medical sales reps employed in the Pacific and East Coast markets are likely to face more competition than those in the South and Midwest, due to higher populations that are spread across smaller geographical areas.