2017 Medical Sales Salary Report
2017 marks the seventh year MedReps has conducted an annual medical sales rep salary report. According to the most recent research in 2017, the average medical sales rep total compensation is $147,424, with an average base of $95,791, and an average bonus of $53,405.
Medical sales reps know their income potential varies for several reasons. The 2017 Medical Sales Salary Report examines the following key factors that impact salaries:
As medical sales reps continue their adventurous climb throughout their career, they tend to reap the rewards both financially and in terms of job satisfaction.
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About the Survey
Age Range of Respondents
This year, nearly 2,854 employed medical sales professionals participated in the survey. The majority of respondents (70 percent) were between 21 and 50 years old. Overall, the field of medical sales shows a wide range of age among current professionals.
Experience widely varies among the respondents, as well, but the majority of them (54 percent) had between six and 20 years of experience.
Approximately three out of four survey respondents travel for their medical sales jobs in some capacity, and a whopping 96 percent of them have at least a four-year degree. It’s also worth noting that seven out of 10 respondents are men.
Average Travel: 74% travel for their jobs
4-year degree or higher: 96%
Let’s take a look at the earning potential of medical sales reps and how each aspect contributes to total compensation:
Product and Market
Just as climbers have multiple paths to the summit, medical sales reps have so many options to reach the top of their potential. While pharmaceuticals and medical supplies are the most popular products sold by the survey respondents, there are several other products that reps can sell.
- Medical or Surgical Device: 35% of respondents
- Pharmaceutical: 15%
- Specialty Pharmaceutical: 10%
- Capital Equipment / Durable Medical Equipment: 10%
- Biotechnology: 8%
- Medical Supplies / Disposables: 8%
- Diagnostic Imaging: 3%
- Health IT / Software: 2%
- Other: 10%
In fact, product is one of the biggest factors in determining medical sales rep salary. Reps selling health IT/software are the top earners, making an average of $176,012 in total compensation.
Those who sell biotechnology and medical or surgical devices are a close second and third, earning an average of $162,544 and $159,130 respectively in total compensation. Here’s a breakdown of income by products sold:
Income by Product
Medical or surgical device
Capital Equipment / Durable Medical Equipment
Medical Supplies / Disposables
The 2017 report also looked at how markets impacted earnings. The top market segments included surgery/OR, pharmacy, and hospitals, and the lowest earners worked in nursing homes, home health, and rehabilitation.
Title and Company
Unsurprisingly, sales directors and sales VPs hold the top spot with the highest average total compensation, earning $207,053. Sales management and national accounts followed closely behind, with an average total compensation of $185,696 and $185,307, respectively.
The size and type of employer also has a big impact on salaries. The highest earners, who make an average of $156,730 in total compensation, work for large manufacturers. In fact, no matter the size of the employer, manufacturing pays the most. Distributors pay the second most, followed by service providers.
Income by Company Type and Size
Age and Experience
Those with over 20 years of experience make a lot more than rookies their average total compensation is $168,983, versus $101,175 for those with less than two years experience. However, these scaling numbers can be encouraging for professionals who are new to the industry.
Similarly, professionals over 61 years old earn nearly $50,000 more in average total compensation than their 20- to 30-year-old counterparts. Yet, those in their 20s still enjoy a comfortable income of $101,175.
Similar to previous reports, men make up the majority of medical sales. In fact, just 30 percent of respondents are female. Women are outnumbered and earn significantly less than men.
They make just 83 percent of men’s average total compensation. Their commission and base salary are also well below their male counterparts.
Most respondents (87 percent) identified as White/Caucasian, which is a clear indication of the lack of diversity in the medical sales world. What’s more astounding is the lack of Hispanic and African American professionals they made up just 4.4 percent and 3.9 percent of respondents respectively.
- 87 percent of respondents are White/Caucasian
- 4 percent Hispanic
- 4 percent Black
- 2 percent Asian
- Less than 1 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native
- 2 percent other
It’s also important to note that white medical sales professionals make up the majority of top earning positions 90 percent of sales management, 92 percent of sales director/sales VP, 90 percent of national accounts, and 87 percent of sales (field).
Travel and State
The survey also found that, generally speaking, the more you travel, the higher you climb. Professionals who travel tend to earn a generous amount more than those who don’t.
In fact, those who don’t travel earn $83,799, the lowest average base salary. However, their average total compensation is a generous $129,876.
Their average total compensation is far less than those who travel 10 percent of the time. They earn $142,717, and those who travel 50 percent of the time make $169,669.
- Do not travel overnight total $129,876, but they have lowest base salary $83,799
- 10% of time spent traveling total $142,717
- 25% of time spent traveling total $157,308
- 50% of time spent traveling total $169,669
- More than 75% of time spent traveling total $155,139
Location can also have an impact on earning potential. The following chart looks at the top ten states with the most survey respondents and what the average total compensation is in each state.