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Medical sales representative

Medical sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies, selling drugs, medicines and medical equipment to health professionals.

Annual Salary

£21,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 45 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 4% more Medical sales representative jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In this job, you will:

  • arrange appointments with clients and ‘cold call’ new contacts
  • give presentations and persuade clients to use or buy your company’s products
  • build strong relationships with medical staff
  • provide an after-sales service
  • plan work schedules
  • meet sales targets
  • organise and attend medical conferences
  • check competitors’ products and prices
  • keep records and reporting back to head office

Working environment

You could work in an office or from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme

You can start by doing a degree in:

  • biology
  • pharmacy
  • biomedical sciences
  • medical engineering

It may be possible to get into this career with a non-science degree. For example, a business or marketing degree can be useful, especially if you have some knowledge of medical sales.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You may be able to do a sales executive higher apprenticeship, or a business-to-business sales professional degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. Employers will look for people with an understanding of what medical sales involves and have experience in nursing, healthcare, sales or marketing.

If you do not have a science or healthcare background, you'll need a lot of sales experience and the ability to learn about medicines and therapies in detail. An A level or equivalent in biology or applied science, or a diploma in health and social care, may give you an advantage.

Other routes

You could join a medical sales company on a graduate training scheme if you have a degree. A science degree is very useful but employers will accept other subjects if you have A levels or equivalent in science and a flair for sales.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • All medical sales representatives have to take Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Medical Representatives Exam within 1 year of beginning employment, and pass all units within 2 years.
  • have a full driving licence

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in medical sales from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

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With experience and a good track record in sales, you could become an area or regional manager, or move into marketing or product and account management.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persuading and negotiating skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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