Medical Device Sales

Medical Device Sales - Securing an entry level position

As a former medical device sales recruiter, I was constantly contacted by individuals who wanted to break the seemingly impenetrable barriers to securing a medical equipment sales job, pharmaceutical sales job, or medical device sales job. I was frequently amazed at how naive and un-prepared these individuals were when discussing what medical products suppliers want when hiring a sales representative.

While securing a pharmaceutical sales job, or a medical device sales job is indeed a huge carrot to seek, and can be a very lucrative and professionally rewarding career move, these jobs are extremely competitive to land, and prospective candidates for medical sales jobs need to spend a significant amount of time preparing to seek these medical sales jobs. Simply possessing a college degree, and thinking that a career in medical device sales seems interesting, is certainly not enough!

Median Salary by City


In general, most medical equipment sales jobs, and their more lucrative cousins, medical device sales jobs and medical implant sales positions, require previous experience selling medical equipment, selling medical devices, or selling medical implants. So, how does an individual gain the needed experience to secure a medical sales job when the companies seem to want only experienced medical sales representatives?

The good news for those seeking to enter the medical sales representative field is that many companies look to hire entry level sales people, thus giving those without previous medical sales experience an entry point to this exciting industry. In particular, many pharmaceutical sales representative jobs require no previous medical sales experience. In addition, there are dozens of medical companies who will consider individuals who possess no previous medical sales representative experience.

There are many web sites dedicated to listing medical device sales, medical equipment sales, and pharmaceutical sales jobs. These sites, commonly referred to as “medical sales job boards”, allow medical products companies, as well as medical sales recruiters to post their current medical sales jobs, by location, on these job boards. Some boards are free for job seekers to register and view the medical sales jobs posted. One such board, Gorilla Medical Sales lists medical sales jobs, including entry level medical sales jobs, as well as pharmaceutical sales representative positions, posted exclusively by the leading medical sales recruiters in the nation. Since this board is currently free for candidates to register, Gorilla Medical Sales is an excellent place for entry level medical sales positions to be accessed by interested individuals.

Other medical sales job boards charge a fee for job seekers to register and view job postings. These fees vary greatly, and can range from $15 - $30 a month, to simply a one-time annual fee of $40 - $50 for one year of unlimited access. Regardless, these fees are very modest when one compares them to the fees charged by the large generalist job boards, none of which specialize in medical product sales. It is much more practical and targeted to spend your money accessing one of the medical sales job boards such as Gorilla Medical Sales rather than wasting your time on the large job boards.

Median Salary by Employer Type


But, these job boards are very specific in their recommended work background for candidates without previous medical device sales, or pharmaceutical sales experience. The candidates who will stand the greatest chance to secure an entry level medical sales position all share a common work history. Here are some of the desired work experiences needed to break into medical device sales, or pharmaceutical sales:

·              At least two years of sales experience selling a tangible product

·              A four-year college degree

·              A documented record of achieving quota in your sales job(s)

You may ask, what is an example of a “tangible product”? Medical products companies love to hire individuals who have demonstrated in their previous sales jobs that they can “close the sale”. Therefore, your ability to sell tangible product, to obtain a signed purchase order from your customer to buy that product, and to close the deal in a competitive selling environment is essential to most hiring medical products companies. Some examples of tangible products that medical products companies love in your previous sales experience are items such as office equipment, office forms, printing, credit-card processing, communications, and copiers.

But, it is not always enough that you have sold a tangible product before. For many medical products companies, you must show them documentation that you were highly successful in your selling efforts. Remember, medical equipment sales jobs are among the most coveted sales jobs in the world. So, these companies want to hire only the best-of-the-best! And, they have the luxury of doing so!

Another key term which is important in discussing the qualifications and experiences necessary to secure an entry level medical sales position is the phrase “business-to-business sales experience” (sometimes referred to as B2B sales experience). This is a general term used to describe an individual who sells a product produced by his company to an individual at another company. B2B sales does not always involve selling a tangible product, but can also involve selling a service. The critical factor which makes a B2B experienced sales representative an attractive hire for a medical products company is the fact that the sales is closed by the representative, an order is taken, and the selling environment is competitive. Thus, a B2B experience level, even without selling a tangible product, is an attractive background for hiring medical products companies, and pharmaceutical sales companies.

Other factors can be very important when seeking a medical device sales position. Many medical products companies prefer to hire a candidate who has been an officer in the military. Military officers are very disciplined by training, and some medical companies believe that this discipline will help them manage their medical sales territory. In addition, former military officers are experienced at leading, managing, training, and delegating to subordinates. For this reason, they often make excellent sales mangers following their successful selling career, and are deemed very promotable by these companies.

Another factor which many medical equipment sales companies value when filling their medical sales jobs is previous job stability. In our fast-paced world of today, where frequent job changes are commonplace, many medical products companies place a high value on job stability. Candidates who previous job history is stable, with only one or two different jobs following college, demonstrate the desired commitment and loyalty relished by many of the medical products companies. Contrarily, a resume showing frequent “job-hopping” is a turn-off to many hiring managers.

In addition, candidates who have been promoted by their employer in a previous job are viewed very highly by hiring managers. Companies understand that only the best workers get promoted, and having a job history showing promotions is a valuable asset on a candidates’ resume.

Finally, in an age where liability plays an important factor for all companies, all candidates seeking an entry level medical devices sales job, medical equipment sales job, or pharmaceutical sales job, must be able to pass a background check and have a clean driving record before most medical products companies will hire them. Since sales involves many miles driven calling on customers, often in an automobile provided by the company, things like DUI’s, excessive traffic tickets, and accidents all provide an obstacle to becoming hired. Likewise, previous drug arrests are usually a knock-out factor to being hired.

Securing an entry level medical sales job is much sought-after commodity. And, the qualifications and prior job experiences are narrow. However, the rewarding career of selling medical products makes the search worthwhile for many.

Median Salary by Years Experience

Comments 7 comments

Kevin 7 years ago

excellent information for a field that is tough to break into. Plus a great link to a medical device job board!

Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from Ireland

That's really useful content and good writing too.

john 4 years ago

great wealth of detailed info and tips for someone looking to break into this field

thanks again,


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