How Much Money Do Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Make?
Pharmaceutical Sales Salary
A pharmaceutical sales representative educates and distributes their company's products to physicians, doctors, dentists, nurses, and medical technicians. They also develop and establish relationships with new customers on the health field to sell their legal drugs. Many require a 4 year degree in addition to at least 2 years of experience in the related sales field.
You may have heard that a career as a sales rep for pharmaceutical companies is lucrative and can be financially rewarding. Well you are right!
The average pharmaceutical sales rep’s salary can vary greatly due to company, state, experience, education and benefits.
The US national median base salary for a pharmaceutical sales rep is $60,248 according to Salary.com. The mean base salary plus bonus is $78,913. The average salary report does not include additional perks such as company car, gas card, car insurance, and cell phone, which can add up to $30,000 a year.
Breakdown of the national salary
Base pay: $60,248
Total compensation: $108,911
Highest Paying Companies:
Eisai-Japan with a range of $60K to $125K, average $102,667
AstraZeneca $45K to $112K, average $91,500
Proctor & Gamble $62 to $99K, average $80,250
Pfizer rep makes a range of $50K to $115K, with the average rep making $74,147
Eli Lily rep makes $50K to $116K, average $69,391
Lowest Paying Companies:
inVentive $40K to $73K, average $50,700
Salary report taken from Glassdoor.com. For a comprehensive listing of all the pharmaceutical companies, refer to Glassdoor.com .
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Generous Perks of a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Position!
- Full health and dental benefits
- Company car, free car insurance, gas card
- 401K / 403B
- Life and disability insurance
- Retirement plan
- Profit sharing
- Free cell phone
- Paid Time Off (Vacation)
- Office supplies for your home office (you can also deduct home office related expenses during tax season)
- Company expense meals and travel with clients.
- Other rewards include expense paid trips, contests, recognition, and referral bonuses.
Bonus and Commission Structure
Each pharmaceutical company has a different bonus structure for their sales force. Some companies have a cap on their bonus payout per year, while other companies, such as Henry Schein, do not have a cap.
With an unlimited bonus structure, sales reps have the opportunity to earn a bonus that can be worth more than their base salary! This is something you should consider when applying for a position, especially if you are in your mid-career.
Some companies give their employees extra incentives for their hard work by paying a higher bonus. For example, if a rep exceeds their target goals of over 100%, they can get paid an extra couple of thousands on top of their bonus. Of course if there is a cap on their bonus payout, this does not apply.
When compared to medical equipment sales, the commission structure of a pharmaceutical company is different. The base salary for a pharmaceutical sales rep is generally higher than a medical sales rep, however the overall potential commission is higher for a medical device sales rep.
A pharmaceutical sales rep’s commission is based on the number of prescriptions that physicians write out to their patients. The doctors are not actually purchasing products directly from reps. As for medical device sales, they get the incentives directly based on the equipment that they sell.
Pharmaceutical Sales Salary Varies by Location
The average salary for a pharmaceutical sales rep also varies according to the location that he or she works in. Obviously with higher living expenses in certain cities, the salary is expected to be higher than the national average.
For a complete listing of salary average by a specific state and city, check out Pharmaceuticalsalesrepsalary.com and enter in your zip code.
- San Francisco, CA The average salary for Pharmaceutical Sales in San Francisco, California is $95,427. Range $86,335 to $123,336. Note that the salary is higher than the national average. The cost of living in San Francisco is 46% higher than the national average.
- Houston, TX The average salary for Pharmaceutical Sales in Houston, Texas is $48,278. Range: $39,759 to $56,798.
- New York, NY The average salary for Pharmaceutical Sales in New York, New York is $96,741. Range: $79,669 to $113,813.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.