Medical Sales Rep

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences

What you will do:

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


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • 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 (teamwork skills)
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • organisational skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a medical sales representative, you should have a combination of strong interpersonal skills, sales abilities, and knowledge of the medical and healthcare industry. While there are no specific subject requirements for this career, you should focus on subjects that can help you develop the necessary skills and knowledge. Here’s a general list of subjects that can be beneficial for aspiring medical sales representatives:

  1. English Language (Essential): Strong communication skills are crucial in sales. English Language will help you improve your writing, speaking, and listening abilities.
  2. Mathematics (Essential): Sales often involve calculations, budgeting, and analysing data. Mathematics will help you develop quantitative skills.
  3. Science (Recommended): A basic understanding of biology or chemistry can be useful, as it provides foundational knowledge about medical products and terminology. This can be particularly relevant if you’re selling pharmaceuticals or medical devices.
  4. Business Studies (Useful): While not always available as a subject, business studies or economics can provide valuable insights into marketing, sales strategies, and the business side of the healthcare industry.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology) (Useful): Proficiency in using computer software and technology is essential in sales for managing customer databases, analyzing market trends, and creating presentations.
  6. Additional Modern Languages (Optional): Learning an additional language, especially one commonly spoken in the healthcare industry, can be an asset for dealing with diverse clients and customers.

Post School

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.

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

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.

You’ll also need to have a full driving licence

UK Requirement

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.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical working hours could be variable.

You could work in an office or from home.

Career Path & Progression:

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.