Pharmaceutical Sales is a popular profession among job seekers because it comes with a great salary and benefits, as well as exponential job growth and flexibility. Pharmaceutical sales representatives are hired by pharmaceutical companies to sell their drug to medical professionals who prescribe medications.
Let’s take a closer look at what skills, education and training you need to become a pharmaceutical sales representative:
A pharmaceutical sales representative typically has strong sales and medical backgrounds. As a pharmaceutical sales representative, it’s your job to increase the visibility of your pharmaceutical company and get doctors to prescribe your product to their patients. You inform medical professionals about your drug’s usage, dosage and side effects, as well as how it interacts with other drugs and medical conditions.
It’s a fast-paced job that requires you to spend a lot of time on the road visiting doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. Sales representatives work independently with the freedom to set their own schedules and are generally paid based on commission.
The profession doesn’t have specific educational requirements, but most pharmaceutical sales representatives have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year college or university. Many also hold graduate degrees in business and/or science related fields, and are therefore knowledgeable of important subjects like biology, chemistry and statistics. With a business background, sales reps have sharp sales and negotiation skills.
Additionally, pharmaceutical sales representatives are required to complete on-the-job training, as well as continue their education in pharmacology and the life sciences throughout their career. With continuous education, sales reps stay up-to-date on the latest findings, innovations and technologies within the industry. You must also earn your Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) certification. The certification requires that you complete an accredited training program and pass a knowledge exam.
While pharmaceutical sales isn’t your ordinary desk job, it’s a challenging, interesting and rewarding profession. You get the privilege of interacting with many people on a day-to-day basis and providing doctors like pharmacist Robert Lammle with state-of-the-art pharmaceuticals that will help their patients get well.