If you are a graduate with marketing skills and like to be a part of the medical industry, you may have considered or may consider a career as a pharmaceutical representative. Drug representatives provide drug information and product samples to physicians and also monitor prescribing patterns of physicians in a given geographic territory. As a pharmaceutical representative, one would typically represent a particular drug or group of drugs, and would meet with physicians who specialize in the applicable medical field.
Pharmaceutical reps generally work out of a home based office and a company car. Those in the business have to be self-motivated and good managers of time and schedules. They may be required to check in at a regional or local office. However, most of the time will be spent in their territory, or “in the field” meeting with physicians, or attempting to meet with them by visiting the physicians’ practices. Therefore, a potential rep should be very comfortable being in a car much of the day, traveling to anywhere from four to eight physicians’ offices daily.
In addition to the daily physician visits, reps may be required to attend sales meetings, conference calls, or training sessions with the management team. Drug reps may also do lunchtime presentations at physicians’ offices, supplying lunch for the office staff and discussing the drug’s indications, side effects, features, and benefits.
Most pharmaceutical companies prefer to hire college graduates with at least a bachelor’s degree, and many of the big companies look for the top graduates and top performers of the class. In addition to the college degree, pharmaceutical reps must be very polished, professional, and well-spoken. They must be highly organized in order to manage their territory and time optimally. Additionally, reps must have the ability to memorize vast amounts of medical terminology and detailed information about the medication they represent, and be able to intelligently relay the information to physicians.
The earning potential is extremely good for pharmaceutical reps, especially when compared to other sales jobs. The benefits tend to be extraordinary. Most are provided with a company car, tips, bonuses, medical benefits, and a healthy retirement and 401K. Additionally, if you establish yourself as a successful rep, your career track options will multiply and you can have a very long, successful, lucrative career. Pharmaceutical representatives who wish to advance into management roles have a variety of choices. There are many levels of management and a variety of departments within most established pharmaceutical companies. For example, a sales rep can become a district or regional manager, or a Director of Sales, then Senior Director, on up to Vice President.
Pharmaceutical reps are highly sought after jobs. What do you need to succeed as a pharmaceutical rep – strong sales skills, self-driven, and extremely organized? But the possibilities are limitless and the perks can never be overlooked.
Source: “Pharmaceutical Sales Representative – Career Profile and Jobs for Pharma Reps.” About.com Health. Careers. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.