What does a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative do?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives educate doctors and other professionals who prescribe medication on the pharmaceutical industry’s newest developments. They connect a provider with the knowledge, drugs, and treatments necessary to provide the newest care for their patients. They educate physicians, health care facilities, consumers, and pharmacists about the newest pharmaceutical products on the market.

Pharmaceutical sales representatives are fluent in pharmacology. When proposing or selling a new product, a pharmaceutical sales representative must describe its chemistry, the method of action, and the side effects and potential interactions with other drugs. They specialize in specific groups or classes of pharmaceutical drugs, including cardiac drugs or psychiatric drugs, and deepen their knowledge base. They schedule and attend sales meetings with healthcare providers and follow up on leads while cultivating new customers for the company or the products. They are also required to attend industry conferences and to speak at provider events. They conduct continuing education sessions for medical professionals and field research on behalf of their employers. Pharmaceutical sales representatives need a minimum bachelor's degree in marketing, communications, or sales. A background in the study of pharmacology is also helpful.

What responsibilities are common for Pharmaceutical Sales Representative jobs?
  • Attain sales target goals in the assigned territory through compliant promotion of portfolio of products.
  • Analyze the market dynamics to ensure territory call goals are met and exceeded.
  • Promote healthcare products per the laws, regulations and company policies governing the promotion of the healthcare product.
  • Execute customer call plans and following-up on customer requests.
  • Maintain and nurture professional relationships with the healthcare professionals they target to promotes healthcare products and services.
  • Learn and impart to customers clinical, scientific and technical features of pharmaceutical products and patient support services to maximize appropriate product utilization.
  • Help influence behavior change in customers such as product demonstrations/in-services, OR selling activities, and customer support trainings.
  • Distribute and manage resources within guidelines provided by management.
  • Operate ethically and in accordance with the company's process and strategy.
  • Most time will be spent calling on physician offices in the assigned territory, with a modest amount of planning and administrative work to be done to report activity and ensure record keeping.
What are the typical qualifications for Pharmaceutical Sales Representative jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in business, marketing or life sciences.
  • Demonstrated confidence and attention to detail.
  • A critical thinker with strong time management and negotiation skills.
  • Fluent in product knowledge for decision making and collaboration.
  • Comfortable making decisions and leading and can demonstrate strong business acumen.
  • Collaborative nature with others for persuasion and problem solving.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative make?

$115,493 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Career Path

Learn how to become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Insights

Read what Pharmaceutical Sales Representative professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Senior Executive Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative
Jul 21, 2021

“Constant organizational changes can limit opportunities for career advancement if you are not able to relocate.”

Alpha (Kenya)
Pharmaceutical Sales Représentative
Apr 26, 2020

“Good good good and good”

Intuitive (Intuitive Surgical)Intuitive (Intuitive Surgical)
Clinical Territory Associate
Dec 17, 2021

“So you really need to know why your committed beyond money and Freedom to keep you here.”

Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist
Mar 30, 2021

“Great team environment and I really liked my boss”

Syneos Health Syneos Health
Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist
Jun 22, 2022

“Usually good management and products to represent.”

Pharmacy Sales Manager
Jan 14, 2021

“Good for working here for 17 years”

LEO PharmaLEO Pharma
Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative
Dec 20, 2020

“A great work life balance”

Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative
Aug 21, 2020

“Helping people live longer lives”

See More

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

When working as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Business Acumen, Influencing, Excellent Communication, Time Management, and BS Degree.

The most similar professions to Pharmaceutical Sales Representative are:
  • Sales Representative
  • Sales Manager
  • Business Development Manager
  • Regional Sales Manager

The most common qualifications to become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Sales Representative
13% skills overlap
Sales Manager
Business Development Manager
No skills overlap
Regional Sales Manager

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs