Information about Biotechnology Sales Jobs

Biotechnology sales jobs involve sales of biological products and related pharmaceuticals. The biotech market is a tough professional sales territory, requiring a thorough knowledge of the market, market issues and products. Because the market is expanding exponentially around the world, it presents a major growth area in the employment market.

The Work Environment for Biotechnology Sales Jobs

A biotech sales job isn’t just any sales job. This is a highly technical work environment which requires advanced sales skills. Most biotech salespeople have a degree in one of the related sciences. The minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree, but in some cases a master's or higher is appropriate. Several years experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech fields of sales is also a common requirement.

There’s a good reason for higher qualifications in both areas. Biotechnology sales jobs cover an enormous range of products, and the salespeople double as technical advisers.

Biotechnology sales impact almost all industries, including these:

  • Medicine
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Industrial enzymes
  • Waste management
  • Live materials
  • Genetics
  • Cloning
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Mycology
  • Marine biology
  • Food technology
  • Sanitation
  • Water processing
  • Entomology.

Biotech sales may literally involve carrying a bag of pills or demonstrating advanced materials to top-level professionals. These products are also subject to high levels of market, media and professional scrutiny. Some biotech products are classified as hazardous, many are controversial, and others are covered by demanding patent laws and licensing restrictions on their use. The biotech salesperson has to provide all information required on a product and deal with the whole range of issues that the product may involve.

For example, a product contains some new, obscure organic compounds which require explanation to buyers. The explanation involves a complete technical spectrum, including label descriptions required by law, FDA approvals, medication values and technical support to clients to deal with the new ingredients on a commercial basis.

Wages for Biotechnology Sales Jobs

Wages may range from $60,000 to $90,000 base pay, plus commissions up to 15 to 25 percent, depending on experience. Compensation also includes variable packages and expense accounts.

Hours for Biotechnology Sales Jobs

The working hours are often long, with considerable travel involved.

Career Advancement for Biotechnology Sales Jobs

The sales environment is a defining factor of the career's potential. Biotech sales forces are often comprised of a team of elite salespeople, working for comparatively small companies. This environment promotes competition based on merit and sales talents. The high value of biotech products, often in the millions, is a primary driver of career advancement. Career progression is based on exceptional sales skills, including professional networking, which is used to deliver contacts for distribution and expand product markets. 

The biotech salesperson’s sales record and expertise are the major career assets. These two things often promote them rapidly up the ladder. This is a particularly competitive career environment because advancement to higher positions includes potentially massive increases in both income and career potential.

Job Mobility

Job mobility is another important factor in biotechnology sales jobs. Experienced salespeople can move across their areas of expertise effectively. Thus they achieve career positioning and expand their networks.