Medical Device Sales Job Profile

Medical device sales jobs are true sales jobs, but they cover a huge, complex range of merchandise at all levels of sales work. The devices may be defibrillators, therapeutic do it yourself massagers or major hospital equipment.

The work environment

These jobs are based very much on expertise, requiring both technical knowledge and advanced sales skills. Medical devices are often major budget items, and they must be shown and demonstrated to medical professionals and financial officers. The manufacturers and companies which distribute medical goods are also highly competitive, with a large lucrative market, and they demand high levels of sales performance.

Medical device sales jobs are true traveling jobs. Medical device salespeople spend a long time on the road or in the air going to customers, often around the world in the case of major equipment sales. Traveling expenses are commonly built into job packages for salaried staff. 

There are various levels of medical device sales jobs. The lower levels are common devices, lower priced equipment, like distributorships to retail outlets. Salespeople on this level are often hired on the basis of their contacts in the sector, some acting as independent sales people working on commissions, rather than salaried employees.

The middle range medical device salespeople are the experienced sales staff working for distributors and manufacturers on a conventional retainer and commission basis. This is the qualifying zone for good careers in the industry, in which expertise and sales records are created for future advancement. Much of this work is “business to business” sales, and requires prior experience.

The work environment is complex in terms of sales experience. Employers train salespeople regarding their own products, not in medical device sales as such. Salespeople earn and learn their way upward through the industry. This is one reason salespeople specialize in different areas of medical device sales, becoming experts over time in a particular line of merchandise.

The higher level jobs include a base salary and a commission package. Major incentives in this line of sales are the commissions. Some very expensive items also include big commissions. These are the jobs for the expert salespeople, often including major budget scale hospital acquisitions like MRI units, surgical monitors and other important, high quality equipment.

Wages: Highly variable, depending on sales materials and employment packages.

Hours: Long, non-standard, with considerable travel.

The career environment

Sales careers are exercises in job mobility, and medical device salespeople are a good example of the realities of the industry. The three levels of medical device sales require rapid development of sales and technical skills and a strong sales record to progress. 

Career progression is helped by the nature of the medical device industry, which actively offers incentives and good packages to experienced salespeople. Some companies offer packages of up to $500,000 a year as incentives, although the realities of sales figures are the true measure of the job values.

The career environment also includes opportunities for regional placement, which can be very advantageous for some salespeople. Many employers have branches across the US, giving salespeople a good choice of territories. Experienced salespeople with good networks take advantage of these options to improve their sales potentials.