Guest post by Robyn Melhuish, communications manager, MedReps.com.
A few years ago, medical sales professionals who sold health IT and software products earned the top salaries in the field. While these professionals still earn high salaries, the 2016 MedReps Salary Survey by MedReps.com, a job board for medical sales representatives, found that they are no longer the top earners in medical sales — with an average total compensation of $149,985. This is a drop of $19,896 from 2015 and a drop of $22,906 from 2014.
While salaries for health IT sales professionals have dropped, most are still happy with their salaries. Among survey respondents, 78 percent said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their overall job, similar to the 75 percent who said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their income. Yet, more money clearly means higher job satisfaction — those who said they are very satisfied with their income earn an average of $177,319 compared with $100,903 among those who are very unsatisfied.
Luckily, it’s not just the products you sell that impact salaries in the industry — experience, job title, education, and more have an effect on pay, the report found. That means you can increase your salary if you feel you should be making more. Here are a few ways you can take home more money:
Move to management
Selling products that earn more money may sound like a good idea, but it may not be the best move. Although medical sales professionals who sell health IT and software products no longer make top dollar, they are still among the top earners in the industry. Only biotech sales professionals, surgical sales professionals, and capital equipment and durable medical equipment sales professionals earn more.
Even though there is more money to be made, selling new products is challenging. Instead, stick with what you know to gain more experience and move up to higher positions. After all, the more experience you have, the more money you make — those with 20 or more years of experience earn the highest average medical sales salary at $165,735. What’s more, sales directors and sales vice presidents report the highest salaries in medical sales, an average of $209,082.
Instead of starting all over again with a new product specialty, work toward gaining a management position with the experience you have. Talk to your supervisor about leadership opportunities, learn what you need to do to move up, take development classes, or volunteer to take on more responsibilities.
While the money may look greener on the other side, your experience is valuable, and sticking with health IT and software will pay off in the long run.
Hit the road
While traveling may decrease your work-life balance, it could increase your paycheck. In our survey, medical sales professionals who travel 50 percent of the time earn $167,061, on average. On the flip side, those who don’t travel at all for work earn significantly less — an average of $125,344.
Take the initiative and take on more travel. Let your manager know you’re interested in and willing to travel more. Volunteer to visit new territories and reach new clients.
Start the job search
If you’re really unhappy with your salary, it may be time to find a new employer. Finding and starting a new job is a big decision — one that shouldn’t be made lightly. However, switching employers could boost your pay.
Our report found that professionals who received a salary increase as a result of a job change reported an average increase of 13 percent, compared with a 9 percent increase among those who earned a promotion.
If you do decide it’s time to start a job search, look for jobs with manufacturers. Large manufacturers pay the highest average salaries of $157,793. Overall, manufacturers, no matter the size, paid the most.
Although, pay for health IT and software sales reps has decreased in recent years, they are still among the top paid professionals in medical sales. To boost your salary even more, look for more responsibilities, gain more experience, or look for new opportunities.
How does your salary compare to the average? Are you happy with it? Share in the comments below!