Guest post by Karyn Mullins, executive vice president and general manager, MedReps.com.
From artificial intelligence developments to updated EHR technology, the future of health IT looks brighter with each passing year. As new developments and new technologies rise to the forefront of healthcare, health IT pros — new and accomplished — will need to do the same.
While medical sales remains a challenging and demanding career, my company’s 2017 Medical Sales Salary Report found sales reps are being rewarded for their efforts. Of course, there are a few different factors playing into a each reps’ earning potential.
The topics we examined are: product, market, job title, travel, and location.
With technology careers are in high demand, my team wasn’t surprised to find health IT sales reps are in the top three of the highest average total compensation category.
Whether you’re hoping to get started in the field, are still considered a ‘newbie,’ or are a veteran looking to kick your career up a notch, our report has key insights that can take anyone to their highest earning potential.
Here’s what the future of health IT sales looks like and how you can get to the top:
What they’re earning
The earning potential for any medical sales representative is impressive to most job seekers. To top off their large salaries, bonuses, and commissions, they’re also receiving added benefits like expense accounts, company cars, quality health benefits, and even 401k matching.
Topping the charts are those in health IT and software sales.
These reps make an average of $176,012 a year. To break it down, around $108,750 of that is base salary with an added average of $68,157 in bonuses or commissions. Biotechnology and medical/surgical devices were head-to-head for second and third place with average total compensations of $162,544 and $159,130.
How they’re doing it
There is no set mold for any particular medical sales job — and health IT is no different.
The MedReps report found many different factors affect the success of any medical sales job. Aside from the product category, market segments largely impact reps’ paychecks.
We found surgery/OR, pharmacies, and hospitals are all close competitors for those wanting to earn top dollar. Surgery/OR came in at the top with a total average compensation of $160,991, with pharmacies at $159,293, and hospitals rolling in closely behind in third with $158,155.
As most of us already know, medical sales is a challenging, but rewarding market for many reasons. Getting acquainted with products, learning the jargon, and gaining the trust of your customers takes patience, time, and dedication.
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.