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.
Salaries for healthcare IT professionals are on the rise, but they aren’t growing as fast as some other healthcare positions. That may be impacting satisfaction levels, according to a recent survey. Healthcare job site Health eCareers polled nearly 20,000 U.S. healthcare workers and found that the average annual salary for healthcare IT professionals increased 2.2 percent from 2015 to 2016. However, some of the other positions included in the survey saw more sizeable gains. For instance, those working in academics, research, administration, operations and allied health saw compensation increases in excess of 10 percent.
With more available jobs than professionals to fill them, hospitals, healthcare clinics and other providers are increasingly willing to loosen their purse strings and pay higher wages to both current employees and new hires. These factors have created a perfect storm of opportunity for healthcare workers, and 87 percent report that their pay is the same or has increased compared to a year ago. Survey respondents pointed to merit raises or employer changes as the primary reasons for their increase. There were exceptions, however. Nurses and healthcare executives saw a 3 percent and 13 percent drop, respectively.
$91k is Average for Healthcare IT
Healthcare information technology professionals are enjoying robust job prospects, as healthcare organizations come under the gun to improve efficiencies, cut costs and find better ways share patient information. The study revealed that America’s healthcare IT workers earn an average of $91,251 a year, the fifth-highest paid healthcare profession, topped only by physicians/surgeons, healthcare executives, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Pay Fluctuates by Location, Experience and Position
Location seems to influence pay, with salaries varying widely from state to state. For instance, healthcare IT professionals in California earn an average of $95,224 per year, while their counterparts in Texas make nearly 6 percent less, averaging $89,758 a year.
Another large and unsurprising determinant of pay is experience. New healthcare IT professionals — those with five or fewer years of experience — earn an average of $74,815 per year, while those with more than 10 years of experience report an average annual salary of $104,343. Those that fall in the middle with 6–10 years of experience pull in an average of $98,082.
Health eCareers also found big pay discrepancies by types of healthcare IT disciplines. Health information technology executives are far and away the best paid, with a median annual income of $127,500. IT technology managers also do well, with median earnings of $111,500 per year. Further down the pay scale are healthcare informatics employees at $74,500, and toward the bottom are health information technicians, who report median salaries of just $50,500.