2017 Medical Sales Salary Report

Medical Jobs Salaries


2017 marks the seventh year MedReps has conducted an annual medical sales rep salary report. According to the most recent research in 2017, the average medical sales rep total compensation is $147,424, with an average base of $95,791, and an average bonus of $53,405.

2017 compensation

Medical sales reps know their income potential varies for several reasons. The 2017 Medical Sales Salary Report examines the following key factors that impact salaries: Product Market                                                               2017 compensation
Job title
Company type and size
As medical sales reps continue their adventurous climb throughout their career, they tend to reap the rewards both financially and in terms of job satisfaction.

About the Survey

Age Range of Respondents


This year, nearly 2,854 employed medical sales professionals participated in the survey. The majority of respondents (70 percent) were between 21 and 50 years old. Overall, the field of medical sales shows a wide range of age among current professionals.


Experience widely varies among the respondents, as well, but the majority of them (54 percent) had between six and 20 years of experience.

Approximately three out of four survey respondents travel for their jobs in some capacity, and a whopping 96 percent of them have at least a four-year degree. It’s also worth noting that seven out of 10 respondents are men.


Average Travel: 74% travel for their jobsLifeworks_Mental_Health

4-year degree or higher: 96%

Male: 70%
Female: 30%

Let’s take a look at the earning potential of medical sales reps and how each aspect contributes to total compensation:

Product and Market

Just as climbers have multiple paths to the summit, medical sales reps have so many options to reach the top of their potential. While pharmaceuticals and medical supplies are the most popular products sold by the survey respondents, there are several other products that reps can sell.




Lifeworks_Mental_HealthProduct Sold

Medical or Surgical Device: 35% of respondents
Pharmaceutical: 15%
Specialty Pharmaceutical: 10%
Capital Equipment / Durable Medical Equipment: 10%
Biotechnology: 8%
Medical Supplies / Disposables: 8%
Diagnostic Imaging: 3%
Health IT / Software: 2%
Other: 10%
In fact, product is one of the biggest factors in determining medical sales rep salary. Reps selling health IT/software are the top earners, making an average of $176,012 in total compensation.

Those who sell biotechnology and medical or surgical devices are a close second and third, earning an average of $162,544 and $159,130 respectively in total compensation. Here’s a breakdown of income by products sold:

Income by Product

Health IT/software

Total compensation $176,012, Total bonus – $68,157
Total base salary – $108,750


Total compensation – $162,544
Total bonus – $47,250
Total base salary – $115,545
Medical or surgical device

Total compensation – $159,130
Total bonus – $72,245
Total base salary – $90,719
Capital Equipment / Durable Medical Equipment

Total compensation – $151,882
Total bonus – $64,974
Total base salary – $89,220
Specialty Pharmaceutical

Total compensation – $147,318
Total bonus – $39,111
Total base salary – $108,548
Diagnostic imaging

Total compensation – $143,564
Total bonus – $55,892
Total base salary – $88,942
Medical Supplies / Disposables

Total compensation – $133,572
Total bonus – $49,822
Total base salary – $82,822

Total compensation – $128,488
Total bonus – $31,965
Total base salary – $99,086

The 2017 report also looked at how markets impacted earnings. The top market segments included surgery/OR, pharmacy, and hospitals, and the lowest earners worked in nursing homes, home health, and rehabilitation.


Title and Company

Unsurprisingly, sales directors and sales VPs hold the top spot with the highest average total compensation, earning $207,053. Sales management and national accounts followed closely behind, with an average total compensation of $185,696 and $185,307, respectively.

Job Titles

The size and type of employer also has a big impact on salaries. The highest earners, who make an average of $156,730 in total compensation, work for large manufacturers. In fact, no matter the size of the employer, manufacturing pays the most. Distributors pay the second most, followed by service providers.

Income by Company Type and Size



Age and Experience

Those with over 20 years of experience make a lot more than rookies — their average total compensation is $168,983, versus $101,175 for those with less than two years experience. However, these scaling numbers can be encouraging for professionals who are new to the industry.



Similarly, professionals over 61 years old earn nearly $50,000 more in average total compensation than their 20- to 30-year-old counterparts. Yet, those in their 20s still enjoy a comfortable income of $101,175.



Similar to previous reports, men make up the majority of medical sales. In fact, just 30 percent of respondents are female. Women are outnumbered and earn significantly less than men.

They make just 83 percent of men’s average total compensation. Their commission and base salary are also well below their male counterparts.


Most respondents (87 percent) identified as White/Caucasian, which is a clear indication of the lack of diversity in the medical sales world. What’s more astounding is the lack of Hispanic and African American professionals – they made up just 4.4 percent and 3.9 percent of respondents respectively.

87 percent of respondents are White/Caucasian
4 percent Hispanic
4 percent Black
2 percent Asian
Less than 1 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native
2 percent other
It’s also important to note that white medical sales professionals make up the majority of top earning positions – 90 percent of sales management, 92 percent of sales director/sales VP, 90 percent of national accounts, and 87 percent of sales (field).

Travel and State

The survey also found that, generally speaking, the more you travel, the higher you climb. Professionals who travel tend to earn a generous amount more than those who don’t.

In fact, those who don’t travel earn $83,799, the lowest average base salary. However, their average total compensation is a generous $129,876.

Their average total compensation is far less than those who travel 10 percent of the time. They earn $142,717, and those who travel 50 percent of the time make $169,669.


Do not travel overnight – total – $129,876, but they have lowest base salary – $83,799
10% of time spent traveling – total $142,717
25% of time spent traveling – total $157,308
50% of time spent traveling – total $169,669
More than 75% of time spent traveling – total $155,139
Location can also have an impact on earning potential. The following chart looks at the top ten states with the most survey respondents and what the average total compensation is in each state.

States with the highest number of respondents

State           Count Base Salary Bonus Total Compensation
California           257     $101,755        $54,279     $155,458
Florida                232     $95,240         $53,426    $147,777
Texas                   227     $94,049         $52,162    $142,724
New York           127      $90,094         $58,857    $149,773
Pennsylvania       15      $94,334         $47,500    $137,595
Ohio                    112      $94,868         $53,666    $147,200
Illinois                108     $96,724          $50,736    $143,000
North Carolina 102     $94,235          $55,411     $147,871
Georgia              100     $100,327        $64,430    $158,500
Michigan             91      $93,648         $41,750     $130,159

Total compensation increased in Florida, California, Ohio, New York, and Georgia since 2016. In fact, the field of medical sales has enjoyed a consistent increase in salary over recent years.

Year Over Year

As you can see, over the past three years, there has been a steady climb in average total compensation. While commission dipped since 2016, base salaries saw a big boost.

2017 Year over year Other Medical Sales Perks

On top of rising average base salaries, medical sales reps also enjoy the following perks:

Compared to last year’s report, all of the perks, except for stock options, slightly increased in popularity among survey respondents.

2017 – Perks

2017 - Perks


Job Satisfaction and Income

While climbers seek out the dangers and challenges of pushing themselves to their personal limits for the sake of satisfaction, the question remains – do professionals who work in medical sales like what they do?

It turns out, a large majority are happy in their careers. While six-figure paychecks and perks aren’t the most important aspect to consider, they certainly play a major role.

In fact, 43 percent of top 20 percent of earners are very satisfied with their compensation, whereas just 19.5 percent of the lower 80 percent of earners can say the same. That being said, overall, 76 percent of all respondents are satisfied with their compensation, and 77 percent are satisfied with their overall job.

For more information on medical sales salaries and the medical sales jobs that pay them, stay tuned into MedReps.com.

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