A new survey by MepReps looks at how much medical sales professionals make and factors impact that salary. There’s so much good stuff we split the review up into two articles, you can see the first one here. Today we’ll look at information from the survey on how travel, job titles, where you live, along with age, gender, and education levels impact your bottom line.
Medical Sales Salary by Title & Company
Sales Directors and Sales VPs once again report the highest salaries in medical sales (Average $209,082 Median $205,000). However, this year sales management jobs edged out National Accounts for the second place spot with $186,423 total income.
While almost three-fourths of respondents have field sales jobs, which command a not too shabby $141,532 in total income, the bigger money seems to lie in management.
In addition to your title, your company’s type and size also impacts average medical sales salary. Large manufacturers pay the most at $157,793, but those who are employed by manufacturers, no matter what the size, earn the highest incomes.
Age and Experience Impact Medical Sales Salary
While it’s not surprising that the longer you work in medical sales, the more money you earn, those with 20-plus years of experience do have the highest average medical sales salary at $165,735, what is surprising is that it tops out at some point.
Medical sales professionals in their 40s earn the highest incomes at $153,844. This seems to be a sweet spot for medical sales professionals where they may have 20+ years of experience, but haven’t yet gotten to a point where age discrimination is negatively impacting them.
Gender Pay Gap in Medical Sales
Men continue to dominate the medical sales industry, with 71% of respondents identifying themselves as male. Not only are women outnumbered in the medical sales workforce, but they are being out earned. Women report average incomes of $123,910, which is just 80% of what men earn. Base salaries are slightly more on par, at $82,863, women earn 92% of the average base salary reported by men.
The gap is partially explained by the fact that women are more likely to work in pharma, which typically pays higher base salaries (and lower commissions). Women are also less likely to report having higher paying job titles such as Sales Management or Sales Director / VP. Women make up just 14% of respondents with these job titles.
Education Level and Race
If the amount of diversity among the survey respondents is a fair indication, the field of medical sales is sorely lacking in this area. A surprising 87% of respondents identified themselves as white. Those identifying themselves as Hispanic and African American accounted for just 3.9% and 3.8%, respectively.
When looking at income by race, the significantly reduced sample sizes in every category but “white” brought into question the statistical validity of our data. However, any gap that does exist between the average income reported by respondents identifying as white and those identifying as African American may be due, in part, to the fact that African Americans are less likely to hold the highest paying job titles of Manager, Director, and VP. Just 2.1% of these job titles are held by respondents identifying as Black or African American.
The majority of respondents have at least a bachelor’s degree, and this is a key factor on income. Respondents with a 2-year degree earn just 74% of that earned by their peers with a 4-year degree (who made up 78% of respondents). The survey results indicate that a Master’s degree (held by 18% of respondents) does increase earnings, but only by 4%. Oddly enough, those with a Doctoral degree actually earned slightly less than those with a 4-year degree, though the number of respondents in this category (<1%) was not high enough to be statistically significant.
Income by Travel and State
Medical sales professionals who travel 50% of the time command the highest incomes at $167,061. Those who do not travel at all for their jobs earn significantly less at $125,344.
Where medical sales professionals live does not seem to have a significant impact on earnings. While some states came in notably higher than the rest, they typically had too few respondents to be statistically significant. For example, the state reporting highest average income was Kentucky at $172,471, but the figure is based on only 34 respondents from this state – fewer than 1% of the total respondents.
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Lindsey McCoy MPA, is an Executive Medical Recruiter and former CEO in the not for profit sector.