How To Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

If you’re looking for a lucrative career within a health care setting, you may want to consider becoming a pharmaceutical sales representative. While you won’t be working with patients, you will network with doctors to educate them on the most cutting-edge medications on the market. This career requires you to have sales skills along with a strong foundation in how the drugs you’re selling can affect the human body. In this article, we explain the job duties of a pharmaceutical sales representative and how to become one.

Tips for getting into pharmaceutical sales

Follow these tips to improve your chances of getting a pharmaceutical sales job:

What does a pharmaceutical sales representative do?

A pharmaceutical sales representative is responsible for the following tasks:

How to become a pharmaceutical sales rep

If youre seriously considering this career path, youll benefit from following these steps to becoming a pharmaceutical sales representative:

1. Earn a degree

Most pharmaceutical sales representatives have at least a bachelors degree in biology, chemistry, statistics or another related field. If you want to stand out among job candidates, you may want to continue on to your masters degree. Many choose to study business or life sciences to further their knowledge of the industry. Use your educational background to become knowledgeable about business, communications and science. All of these subjects will be an important part of this career.

2. Develop your skills

If you want to be successful in this career, you need to develop the following skills:

3. Pursue on-the-job training

Brand new pharmaceutical sales representatives typically receive training from their employers. Youll work under someone in an administrative position to learn all about this industry and how to become an effective sales representative. During your training, try to focus on your interpersonal skills along with your product knowledge.

4. Become certified

Becoming a Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) isnt necessarily required for this career, but it certainly can help you advance your career. This certification is offered through the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives. To earn it, you must complete an accredited training program and pass an exam.

5. Continue your education

The field of pharmaceuticals and health care is constantly changing. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and insights by signing up for continuing education courses. Your employer may even reimburse you for your tuition fees. The more credits you earn and the longer you work as a sales representative, the more career advancements opportunities youll have. One day, you may even earn a promotion for an administrative role.

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