Medical sales representative

pharmaceutical sales executive medical sales executive medical sales rep

Career outlook for medical sales representative

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would visit healthcare professionals to sell them the drugs, medicines and medical equipment your company make.

You would speak to GPs, hospital doctors, pharmacists and practice nurses to persuade them to buy your products. You’d travel around a particular area of the UK - sometimes known as a sales territory or 'patch' - to see your clients.

You would:

  • Make appointments to see existing clients and potential new customers
  • Present products to clients
  • Persuade clients to buy your company’s products
  • Provide an after-sales service
  • Organise or attend medical conferences
  • Keep records of sales and customers
  • Report information to head office about customer needs

You’d have sales targets to meet so you’d need confidence, drive and self-motivation.

You’d need to keep up to date with the latest clinical data and research, so that you could discuss medical matters with health professionals in a knowledgeable way.

There will also be frequent changes in products and healthcare systems which you’d have to adapt.

You would specialise in a particular type of product or therapy area, for example oncology, diabetes or respiratory health.

Working conditions


You could work from home or an office base, but would travel to meet clients. Your working day would often be long with a lot of travelling time involved. You may also be expected to socialise with clients in the evenings and attend conferences.


Your working day would include a lot of travelling time. You would spend most of your time out on the road meeting clients. Your sales territory may cover a large area and you might have to spend some nights away from home.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Positive attitude
  • Negotiating
  • Managing resources
  • Attention to detail
  • Verbal communication
  • Cooperating
  • Networking
  • Respecting
  • Working with numbers

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


Most medical sales representatives have degrees (SCQF level 9/10) in areas such as life sciences, medicine and nursing, or extensive sales experience.

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant Higher National Certificate/Higher National Diploma. Entry requirements for some degrees, such as medicine, are much higher. 


Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Science subjects (required by most courses)
  • Care
  • ICT
  • Business subjects
  • Social studies subjects such as media 

Helpful to have

Some people come into this career without a degree but have extensive sales experience; relevant work-based qualifications such as a Diploma in Multi-Channel Retailing (QCF level 3) may be of value.