A career in veterinary pharmaceutical sales is an excellent option for those who have strong interpersonal skills combined with a love of animals.
Veterinary pharmaceutical sales representatives are responsible for marketing animal health products to veterinarians and animal hospitals. Sales representatives must constantly educate themselves about the market and their product.
There are two types of representatives: inside sales and field sales. Inside sales positions do not involve much (if any) travel; representatives conduct business via the telephone. Field sales positions require frequent travel throughout a designated territory, as representatives call on veterinarians in person at their place of business to sell products or provide training related to products. All sales representatives work under the supervision of a sales manager.
Education and Training
Pharmaceutical sales representatives come from a variety of educational backgrounds. A bachelors degree in marketing, business, animal science, chemistry, or biology is encouraged for entry level positions. A masters degree enhances your chances of advancing in the field.
A working knowledge of sales, marketing, anatomy, physiology, biology, pharmacology, chemistry, and public speaking is beneficial. Veterinary office experience is also a big plus. Once hired, most new recruits will go through a company-sponsored training program before entering the field.
Salary for sales representatives may include a base salary, commission, company car, and benefits. Total compensation may vary widely based on sales volume and years of experience, but according to payscale.com representatives can currently expect to earn a salary between $59,122 and $119,826.
Securing a job in this field is not easy, as competition is keen for a limited number of positions. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a slight (6%) increase in positions in the pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing field.