June 21, 2021

Earning Potential for a Medical Sales Rep in 2021

By Medical Sales College

If you are interested in breaking into the medical sales industry, you may already know that positions are in high demand. A career in medical sales is a rewarding and lucrative industry with a high earning potential, work flexibility, and the opportunity to sell medical products that can make a direct impact on improving a patient’s quality of life. In the world of medical sales, effort equals earnings and there is a sense of control over one’s own success.

At Medical Sales College, we train our students with a custom sales methodology that promotes a transferable skill set to multiple industries. Although our clinical curriculum focuses on orthopedic surgical sales, 46% of Medical Sales College graduates are still placed in careers outside of Orthopaedics.

According to the 2021 MedReps Salary Survey, average compensation for a medical device representative is $177,992. For medical sales reps in general, the average compensation is $172,527 and the base salary is $104,649. All of these figures have increased by at least 2% in the past year alone, and have become a trend in the previous years. Continue reading to learn more about the soaring income of a Medical Sales Rep.

Average Income by Product and Market

  • Medical Device
  • $177,993
  • Surgical Device
  • $176,056
  • Biotechnology
  • $198,523
  • Pharmaceutical
  • $148,475
  • Medical Supplies / Disposables
  • $170,971
  • Capital Equipment / DME
  • $188,351

Biotechnology shows the highest total compensation for the third year in a row. Pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and medical equipment have increased year-over-year. Physician, Surgery / OR, and Hospital markets are the most common to sell to. Surgery / OR proves to be the most profitable market for sales reps. Although the base salaries are lower, they receive higher commissions than those selling to other markets.

Average Compensation Based on Age

  • Ages 20-30
  • Base
  • $73,615
  • Commission
  • $55,158
  • Total Avg. Compensation
  • $114,208
  • Ages 31-40
  • Base
  • $93,233
  • Commission
  • $88,744
  • Total Avg. Compensation
  • $170,459
  • Ages 41-50
  • Base
  • $113,925
  • Commission
  • $84,882
  • Total Avg. Compensation
  • $189,806

Sales reps going into their 30s see a significant income jump, and it is this age group earning the highest commissions. Reps in their 40s report the highest total income, despite making a lower base salary than those in their 50s and 60s. Once reps have ten years of experience (most do in their 30s), additional experience does not affect income as much as it does in earlier stages of a career in medical sales.

Average Income by Employer Size
Large (1,000+ full-time employees)
Manufacturer: $186,202
Distributor: $183,691
Service Provider: $131,556

Medium (51-999 full-time employees)
Manufacturer: $172,854
Distributor: $121,817
Service Provider: $152,508

Small (50 or fewer full-time employees)
Manufacturer: $174,686
Distributor: $142,217
Service Provider: $129,579

50% of reps work for large manufacturers. No matter the size of the company, those who work for manufacturers report the highest income.

Average Income by Job Title

  • Sales Director/Sales VP
  • $247,450
  • Sales Management
  • $215,609
  • Account Manager
  • $170,919
  • Sales – Field
  • $166,359
  • Independent Rep/1099 Rep
  • $133,185

Nothing affects Medical Sales Rep salaries as much as job title. Income increases with responsibility. Sales Managers earn a base salary that is 40% more than the reps they manage. Medical Sales Directors and VPs earn a base salary that is 24% more than Sales Managers. Despite the differences in base salaries, the average commissions for the medical sales job titles listed were within a 10% range.

Job and Income Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction
82% very or somewhat satisfied with their job
37% very satisfied
45% somewhat satisfied
13% somewhat dissatisfied
5% very dissatisfied

Income Satisfaction
78% very or somewhat satisfied with their income
28% very satisfied
50% somewhat satisfied
15% somewhat dissatisfied
7% very dissatisfied

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All data shown above is based on The 2021 MedReps Medical Sales Salary Report