How to get into sales in the health and pharmaceuticals industry

21/12/2020 How to Find a Job

How to get into sales in the health and pharmaceuticals industry

Almost every industry you can think of has its very own sales sector, and many sales professionals become specialised in a particular industry over time. In sales, it pays to be knowledgeable, so working to your strengths and sticking to an industry you know inside-out is the best way to advance your career.

Whether you’re already working in sales in the healthcare industry and you’re looking for a new role to advance into, or you’re a recent graduate or healthcare professional keen to start a career in sales, there are plenty of sales jobs going that could be just right for you.

What does a career in healthcare sales look like?

Sales jobs in the health and pharmaceuticals industry include medical sales reps, territory managers, and hospital specialists. These roles are all about driving sales for companies in the healthcare field, such as pharmaceutical companies: this means working closely with colleagues and clients in hospitals and other healthcare settings to build strong relationships, raise brand awareness, and boost sales in the long-term.

Other sales jobs in the healthcare industry could be positions in fitness and wellbeing companies and health food retailers. If you’re enthusiastic about health and fitness but don’t fit the technical background needed for roles in pharmaceutical sales, then there are plenty of roles that could still be a great fit for you.

Like sales jobs in other industries, roles in pharmaceutical sales often start at around £20,000 and rise up to £70,000 or greater for senior positions, with added benefits including a great pension and commission based on performance.

How to get into sales in the health industry

Healthcare is a complicated field, and one which requires good technical knowledge and a thorough understanding of the products and services that you’re selling. For this reason, graduates and professionals with a background in a related field – such as science, medicine, or health and social care – are particularly good candidates for sales jobs in the health sector. Of course, these are still sales positions, so a can-do attitude, excellent communication skills, and plenty of enthusiasm for your industry are all requirements, too. 

It’s usual to start your career in sales as a sales adviser or representative, before climbing the ranks to management and consultant positions. A relevant academic or professional background will help you get your first foot on the ladder, but it’s your ability to sell and work with your team that’ll help you rise through the ranks.

Which other sales jobs could be right for me?

If you’re open to other roles in sales, it’s worth exploring to see what’s around. Many candidates applying for positions in sales in the healthcare industry come from a health sciences background; if your background is based more in maths, physics, or engineering, then a position in IT sales or technical sales might suit you better. For arts grads hoping to break into the industry, there may be opportunities in the fitness retail sector which don’t require a science background.

If you’re ready to take your first steps towards a career in healthcare sales, why not check out our sales roles listings ( and find your perfect role today?