Pharmaceutical Sales Salary for Entry Level Pharma Reps

If you are  looking to work as a pharmaceutical rep then you may be curious what you can expect to make.  So what is the typical pharmaceutical  sales salary?

According to my sources and past experience, entry level pharmaceutical sales salary will range based on the company you are interviewing.  Typically the big pharmaceutical companies pay better than some of the contract selling organizations although that is not always the case.  So we are just going to look at an average.

Most entry level pharmaceutical reps will start out with a pharmaceutical sales salary between $46,000 to $55,000 per year, but there are some second-tier companies that start reps off somewhat lower.

A lower pharma sales salary likely  would be for individuals selling for a generic drug company, and typically, the mid-to-upper $30’s would be the bottom of the barrel. But their bonuses could be much higher. I am aware of individuals straight out of college that were offered $50,000 or more as their starting base. It really depends on the company and the individual.

Bonus pay is a little more difficult to predict because of its variability. Assuming an annual base salary of $46,000 as  primary care sales rep, you could reasonably expect bonus pay of $18,000 to $24,000 per year. That means you should reasonably expect to make $64,000 your first year, but it’s not unreasonable to make closer to $70K!

In addition to the great pay, there are a number of additional benefits and perks including:

  • Travel: company-provided automobile, auto insurance, gas
  • Connectivity: mobile phone allowance, internet access
  • Insurance: health insurance for you and your family, company-paid life insurance
  • Incidentals: expense account and office allowance

The pharmaceutical companies provide many of these perks because they are simply required for you to do your job, but a number of these can be used to directly lower your personal and home bills that you are already paying. Many reps are able to sell their personal car once they receive the company-provided vehicle. Eliminating a car payment, auto insurance, and gas makes that $75,000 feel like more.

Your monthly savings may look something like this:

  1. Car payment $450
  2. Auto Insurance $120
  3. Gas $350
  4. Oil Changes $30
  5. Car Wash $3
  • Total $980

You may be able to save almost $1,000 per month in expenses that you are already paying. Think about this:  to receive $1,000 after taxes, you would need to make about $1,300 before taxes.

These perks create savings equivalent to an additional $15,000 in salary. Now you feel like you are making $85,000 per year the first year on the as a pharmaceutical sales rep!

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