Medical Careers--Pharmaceutical Sales

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Using your Psychology degree to start a career in Pharmaceuticals Sales

It may seem unlikely to you, but you can use your Psychology degree to pursue a career in Pharmaceutical (pharma) sales. As a Pharmaceutical Sales rep you provide doctors with drugs needed to care for their patients. This job requires you to understand pharmacology, but many Psychology majors have an interest in drugs and behavior, (the effect of drugs on the body (including the nervous system), side effects and possible ineractions with other drugs), and have taken a course on this topic as well as Biology and Chemistry courses. In addition, you should be aware that Pharmaceutical Sales reps may specialize in a certain group or class of drugs, which can help a rep more valuable to those providing healthcare and better able to sell their products.

There are several important issues to think about if you are considering being a Pharmaceutical Sales rep. First, these reps often spend a lot of time on the road. They visit doctor's offices, hospitals, and nursing homes on a regular basis. Second, in general these reps are pretty independent and can set their own work schedules. Third, the norm is for Pharma reps to work on commission-you get paid based on how much you sell. This means that reps typically put in a lot of hours, but they can earn a relatively large salary. Fourth, being a sales rep of any type requires a lot of networking, so a good amount of your time may be spent at conferences and events where doctors and hospital/nursing home reps will be in attendance. Fifth, Phrama reps may try and earn voluntary certification as a Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) through the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives. The importance of this certification is that it gives you: a) product knowledge required by pharmaceutical sales companies, (b) information about the rules and regulations for selling drugs, and (c) information about selling techniques. listed the yearly average wages of a Pharmaceutical sales Representative at $74,000.

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