How To Become A Pharmaceutical Sales Rep

How To Become A Pharmaceutical Sales Rep?

If you are into pharmacology and also like communicating with people, becoming a pharmaceutical sales rep would be a perfect choice for you. Biotech companies hire pharma reps to generate sales of their medicines and drugs by educating healthcare professionals on new developments.

This job is intellectually challenging, requiring the sales representative to have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the field to promote the product effectively. Although it is a demanding career, it also offers higher earning potential and countless opportunities to make a name for yourself.

How To Become A Pharmaceutical Sales Rep?

It is not like you will wake up one day and decide to apply for a pharma sales rep job. Sure, a person can get hired for an entry-level job without having to meet stringent requirements for qualification and experience. However, you would not want to be an entry-level PSR forever, therefore, get a bachelor’s degree to increase your employment prospects.

1. Qualification Requirements 

A high school diploma or GED would be enough to secure an entry-level position as a pharma sales rep. Most pharma companies prefer candidates who have completed courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and public speaking. Getting a bachelor’s or graduate degree will help you secure an important position. There are diverse options available within this field, so, choose a specialization you are truly interested in.

2. Earn Necessary Certifications

Aspiring PSRs can obtain Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) from The National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives. This voluntary certification is designed for pharmaceutical sales reps to gain knowledge and specific skills. A candidate will get to learn sales techniques, common guidelines, frequently used industry tools, and more.

3. Required Skills

sales skill

As much as it is important to have scientific knowledge, the person should also work on developing the skill set necessary to become an effective pharmaceutical sales representative.

Communication Skills – Everybody knows how important it is for any salesperson to have good communication skills. They must know how to communicate their message effectively through verbal and non-verbal communication.

Time Management – Meetings, guiding the sales team, checking in on the existing clients, and finding new prospects keep PSRs busy all day. Pharmaceutical sales reps have a lot on their plate, therefore, they should work on managing their time effectively.

Public Speaking – Having strong presentation skills is important to present new products, services, and information with clarity to healthcare professionals. Research and prepare before the meeting to persuade clients and generate more sales.

4. Work With The Best In The Field

Gaining experience by working with an expert pharma sales rep to learn different tactics for career growth. More than degree and certification, most recruiters look for specific skills, passion, and experience when hiring a PSR.


Once you have earned certifications, it is time to step into the real pharmaceutical world. Prepare a resume and cover letter that sets out the skills, abilities, years of experience, and accomplishments. Make sure to change the resume, and add or remove information that aligns with the job position the candidate is applying for.

Douglas is a cheif editor of Zumboly and experienced blogger with a passion for lifestyle, technology, health, and business. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Hue has developed a keen eye for detail and a unique writing style that engages readers and keeps them coming back for more.