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To become a medical sales representative, you will typically need to have a combination of scientific knowledge and sales skills. Many companies require that new employees have a four year degree in a health related specialty, which is helpful when it comes to learning and memorizing various medical product lines. It can also help to have previous sales experience and to show an aptitude for developing business contacts, so you may want to obtain this type of work experience while you are attending school. If you have an exceptionally strong sales background in another industry, that experience may also help you become a medical sales representative without any sort of post-secondary education.
The first step to become a medical sales representative is typically to determine which method you want to use to break into the field. If you already have a related degree or extensive sales experience, you can apply for a job on the strength of those credentials. Otherwise, you may choose to attend a four year school and obtain a bachelor's degree in a science related field, preferably with a focus on health or medicine. If at all possible, you can also develop sales credentials at this time either through jobs or internships.
In some cases, it is also possible to work as a sales representative in another industry before transitioning into medical sales. The medical supply industry may not be your goal when you first go into sales, but it can be a lucrative area to move into. To facilitate the process of moving from another business sector to become a medical sales representative, you may want to independently study the types of products you would be selling. If you can demonstrate an excellent sales background, the ability to create and build business relationships, and a good technical knowledge of the medical industry, you may be of significant interest to potential employers.
Another way to help your case when trying to become a medical sales representative is to obtain various industry certifications. Going through the process of getting these certifications can show your dedication and also tout your knowledge and expertise to potential employers. In some cases these certifications can help you get hired, though they can also lead to advancement and better compensation in other circumstances. Two certifications that are commonly available in the United States are the Certified Professional Manufacturers' Representative (CPMR) and Certified Sales Professional (CSP).