The baby boomers are growing up. With them, life expectancies grow as more people live longer and healthier lives. To keep up with these long-lasting lives, new medicines are constantly being developed, tested and supplied. Pharmaceutical jobs are one of the fastest growing segments of the job market.
Nicole Falzone is one of the people who will be selling these new and improved drugs to doctors and hospitals.
How to Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep
Education, skills for pharmaceutical jobs
Falzone graduated from Nazareth College in New York with a bachelor's degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing and economics. She began her career with Mobil Chemical as a national account coordinator selling items such as biohazard-can liners. Part of Falzone's job was to learn about the Food and Drug Administration regulations of different states. This led her to the healthcare industry, and she became interested in finding out how to become a pharmaceutical sales rep.
Pharmaceutical Jobs - A Typical Day
Falzone began working for Sanofi Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in New York City, four years ago. She became a hospital-specialty representative in her territory, which includes Rochester, Syracuse and Niagara Falls.
In a regular week, Falzone can start at Rochester-area hospitals and finish the week in Syracuse. Falzone's specialty is in sales of medicines for cardiovascular problems such as hypertension and congestive heart failure. Falzone spends most of her days in hospitals or specialty offices making sales, answering questions about the products and teaching nurses how to administer the products.
"I may spend half a day in the cath-lab shadowing a cardiologist," Falzone says. During this time, she answers any questions the doctors have about the existing products, reminds them of new and updated studies and informs them of newly approved products.
Falzone finds the benefits of her job to be innumerable. First of all, she's helping make a difference in people's lives. And the field is completely self-motivated. "You can really maximize yourself if you are willing to work hard and get out there and make things happen," she says. The job is also flexible, as Falzone works out of her own home. She says she also enjoys the challenge and competition in the pharmaceutical-sales field.
However, the challenge and competition can be detrimental to the profession. Falzone says that the pharmaceutical market is saturated. There are so many pharmaceutical companies and representatives that sales representatives must distinguish themselves from others. Representatives have to be dependable resources so that doctors request a particular company's services over others.
Another challenge of competition is finding time to meet with physicians. "One of the biggest challenges throughout the day is that the target audience that I'm selling to, the physician-based, is extremely busy," Falzone says. "I may see a physician for literally two minutes, so I need to know exactly what I want to attain, and attain it within those two minutes."
Pharmaceutical jobs- Are they for you?
Pharmaceutical sales representatives can earn anywhere from $35,000 to $120,000 plus a year, depending on your work ethic, enthusiasm and talent. The opportunity for growth with pharmaceutical companies is encouraging. Some examples of these areas include hospital sales representatives, product line managers, and district sales managers.
If you're interested in how to become a pharmaceutical sales rep, scan Web sites to find contact information for pharmaceutical jobs, ask family doctors who their representatives are or go on a ride along with a local representative for experience. In order to land good pharmaceutical jobs, students should concentrate on business, marketing and biology courses.
Falzone says that many pharmaceutical jobs require outside sales abilities and experience, as well. Sales experience is always a plus and looks good on resumes.
The pharmaceutical-sales field is constantly growing. "It is a very large and ever-growing industry," Falzone says. And in the next 10 years, she predicts it will grow even more, due to improvements in technology and new medications. Improvements are also being made because of the different diseases that companies study. "It is amazing to me that just as long as I've been in the industry, which is about 4 years, how much it has grown," says Falzone. "There is a lot on the forefront."
Falzone's love of the job is going to keep her at the forefront. "In this industry, you are always wanting to do better and learn more because you are helping people," Falzone says. "The end result in itself, is the difference in the quality of life."
To discover how to become a pharmaceutical sales rep and other careers, visit NextStepU.com/Careers.