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FAQ Topics

What is Medical Device Sales / Surgical Sales?

What are Medical Device / Surgical Sales?

Medical device / surgical sales representatives are characteristically experts with medical devices, representing a manufacturer and providing technical assistance to surgeons and their operating room staffs. Most surgical sales reps view their role as sales consultants, helping with surgical products that are good for the surgeon as well as the patient. Their focus is on representing quality products that, when used correctly with the expert assistance of the representative, enhance patient care.

Surgical sales can mean a range of jobs, ranging from selling medical devices to medical disposables, biotech products to durable medical equipment and more. Surgical sales reps can work for manufacturers or distributors and may be employees or independent contractors.

Why work in Medical Device / Surgical Sales?

You Can Make a Difference – It’s a profession to be proud of. You get to help people and get paid well to do it.

Diversity of Activities – A typical day might involve supporting an operating room procedure, conducting a training session with physicians, and staying in contact with numerous medical staff in your territory.

High Income Potential – Medical device sales professionals are some of the highest earners in the healthcare industry. According to a recent salary report, entry level positions average $95,662 a year with an average base salary of $63,110.

Opportunity for Advancement – Average income increases significantly between the 20 to 30 and 31 to 40 age groups.

Independence – You’re Not Confined to a Cubicle – A medical sales representative’s job is not spent in a cubicle; Reps need to spend their days calling on doctors and hospitals in their sales territory.

Job Opportunities in Medical Device Sales

What companies are hiring?

Virtually every company in the health care industry is seeking motivated, well prepared employees. There are hundreds of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry and thousands more in medical devices.

A recent job search on LinkedIn showed over 16,000 results for Medical Device Sales Jobs. Looking further, here is a further breakdown on open job positions in Medical Device Sales. Clearly, there are many general entry-level medical jobs available to recent college graduates. Click to view more on entry level medical device sales jobs.

Who are the top companies in medical device sales?

Here’s a list of the top medical device companies. For additional information, visit our entry level medical sales jobs page.

Johnson & Johnson

GE Healthcare

Siemens AG

Medtronic Inc.

Baxter International Inc.

Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGAA

Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV

Covidien plc

Novartis AG

Cardinal Health Inc.

Stryker Corp.

Becton, Dickinson and Co.

Abbott Labs

Boston Scientific Corp.

Essilor International SA

Allergan Inc.

St. Jude Medical Inc.

3M Co.

Terumo Corp.

Olympus Corp.

Zimmer Holdings Inc.

Toshiba Corp.

Smith & Nephew plc

Hospira Inc.

CareFusion Corp.

Getinge AB

Bayer AG

CR Bard Inc.

DENTSPLY International Inc.

Varian Medical Systems Inc.

Hoya Corp.

Getting Your First Medical Sales Job

What are some practical skills I need that will help me land a job?

Employers are looking for representatives that are strong company representatives, can work assigned sales territories, and drive sales revenue. Toward that end, employers are looking for candidates with strong professional skills, good medical knowledge, operating room experience, sales management skills, and the ability to sell product.

How does the course help me succeed in landing an entry level position?

There’s more to obtaining and succeeding in your first job than medical knowledge. While the majority of the class builds your medical knowledge base and provides the operating room experience you’ll need, we recognize the importance of learning the professional skills you’ll require to succeed.

Week four focuses on building skills to help students not only get their first job but succeed in that position going forward. Topics covered include sales territory management, building relationships, techniques for successful sales, and more.

For additional examples of the types of interview questions we help prepare you for, view sample medical rep interview questions.

Why Supplementary Training for Medical Device Sales?

Why supplementary training for medical sales jobs?

When breaking into any competitive field, finding your “competitive edge” is key. All medical device and equipment companies are more likely to hire sales candidates with medical sales / product training. Your recent college degree is certainly an important prerequisite for an entry level job. But to stand above the crowded field of applicants and improve your odds of success once you get the job, specialized training is critical. The difference between getting the job, or getting denied, comes down to industry knowledge and training.

Want to know if you already have the training you need ? Take our interview preparedness quiz to find out.

What are typical skills and experience needed for my first entry level job?

Medical Knowledge

Medical terminology


Trauma, bone healing

Sport medicine


Devices and implants

Operating Room Experience

Operating room protocol

Sterile technique

Wet and dry lab

Common surgical procedures

Surgical observation

Business / Sales Skills

Knowledge of surgical sales

Industry specific consultative selling skills

Sales territory management

Effective professional skills

Interviewing skills

Why Surgical Sales 101?

Why Surgical Sales 101?

Surgical Sales 101 provides you the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to be job ready for medical device sales in five weeks. Medical device / surgical sales is a competitive field and prospective employers show preference for candidates with strong, relevant backgrounds. Surgical Sales 101 provides you that strong, relevant background.

Our facilities in Las Vegas share space with a working orthopedic distributorship, allowing our students access that is not available anywhere else. For example:

  • Live surgical observations
  • Interaction with our faculty of practicing orthopedic surgeons
  • Cadaver lab

In addition, you’ll also find that the Surgical Sales 101 experience includes:

  • Small class sizes that provide individualized attention and interaction
  • An efficiently designed course with the goal of having you job ready in just 5 weeks
  • Instructors that bring over 40 years of combined successful medical device experience to the classroom

The combination of our training experience, relevant content and approach to learning has shown proven career advancement into the medical device industry. Our commitment and mission is to put our students first and to advance the training and skills of surgical sales representatives in our industry.

Course Prerequisites

Do I need a science degree to qualify for the course?

No. Though an undergraduate degree is important. Most companies are seeking candidates with strong work ethics, a passionate commitment and some form of specialized training that can help to speed the transition into the position. The training provided at SS101 prepares our graduates to compete for these jobs.

Do I need a college degree to qualify for the course?

You should already have or be very close to completing a college degree. A key objective of the course is to prepare our graduates to be “job ready”. Given that a college degree is required to qualify for entry level medical device sales positions, it is equally important for the course.

Is sales experience required?

No. In fact, some extremely successful sales professionals entered their career with no sales experience or training. As part of the course, we introduce you to the sales techniques and skills you’ll need to be successful in medical device sales.

About the Course

Why is the class size limited?

Part of the advantage of smaller classes is the individualized attention you receive. Further, hands on labs and surgery observations are more interactive and limiting the participants allows for a more valuable and tactile experience.

Is there a lot of homework?

Like anything else, you get out of this class what you put into it. Students that apply themselves in each phase of the class are well prepared to move into a position. The class itself is a mix of on-line, self-paced learning, class-wide conference calls and hands on training.

The on-line course work includes articles and videos to learn the material. The class then meets each week for a joint conference call with the instructor. Vocabulary homework and a weekly quiz are part of the home study. The Las Vegas lab includes hands on surgical skill training and live surgery observations.

What other costs might I be responsible for?

Tuition is $3,890 and covers all course work, labs and surgery observations. Payment plans are available. We do suggest some textbooks, which cost about $50. Lodging, meals and transportation to Las Vegas are not included. Hotel arrangements and shuttle transportation are available from Homewood Suites in Henderson, Nevada. To receive our discounted rate, use this link for your reservation: Homewood Suites

Why is the in-house training and lab work in Las Vegas?

Our facilities in Las Vegas share space with a working orthopedic distributorship and where our relationships in the hospitals and the orthopedic community allow our students access that is not available anywhere else. Live surgical observations and interaction with our surgeon faculty are a vital part of the learning experience.

Where do I stay in Las Vegas? Can I get a discount?

For our students, Surgical Sales 101 has negotiated discount rates with the local hotels:

  • Homewood Suites in Henderson, NV, 702-450-1045. To receive our discounted rate, use this link for your reservation: Homewood Suites.
  • Best Western PLUS in Las Vegas, South Henderson. Contact your advisor for the discounted corporate rate code.

Getting Started

How do I apply?

We recommend that you speak with an advisor. Our advisors are current instructors with over 32 years’ collective experience as practicing reps. They can speak to you in depth about surgical sales as a career opportunity and the course itself.

Regularly scheduled courses fill up fast due to limited enrollment. Contact an advisor now to get started in a rewarding career in medical device sales.




Get Started Now!

We limit our monthly enrollment to insure you will receive the best training possible so the time to enroll is now!


I wanted to send a quick hello and let you know that I’ve been having some good conversations with surgeons based on the intro calls. Everything I learned in your course is becoming clearer each day that I view a procedure and speak with surgeons, so I wanted to thank you for your help.
Michael Baker

Keystone Surgical Systems

Surgical Sales Action Plan
This action plan is designed to give you the information you need to decide if a career as a surgical sales consultant is right for you and how to get started. Learn about the industry, if it’s a good fit for you, required knowledge and experience, and what you need to get your first, entry level job.  » Read More

“The course was very helpful and really enjoyed working with Chadley”
Eric Granger