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How Do I Become a Medical Device Representative?

Blood glucose monitors are one type of device sold by a medical device representative.
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  • Written By: Susan Abe
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 05 December 2014
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Medical devices are not — for the most part — fancy, rare, hard-to-understand high-tech tools. In fact, it would be hard to locate a Western family without at least one such device in their household. The term medical device refers to objects as varied as contact lenses, blood glucose monitors, total knee replacements, hearing aids and cochlear implants. A medical device representative, then, can sell a variety of medical devices to very different types of customers, ranging from durable medical equipment companies, hospitals, different surgeons within the same hospitals or to ophthalmology offices. Hence, one of the first recommendations suggested to become a medical device representative is to gain an entry-level position in a medical device manufacturing or distribution company.

Review of online classified advertisements will show that almost all employers require a minimum of two years experience in the field to become a medical device representative. As in other fields, this requirement for experience before one can acquire the position to gain the experience presents a conundrum best sidestepped by accepting an entry-level position in the company under any reasonable title. By demonstrating enthusiasm, hard work and initiative, an employee in a medical device company may eventually be considered for a position as a medical device representative.

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Unlike most sales representative positions, medical and science-related sales positions usually require a bachelor's degree. At the very least, a career in this area requires the ability to rapidly learn specialized information and a highly technical vocabulary. Previous sales experience in any area can help an applicant become a medical device representative, especially if he has earned a bachelor's degree in a medical or science related field.

Additional consideration may be afforded to those who have worked in the medical field as a nurse, technician or other professional. Certifications in the field of sales and sales representation may be of assistance and are available from the Manufacturers' Representatives Education Research Foundation™ after a course of study and successful completion of an examination. Experience as a pharmaceutical sales representative would also enhance an applicant's resume, as the positions are similar. In some cases, a career change from a pharmaceutical sales representative to become a medical device representative could be completed within the same company.

If an applicant is able to be offered this position, completion of an established training course is usually required prior to being allowed to work as a medical device representative. Training intensifies according to the technical aspects of the medical device to prepare the sales rep for accurate and knowledgeable sales presentations with the healthcare professionals to whom the products are marketed.

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