If you have a background in sales, science or veterinary technology, you might be a good candidate for a lucrative career as a veterinary pharmaceutical representative. Experienced sales representatives sometimes earn six-figure salaries. Many who are involved in veterinary pharmaceutical sales get started as veterinary technicians, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many veterinary technologists find employment and career opportunities in pharmaceutical sales, according to the 2010-11 BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. In May of 2010, the mean hourly wage for all veterinary technicians surveyed was $14.92, or $31,030 annually. The lowest 10th percentile of workers surveyed earned hourly wages near $9.85, or $20,500 annually, and the 90th percentile earned closer to $21.17 per hour, or $44,030 per year. Professionals employed in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing earned $20.66 hourly, or $42,980 annually, placing them just between the 75th and 90th percentile of all veterinary technologists and technicians surveyed.
Sales Representatives of Technical and Scientific Products
Veterinary pharmaceutical representatives can also be classified as sales representatives of technical and scientific products in the BLS 2010 Occupational Employment and Wage documents. During the reporting period, the mean hourly wage for sales reps of wholesale, manufacturing, technical and scientific products was $40.56, or $84,360 annually. The lowest 10th percentile earned $17.66 per hour, or $36,740 annually, and the 90th percentile earned $69.43 per hour, or $144,420 annually. The 50 percent median of workers surveyed reported making about $35.44 hourly, or $73,710 annually.
Where you live and work can make a direct impact on how much you can expect to earn as a veterinary pharmaceutical representative. For instance, in 2010, salaries for veterinary technicians ranged between $10.84 per hour, or $22,560 annually, in non-metropolitan areas of northeastern North Carolina to $21.43 per hour, or $44,580 annually, in Sacramento, California. During the same reporting period, sales representative salaries ranged anywhere from $25.51 hourly, or $53,050 per year, in non-metropolitan areas of northwestern Oklahoma to $70.48 hourly, or $146,600 per year, in northwest Florida.
The BLS reports that the employment outlook for veterinary pharmaceuticals is quite positive. Close to two million sales representative jobs existed in wholesale and manufacturing in May of 2008. Roughly 432,900 of those positions were in sales and representation of technical and scientific products. The BLS predicts that between 2008 and 2018 about 42,000 jobs in the field will become available, indicating an overall employment increase of 10 percent.