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CNPR Review - NAPSRx Reviews

We get inquiries occasionally about what pharmaceutical insiders, companies, pharmaceutical consultants, healthcare recruiters, pharmaceutical executives and other healthcare associations say about the NAPSRx as well as the CNPR Pharmaceutical Sales Training program. Below you will find an example of information found on the industry insiders websites and the link to where you can find these statements as well as other info.

Why Should I Seek CNPR Certification?

The CNPR certification communicates certain key facts to hiring managers and supervisors in pharmaceutical sales. For instance, it tells these decision-makers that you have learned vital information about drug product and industry requirements, which will help you comply with applicable laws and ethics regulations when working with customers.

The certification also demonstrates that you have important background knowledge in key areas related to pharmaceutical sales, like human physiology and pharmacology. Instead of spelling out these areas on your resume or cover letter, your certification acts as shorthand to communicate them – leaving you more space to focus on your specific accomplishments. 

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How To Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

The job of a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative is to educate physicians and other medical professionals on new advances in the pharmaceutical industry and showcase cutting-edge treatments and medications. Are you looking to flex your sales skills in a professional environment? Are you interested in science and the latest new technological advances? Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep and work as an ambassador for the pharmaceutical industry, bringing the necessary knowledge and drugs to the healthcare facilities and consumers who need them.

Get licensed/certified. Certification as a Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) is available through the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives. This type of certification will give you the pharmaceutical product knowledge required by pharmaceutical sales companies, and educate you on the rules and regulations for selling products. You will also learn skills to help you hone your selling techniques.

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Gain Training and Consider Becoming Certified

Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) is available through the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives. Candidates must complete an accredited training program (offered online) and pass a knowledge exam.   Reps are expected to engage in rigorous continuing education throughout their careers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistic expects a job growth of 7% for all sales representatives of technical and scientific products (which includes PSRs) between 2014 and 2024, which is roughly average job growth. Demand is highest for knowledgeable sales people who are able to stay up to date in a rapidly changing industry and communicate effectively with health care professionals.

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How to Become a Medical/Pharmaceutical Sales Rep?

Enroll in a Training Program and Get Licensed or Certified

Certifications might not be required by all employers, but they can help with career advancement and improve your industry and sales knowledge. The National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Reps offers training courses and a certification to become a Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR).

Before a pharmaceutical sales rep can begin, employers often want them to have an understanding of pharmacology, selling, and medical terminology -- and the CNPR Certification program teaches this information. And when you're ready, you'll take the CNPR Examination. It's a two-hour exam that requires a minimum score of 80% to pass.

Completion of the program helps current pharma sales reps stay up-to-date on the industry and selling techniques. And it gives individuals who'd like to break into pharmaceutical sales an introduction to sales, pharmacology, and industry guidelines and standards.

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How To Get A Pharmaceutical Sales Certification

Pharmaceutical sales can be a very rewarding and lucrative career. The drug industry is growing fast as more drugs are coming to market every day. Drug sales are rising by as much as 6% every few years due to the aging of the US population, as well as new breakthroughs in pharmaceuticals.

An effective and proven way to break into the pharmaceutical sales industry is to earn the CNPR certification. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider earning your certification:

  • It assures potential employers that the candidate has met drug product and industry requirements to be a successful and ethical pharmaceutical sales representative. The CNPR certification program can be taken through many colleges and universities, many of them online.
  • Certification shows that you have attained proper industry knowledge, clinical training and pharmaceutical education
  • Certification will help you to get noticed and to stand out from other sales rep applicants.

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What Education is Required to Become a Pharmaceutical Representative?

Many pharmaceutical representatives have four-year bachelor’s degrees in chemistry or biology. But that’s not the only path. eLearning providers like Meditec offer a Certified Pharmaceutical Representative training program to help you get an entry-level pharmaceutical representative job even if you don’t have pharmacology or medical education.

What Certifications Do Pharmaceutical Representatives Get?

Many reps complete courses and pass an exam to get a Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) certification, available through the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives.

CNPR courses will likely cover:

  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • FDA regulations
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Clinical trials
  • Drug classes, labeling, and regulations
  • Medical terminology
  • Development of new drugs
  • Sales skills

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Education Requirements for Pharmaceutical Sales

Pharmaceutical Sales Training and Certification

Certification can be obtained with the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives and upon completion will equip candidates with the product and regulatory knowledge required to be a successful pharmaceutical sales rep.

Pharmaceutical Sales Job Requirements

Beyond meeting any education requirements, pharmaceutical sales reps must possess strong customer service and interpersonal skills. Reps must be confident and be able to quickly understand a client's needs pre- and post-sale, as well as developing strong relationships with clients and colleagues. Additionally, it is important to be in good physical condition as reps will often be on the move and on their feet throughout the working day.

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How Much Money Do Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Make?

Prescription medications play a key role in the healthcare industry and can treat virtually all medical conditions. Pharmaceutical sales representatives are the middlemen between drug manufacturers and medical professionals, and help ensure the awareness, distribution and use of potentially life-saving medicines. Reps must possess a high degree of scientific and clinical knowledge about the products they are selling and are rewarded with some of the highest salaries in the sales industry.

Education Requirements

Drugs companies typically hire sales representatives who hold a college degree in biology, chemistry or pharmacology. You'll be expected to understand medical terminology and understand how different drugs affect the human body. A degree or postgraduate degree in business or marketing, or a healthcare MBA, could also be useful. Generally, your employer will train you on the job regarding its specific portfolio of products and those of competitors. Some may ask you to take additional exams and earn the title of Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative.

As for the typical pharmaceutical sales rep's salary, employees in this industry earned a median of $127,830 annually in 2023 (it will higher in 2024). If you ranked all the pharmaceutical sales reps in the country from the lowest to the highest paid, the person in the middle would earn the median wage. The highest-paid 10 percent made $227,490 in 2023 (it will be higher in 2024), which equates to $113.72 per hour.

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CNN Money predicted that 10-year job growth for PSRs will be 16.4 percent, which is considerably above-average. Around 400,000 more pharmaceutical sales jobs will be created through 2022. Drug reps are recruited by pharmaceutical manufacturing firms, research institutes, distributors, and wholesalers.

Overall, pharmaceutical sales representatives are refined, confident salespeople who master medical jargon to promote prescription or over-the-counter drugs.  If you decide to break into the pharmaceutical sales representative job, you'll land a profitable career helping patients gain access to drugs that effectively treat their ailments.

Excellent advancement option is professional certification. For example, you can become a Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) with a training program.

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The National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives (NAPSR) has a website and offers training programs to help entry-level pharmaceutical sales reps advance in their careers. The association is widely known for its Pharmaceutical Sales Training Program (CNPR) available to candidates who want to enter a pharmaceutical sales career.

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