From time to time, I meet people working in the healthcare field and end up talking about possible careers in medical sales since they often find out that I spend many years working for pharmaceutical companies. Recently, one such individual was a nurse I met at a public speaking meeting. Like others I met in her field, she was considering a career change and asked me whether her age would be a negative factor in getting hired for medical representative sales jobs. She was probably in her late thirties or early forties. She must have noticed that many of the medical representatives she sometimes see at her hospital are younger looking. I told her that people in all adult age groups can start new careers in medical sales.
Although it is true that many medical companies seem to like hiring young people for their sales forces, many firms also prefer more mature individuals. Some companies will hire people with a variety of ages to fill new medical representative sales positions in order to get a good mix. Some don’t even factor in ages as they focus solely on the sales potential of the individual.
So there is a lot of variance out there among hiring preferences of companies. The fact is that no matter what age you are, there is a company in the medical pharmaceutical industry who will be interested in you if you have excellent communications skills with the right aptitude for the sales world. As long as you are also trainable, companies will be willing to provide you with all the medical knowledge and selling skills required for the job. My cousin started her new medical representative sales job when she was already in her forties. Another former medical clinic assistant in her fifties also got hired.
I’ve worked for pharmaceutical companies with very wide age ranges in their sales forces. Some medical representatives were just out of college and university while others were near retirement age. Although I haven’t worked for one, I do know that many companies prefer to hire new graduates so they could train them from the very beginning of their medical selling careers. I’ve also worked for a specialty pharmaceutical company which preferred older and more mature representatives but several years down the road, they started to hire younger reps new to the industry just to get some new blood in its sales force. So hiring preferences can always change.
For the job seeker who wants to get a medical representative sales job, it’s a matter of finding out which companies seem to hire people in your own age range. Of course, if your skills are above average, you might as well try to contact other companies as well since they may make exceptions to their usual hiring style if you really impress them.