Odds of Hanging On
The job outlook for pharmaceutical drug representatives is pretty good for the next few years. Now more than ever, pharmaceutical companies are spending the big bucks in developing and promoting new products that will have a large impact on human health. And they need pharma reps to market and get doctors to prescribe the drugs to patients.
That's not to say that there isn't competition. More college graduates are getting into the gig, and more restrictions are regulating what pharmaceutical companies can and can't do to push their products. They can't give out free pens anymore; they are cracking down on lavish lunches and vacations. And then there's added pressure from the doctors themselves. Some refuse to see pharma reps on principle—making that good sales year all the more difficult to reach.
But if you can get a foot in the door, there's room to grow within this industry as well. Some pharma reps end up getting into the business side of things and are promoted to regional manager or even director of sales.