Pharmaceutical sales representatives are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, pharmaceutical sales representatives rate their career happiness 2.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 17% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy pharmaceutical sales representatives are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Dentist
3.0
$160k
Real estate agent
3.0
$48k
Health services manager
3.0
$101k
Occupational health specialist
2.9
$73k
Energy broker
2.8
$55k
Pharmaceutical sales representative
2.8
$95k
Sales manager
2.8
$127k
Recruiter
2.7
$62k
Account manager
2.7
$47k
Cost estimator
2.7
$65k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are pharmaceutical sales representatives happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do pharmaceutical sales representatives find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as pharmaceutical sales representatives?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are pharmaceutical sales representative’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are pharmaceutical sales representatives making the best use of their abilities?

Are pharmaceutical sales representatives happy with their salary?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.6/5. The majority of pharmaceutical sales representatives are quite happy with their salaries, with very few having complaints about their income level.

We asked pharmaceutical sales representatives how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

3.6 out of 5 stars

210 pharmaceutical sales representatives

5 Star
29%

29% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
31%

31% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
21%

21% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
9%

9% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
10%

10% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their compensation 1 stars

Do pharmaceutical sales representatives find their jobs meaningful?

On average, pharmaceutical sales representatives rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.6/5. The majority of pharmaceutical sales representatives struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked pharmaceutical sales representatives how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.6 out of 5 stars

210 pharmaceutical sales representatives

5 Star
10%

10% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
17%

17% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
21%

21% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
24%

24% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
28%

28% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as pharmaceutical sales representatives?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.7/5. The majority of pharmaceutical sales representatives find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked pharmaceutical sales representatives how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.7 out of 5 stars

209 pharmaceutical sales representatives

5 Star
29%

29% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
37%

37% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
18%

18% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
9%

9% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
7%

7% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a pharmaceutical sales representative’s work environment?

As a whole, pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.6/5. A solid majority of pharmaceutical sales representatives enjoy their work environment, probably contributing to overall higher satisfaction with working as a pharmaceutical sales representative.

We asked pharmaceutical sales representatives how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.6 out of 5 stars

211 pharmaceutical sales representatives

5 Star
24%

24% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
38%

38% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
17%

17% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
13%

13% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
8%

8% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their work environment 1 stars

Are pharmaceutical sales representatives making the best use of their abilities?

Former pharmaceutical sales representatives on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.9/5. Pharmaceutical sales representatives tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.

We asked pharmaceutical sales representatives how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.9 out of 5 stars

211 pharmaceutical sales representatives

5 Star
13%

13% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
22%

22% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
24%

24% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
22%

22% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
20%

20% of pharmaceutical sales representatives rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars