Just like complex financial instruments are for sophisticated investors, this article is for those who have experience in the industry. If you are trying to break into medical sales, I highly recommend you get a standard W2 role which includes a salary component and insurance benefits. But for those who have built knowledge of a market niche and strong relationships, 1099 medical sales jobs can provide higher upside compensation in certain circumstances.
What Is A 1099 Rep?
First off, let me define what being a 1099 sales rep is all about. As when I was new to the industry, I would get confused by these job postings. A 1099 rep is a sales representative that earns their income only through commission. 1099 medical device reps may also be referred to as independent medical device distributors.
1099 Medical Sales Jobs
There are two things to consider. What is the advantage for the company? And why would a sales representative choose to be in a commission only role?
Paying for a salesforce is expensive from a company’s perspective. The company has to pay for salaries and benefits. In addition, they have to employee additional workers to manage the sales reps to make sure they are producing. This all goes away with the independent medical device distributor model.
Well, but why would a rep choose to be in one of these positions? If a rep has industry experience and strong relationships there may be upside. In a commission only structure you get paid to perform. No busy work. No tedious corporate administrative tasks. Just selling. If you can move product, these structure may offer the optimal way to make money. But it requires the industry knowledge and deep physician relationships. CC Sales Pro offers a list of criteria on when it may make sense to go the 1099 route.
Related: Click here to learn about the best medical device sales career blogs.
1099 Medical Device Sales
One common question is why is it called 1099. This refers to the tax form given to those in commission only roles. While regular employees get a W2 every year, independent contractors receive a 1099-MISC form for tax purposes.
Advantages Of The Best 1099 Medical Sales Jobs
- Potentially less administrative work such as logging calls and completing paperwork.
- Being your own boss!
- Higher commission percentages.
- Uncapped compensation. The standard W2 medical sales jobs typically have compensation plans with dense terms and conditions which cap the ability to earn.
- Flexibility and freedom. Nothing is better than being able to focus on the customer and selling activities, versus corporate politics and administrative tasks.
How Much Do Independent Medical Sales Reps Make?
It can be challenging to find accurate and reliable information on compensation for independent sales reps. It varies a lot. There are numerous reasons for this. First off, not all are of these positions are truly full time. Second, many independent reps cover multiple products lines.
MedCepts – A Resource For Independent Medical Device Distributors
If you are interested in learning more about 1099 medical device jobs and expanding your network, I recommend checking out MEDcepts. MEDcepts works to connect established and emerging medical product device companies with independent medical device distributors. The website provides a board for job seekers and a blog with relevant content to the 1099 medical device world.
1099 Medical Sales Reddit
As usual, I have summarized some of the best feedback from Reddit. Here is what those in the industry have to say about 1099 medical sales.
- 1099 roles do not always require a full time commitment. It is not a salary or hourly position so it can provide a lot of flexibility.
- It is common for expenses like travel and vendor credentialing to come out of your own pocket. Talk about having skin in the game!
- There are limited training opportunities. They expect that reps will come with experience.
- Some view these roles as only being for desperate candidates that really want to break into medical sales.
- 1099 roles sometimes have very low hiring standards because there is no downside or cost to the company.
- Typically 1099 positions exist for products with shorter sales cycles. For example, it would be difficult to endure a two year sales process with no base salary or other form of compensation.
Related: Click here to learn about how to prepare for a medical device sales interview.