Learn what a medical device specialist does, and what’s possible once you enter the industry.
As a medical device specialist, you support the clinical and technical applications of medical devices. You perform these duties in the procedure room, as the device is being implanted in the patient, and/or in the post-operative monitoring of patients who have certain types of devices implanted. It’s your job to ensure physicians and nurses are satisfied by helping their patients achieve a better quality of life through the effective use of these devices.
Medical device specialist jobs exist in all medical specialties. They may be referred to as clinical specialists, field clinical representatives, technical sales support representatives, etc. in the industry. In device clinics, they may be referred to as device technicians, device clinicians, etc.
At PrepMD, we focus on training you on cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) and electrophysiology (EP) devices, such as pacemakers, ICDs, mapping and ablation catheters. This is because:
- CIEDs and EP devices are among the most technically complex medical devices directly applied to the human heart. Once you understand these devices, you will be equipped to move into other areas of medical device clinical support, or medical device sales, later in your career if you choose.
- CIEDs and EP devices make up the largest single segment of the overall cardiovascular device market, and that segment is growing.
By beginning your career as a cardiac medical device specialist, you enter a growing, dynamic market, and establish a specialized foundation of clinical and technical knowledge that can prepare you for lateral moves later in your career.
What You May Do
Most cardiac medical device specialists balance clinical support and commercial functions in their role. You may support device implantation procedures, visit clinics to run diagnostic tests on a patient’s pacemaker (ongoing device monitoring), and present at company meetings all within the same week. You may also provide training for clinic personnel or practitioners on devices or monitoring equipment.
Where You May Work
Cardiac medical device specialists may work directly for manufacturers or within cardiovascular device clinics in hospitals and other health care provider settings. Most industry-employed device specialists work long hours (more than 40 per week) and travel frequently within their area. Those hired by device clinics and hospitals typically work Monday-Friday with fixed timings.
Personal Qualities You May Need
This is a rewarding line of work—but it’s also a demanding one. You will need to develop a strong clinical understanding and technical expertise about your product and your competitors’ products while also managing customer relationships. The best cardiac medical device specialists are:
- Driven—willing to work hard, work long, and spot opportunities;
- Quick studies—able to absorb and apply new information in a short amount of time;
- Personable—medical device careers touch many lives, and you should be able to relate to everyone you meet on your sales rounds;
- Focused on details—your work has a direct impact on patient quality of life;
- Clear communicators—you’ll need to persuade and instruct as part of your role, so writing and presentation skills matter;
- Confident handling data—whether it’s device data or sales data, you will need to analyze numbers and create reports;
- Comfortable in medical settings—you’re likely to be present at operations, so a sturdy constitution is necessary.
What You Can Earn
Starting salaries vary depending on the exact nature of your job and the organization you work for, but PrepMD graduates’ starting base salaries have ranged between $60K-$80K per year. This doesn’t include bonuses and other compensation including travel allowances or benefits. The average starting package of our participants is $84K per year. However, PrepMD does not guarantee that a graduate will earn the stated amount, as many factors influence actual earnings and the components of an individual’s total compensation package.
Since cardiac device specialist teams are well structured within the organizations, the individuals have opportunity to grow up the ranks in these teams. You may become a Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS) after gaining experience in the field and giving an examination conducted by International Board of Heart Rhythm Society (IBHRE). A cardiac device specialist is also considered as an entry level position to get into a sales representative role. We have seen PrepMD graduates continue to succeed as cardiac device specialists or get into sales, marketing or R&D roles based on their career goals.
A Career for Life
Working as a cardiac device specialist offers the opportunity to make a good living. More importantly, it’s a personally satisfying career. It’s gratifying to have some of the country’s best cardiologists looking to you for expertise about a cardiac medical device. It’s fulfilling to know your company’s product helps people overcome heart problems. And there is no better feeling than knowing that an adjustment you made to a device has helped a patient lead a fuller life.
Does this sound like the kind of career you want to build? Apply to PrepMD’s 24-week program, and you could be starting your first job in a little over 24 weeks from today.
Want a career that’s rewarding, exciting, and improves lives? Train for a medical device specialist career with the program that’s embedded in the industry—Apply to PrepMD!