I had an acquaintance several years ago (a friend of my BF at the time) who went into pharmaceutical sales because he had always heard about how lucrative it was (and he definitely had the personality for it, a born salesman). I heard a lot from him about his "drug rep" experience, and he v. quickly grew to hate his job. The position was commission only, and he talked all the time about how extremely cutthroat and competitive that world is. There's also a v. high premium on, ummm, let's call it "physical attractiveness" (which is certainly not the case in nursing, as you only have to look around you to see
). Lots of travel, which some people like and some don't. He never came close
to making as much money as he had anticipated (had been led to believe) when he started -- he and his family were actually struggling to get by -- and was always
terrified of losing his job because he hadn't performed well enough in a particular quarter. He actually started developing stress-related health problems (and he was a young, healthy guy to begin with). He eventually got out of the field entirely and found something else to do.
I have no idea how medical/surgical equipment sales compares, but the "drug rep" biz is certainly not the rosy, easy life that it's often believed to be. While there is certainly "good money to be made" in either field (CRNA or sales), lots of people in the sales positions aren't
making "good money," and the price they pay for the money they do make is high.