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Clinical Research Associate Careers

A Clinical Research Associate (CRA) oversees clinical studies and trials relating to pharmaceutical and biotechnological procedures, drugs, and other products. As a CRA, your responsibilities include conducting research and managing clinical trials to ensure that these products are safe to use.

Clinical research associates are involved in developing trial protocols and outlining them. You will also manage the investigational product and trial materials and are responsible for training staff involved in the clinical trial process. For trials involving human subjects, the CRA is in charge of various aspects of the subject's welfare. At the end of trials, Clinical Research Associates prepare final reports and liaise with all the parties involved, such as the ethics committee and regulatory bodies.

A Bachelor's degree in biological sciences, pharmacy, or other related fields may be needed for this role. Extensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, practices, and terminologies may also be required. A clinical research associate is also expected to have a good knowledge of FDA regulations and their implementation. This role also requires good communication skills, computer proficiency, and an ability to organize workload efficiently. The average annual income of a CRA is about $42,973.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a clinical research associate. For example, did you know that they make an average of $31.5 an hour? That's $65,517 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 3,700 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Clinical Research Associate Do

There are certain skills that many clinical research associates have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, interpersonal skills and leadership skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a clinical research associate, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.4% of clinical research associates included clinical trials, while 6.1% of resumes included cra, and 5.5% of resumes included study protocol. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the clinical research associate job title. But what industry to start with? Most clinical research associates actually find jobs in the health care and pharmaceutical industries.

How To Become a Clinical Research Associate

If you're interested in becoming a clinical research associate, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 60.1% of clinical research associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.8% of clinical research associates have master's degrees. Even though most clinical research associates have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a clinical research associate. When we researched the most common majors for a clinical research associate, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on clinical research associate resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a clinical research associate. In fact, many clinical research associate jobs require experience in a role such as clinical research coordinator. Meanwhile, many clinical research associates also have previous career experience in roles such as research assistant or clinical research assistant.

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Average Salary
$65,517
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
46,973
Job Openings

Clinical Research Associate Career Paths

Top Careers Before Clinical Research Associate

Top Careers After Clinical Research Associate

Clinical Research Associate Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Clinical Research Associate

Clinical Research Associates in America make an average salary of $65,517 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $98,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $43,000 per year.
Average Salary
$65,517
Find Your Salary Estimate
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Boston, MA
Salary Range71k - 129k$96k$96,378
Hartford, CT
Salary Range71k - 129k$96k$96,204
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range68k - 122k$91k$91,358
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range69k - 119k$91k$90,963
Hackensack, NJ
Salary Range62k - 113k$84k$84,498
Durham, NC
Salary Range62k - 109k$83k$82,531
$31k
$129k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Clinical Research Associate I or II, Oncology
Clinical Research Associate I or II, Oncology
XXX
XXX
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$90,30406/30/2021
$90,304
Clinical Research Associate I or II, Oncology-Midwest or West Coast
Clinical Research Associate I or II, Oncology-Midwest or West Coast
Covance
Covance
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$90,30406/29/2021
$90,304
Clinical Research Associate I or II, Oncology-Midwest or West Coast
Clinical Research Associate I or II, Oncology-Midwest or West Coast
Covance
Covance
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$90,30406/29/2021
$90,304
Clinical Research Associate
Clinical Research Associate
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$70,00006/26/2021
$70,000
Clinical Research Associate
Clinical Research Associate
Kelly
Kelly
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$93,91506/26/2021
$93,915
See More Recent Salaries

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Clinical Research Associate Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Clinical Research Associate. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Clinical Research Associate Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Clinical Research Associate resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Clinical Research Associate Demographics

Gender

female

63.9 %

male

29.5 %

unknown

6.6 %

Ethnicity

White

72.6 %

Asian

12.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

6.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.1 %

French

13.5 %

Russian

5.6 %
See More Demographics

Clinical Research Associate Education

Majors

Biology
22.0 %
Nursing
13.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

60.1 %

Masters

15.8 %

Certificate

8.4 %

Top Colleges for Clinical Research Associates

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

3. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

4. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

7. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

8. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

10. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Clinical Research Associate That You May Like

The Simplest Guide to Clinical Data Analysis with SAS
udemy
4.4
(361)

Step into the world of Pharmaceutical industry Clinical Trials Clinical Research Biostatistics Data Management SAS...

Data Management for Clinical Research
coursera

This course presents critical concepts and practical methods to support planning, collection, storage, and dissemination of data in clinical research. Understanding and implementing solid data management principles is critical for any scientific domain. Regardless of your current (or anticipated) role in the research enterprise, a strong working knowledge and skill set in data management principles and practice will increase your productivity and improve your science. Our goal is to use these mo...

Design and Interpretation of Clinical Trials
coursera

Clinical trials are experiments designed to evaluate new interventions to prevent or treat disease in humans. The interventions evaluated can be drugs, devices (e.g, hearing aid), surgeries, behavioral interventions (e.g, smoking cessation program), community health programs (e.g. cancer screening programs) or health delivery systems (e.g, special care units for hospital admissions). We consider clinical trials experiments because the investigators rather than the patients or their doctors selec...

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Part Time
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Top Skills For a Clinical Research Associate

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.4% of clinical research associates listed clinical trials on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Best States For a Clinical Research Associate

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a clinical research associate. The best states for people in this position are Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Clinical research associates make the most in Maine with an average salary of $105,212. Whereas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they would average $96,268 and $96,057, respectively. While clinical research associates would only make an average of $95,859 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Clinical Research Associate Jobs:
284
Highest 10% Earn:
$176,000
Location Quotient:
1.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Clinical Research Associate Jobs:
254
Highest 10% Earn:
$164,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Clinical Research Associate Jobs:
603
Highest 10% Earn:
$164,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Clinical Research Associate Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ clinical research associates and discovered their number of clinical research associate opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Parexel was the best, especially with an average salary of $80,663. Covance follows up with an average salary of $81,742, and then comes Medpace with an average of $88,193. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a clinical research associate. The employers include Boston Scientific, Orthofix, and Quintiles Transnational

1. Parexel
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$80,663
Clinical Research Associates Hired: 
194+
2. Covance
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$81,742
Clinical Research Associates Hired: 
121+
3. Medpace
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$88,193
Clinical Research Associates Hired: 
69+
4. Galter Health Sciences Library
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$43,532
Clinical Research Associates Hired: 
66+
5. Pharmaceutical Product Development
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$65,517
Clinical Research Associates Hired: 
58+
6. Abbott
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$89,261
Clinical Research Associates Hired: 
55+

Clinical Research Associate Videos

Updated October 2, 2020