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Become A Clinical Research Associate

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Working As A Clinical Research Associate

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $53,306

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Research Associate Do

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

Duties

Natural sciences managers typically do the following:

  • Work with top executives to develop goals and strategies for researchers and developers
  • Budget resources for projects and programs by determining staffing, training, and equipment needs
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate scientists, technicians, and other staff members
  • Review staff members’ methodology and the accuracy of their research results
  • Ensure that laboratories are stocked with equipment and supplies
  • Monitor the progress of projects, review research performed, and draft operational reports
  • Provide technical assistance to scientists, technicians, and support staff
  • Establish and follow administrative procedures, policies, and standards
  • Communicate project proposals, research findings, and the status of projects to clients and top management

Natural sciences managers direct scientific research activities and direct and coordinate product development projects and production activities. The duties of natural sciences managers vary with the field of science (for example, biology or chemistry) or the industry they work in. Research projects may be aimed at improving manufacturing processes, advancing basic scientific knowledge, or developing new products.

Some natural sciences managers are former scientists and, after becoming managers, may continue to conduct their own research as well as oversee the work of others. These managers are sometimes called working managers and usually have smaller staffs, allowing them to do research in addition to carrying out their administrative duties.

Managers who are responsible for larger staffs may not have time to contribute to research and may spend all their time performing administrative duties.

Laboratory managers need to ensure that laboratories are fully supplied so that scientists can run their tests and experiments. Some specialize in the management of laboratory animals.

During all stages of a project, natural sciences managers coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They work with higher levels of management; with financial, production, and marketing specialists; and with suppliers of equipment and materials.

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How To Become A Clinical Research Associate

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a related field, such as engineering. Some managers may find it helpful to have an advanced management degree—for example, a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), or a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Education

Natural sciences managers typically begin their careers as scientists; therefore, most have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a closely related field, such as engineering. Scientific and technical knowledge is essential for managers because they must be able to understand the work of their subordinates and provide technical assistance when needed. 

Natural sciences managers who are interested in acquiring postsecondary education in management should be able to find master’s degree or Ph.D. programs in a natural science that incorporate business management courses. A relatively new type of degree, called the Professional Science Master’s (PSM), blends advanced training in a particular science field with business skills, such as communications and program management, and policy. Those interested in acquiring general management skills may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Some natural sciences managers will have studied psychology or some other management-related field to enter this occupation.

Sciences managers must continually upgrade their knowledge because of the rapid growth of scientific developments.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. While employed as scientists, they typically are given more responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Eventually, they may lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects before being promoted to an administrative position.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not typically required to become a natural sciences manager, many relevant certifications are available. These certifications range from those related to specific scientific areas of study or practice, such as laboratory animal management, to general management topics, such as project management, and are useful to natural sciences managers regardless of the organization being managed.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to communicate clearly to a variety of audiences, such as scientists, policymakers, and the public. Both written and oral communication are important.

Critical-thinking skills. Natural sciences managers must carefully evaluate the work of others. They must determine if their staff’s methods and results are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Natural sciences managers lead research teams and therefore need to work well with others in order to reach common goals. Managers routinely deal with conflict, which they must be able to turn into positive outcomes for their organization.

Leadership skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to organize, direct, and motivate others. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their workers and create an environment in which the workers can succeed.

Problem-solving skills. Natural sciences managers use scientific observation and analysis to find solutions to complex technical questions.

Time-management skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to do multiple administrative, supervisory, and technical tasks while ensuring that projects remain on schedule.

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Clinical Research Associate jobs

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Clinical Research Associate Career Paths

Average Length of Employment
Clinical Scientist 3.5 years
Research Nurse 3.1 years
Study Coordinator 2.7 years
Research Associate 2.6 years
Clinical Associate 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 4.3%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.1%

Clinical Research Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

68.8%

Male

28.1%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

71.0%

Asian

13.6%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Unknown

4.0%

Black or African American

1.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.1%

French

14.1%

German

5.8%

Hindi

4.9%

Russian

4.4%

Chinese

4.4%

Italian

3.4%

Gujarati

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Korean

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Swahili

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Swedish

0.5%

Marathi

0.5%
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Clinical Research Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.3%

Walden University

8.3%

George Washington University

7.4%

Johns Hopkins University

6.9%

Northeastern University

6.6%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

6.0%

Drexel University

5.2%

University of Cincinnati

4.9%

Temple University

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of California - San Diego

4.3%

Villanova University

4.0%

Duke University

4.0%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.7%

University of Connecticut

3.7%

East Carolina University

3.7%

University of California - Berkeley

3.4%

Saint Joseph's University

3.4%

Boston University

3.4%
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Majors

Nursing

15.2%

Biology

15.2%

Business

11.4%

Health Care Administration

11.0%

Pharmacy

7.1%

Psychology

6.5%

Public Health

5.2%

Medicine

4.7%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

3.0%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

2.3%

Chemistry

2.3%

Health Sciences And Services

2.3%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Clinical Psychology

1.9%

Physiology And Anatomy

1.8%

Project Management

1.8%

Microbiology

1.7%

Management

1.7%

Biomedical Engineering

1.4%

Biotechnology

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.8%

Masters

32.4%

Other

13.4%

Doctorate

7.6%

Certificate

5.3%

Associate

4.3%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Clinical Research Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Research Associate .01) Advanced Clinical Holdings, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 30, 2015 $148,177
Clinical Research Associate Senseonics, Incorporated Germantown, MD Jul 12, 2015 $120,000
Clinical Research Associate St. Jude Medical, Implantable Electronic Systems Division Sunnyvale, CA May 29, 2015 $117,832
Clinical Research Associate Worldwide Clinical Trials Holdings, Inc. Morrisville, NC Apr 12, 2015 $117,705
Clinical Research Associate The Veritas Healthcare Solutions LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 20, 2016 $116,230
Principal Clinical Research Associate Endologix, Inc. Irvine, CA Jan 03, 2016 $115,000
Principal Clinical Research Associate Endologix, Inc. Irvine, CA May 04, 2016 $115,000
Principal Clinical Research Associate Endologix, Inc. Irvine, CA Mar 01, 2016 $115,000
Clinical Research Associate Worldwide Clinical Trials Holdings, Inc. Morrisville, NC Apr 04, 2016 $111,197 -
$134,055
In-House Clinical Research Associate Biobridges, LLC Andover, MA Oct 19, 2015 $110,611
Clinical Research Associate III Chiltern International Inc. Denver, CO Nov 22, 2016 $103,919
Principal Clinical Research Associate PPD Development, LP Alameda, CA Sep 06, 2015 $101,234 -
$102,859
Clinical Research Associate Global Pharma TEK, LLC Rockville, MD Dec 18, 2015 $100,500
Clinical Research Associate Worldwide Clinical Trials Holdings, Inc. King of Prussia, PA Aug 31, 2015 $75,000
Clinical Research Associate Natera, Inc. San Carlos, CA Jul 18, 2016 $75,000
Clinical Research Associate I Quintiles, Inc. Overland Park, KS Aug 15, 2016 $74,714
Advanced Clinical Research Associate Greenville Health System Greenville, SC Jun 30, 2015 $73,700
Clinical Research Associate II Inc. Research, LLC Austin, TX Apr 01, 2015 $73,300
Clinical Research Associate II Caredx, Inc. Brisbane, CA Sep 22, 2015 $72,720
Clinical Research Associate II Harvard Clinical Research Institute Boston, MA May 31, 2016 $72,000 -
$92,000
Clinical Research Associate II Baim Institute for Clinical Research Denver, CO Dec 12, 2016 $72,000 -
$92,000
Clinical Research Associate Capital Health System, Inc. Trenton, NJ Sep 15, 2016 $61,086
Clinical Research Associate The University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Aug 07, 2015 $60,210
Clinical Research Associate The University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Jul 08, 2015 $60,210
Clinical Research Associate Biorasi LLC Miami, FL Jan 09, 2016 $60,000

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Top Skills for A Clinical Research Associate

StudyProtocolRegulatoryDocumentsClinicalTrialsCRFIch/GcpFDACRAStudyProceduresSeriousAdverseEventsClinicalResearchStudiesInvestigativeSitesStudySitesSourceDocumentVerificationIRBICHGuidelinesPhaseIIISiteManagementSiteInitiationDrugAccountabilityOncology

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Top Clinical Research Associate Skills

  1. Study Protocol
  2. Regulatory Documents
  3. Clinical Trials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted clinical study visits and clinical assessment interviews for subjects in compliance with study protocols.
  • Provide initial support to Local Trial Manager by distributing and tracking of regulatory documents for accuracy and completeness.
  • Participated in the management of assigned clinical trials.
  • Performed final medical review of the CRF's.
  • Cultivated proficiency in ICH/GCP and FDA guidelines for 501(k) Exempt medical devices.

Top Clinical Research Associate Employers

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