What is a Clinical Research Specialist

Clinical research specialists plan and coordinate clinical researches. Their job is integral to many of the scientific discoveries we have today. Clinical research specialists usually work in laboratories alongside clinical technicians and interns. While performing their duties, they may also analyze data, compare with the current body of knowledge, and create new hypotheses.

As the name suggests, clinical research specialists work in medicine, and they do everything from developing to testing new drugs. They also culture and study bacteria cells to understand their impact on health.

As a clinical research specialist, you may develop protocols and research tools, coordinate research teams, and prepare reports based on your findings. The job requires skills like decision making, time management, and complex problem-solving.

To become a clinical research specialist, you need a postgraduate degree in your chosen field. The degree will give you the necessary qualification while also providing the opportunity to conduct research.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Clinical Research Specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $30.3 an hour? That's $63,025 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 Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many Clinical Research Specialists 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.

Learn more about what a Clinical Research Specialist does

How To Become a Clinical Research Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a Clinical Research Specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 64.2% of Clinical Research Specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.2% of Clinical Research Specialists have master's degrees. Even though most Clinical Research Specialists 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 Specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a Clinical Research Specialist, 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 Specialist resumes include Associate Degree degrees or Doctoral Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Clinical Research Specialist. In fact, many Clinical Research Specialist jobs require experience in a role such as Clinical Research Coordinator. Meanwhile, many Clinical Research Specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as Research Assistant or Clinical Research Associate.

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And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Edwards Lifesciences Jobs (8)
  2. Abbott Jobs (11)
  3. Merck Jobs (36)
  4. Medtronic Jobs (90)
  5. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Jobs (8)
Average Salary
$63,025
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
108,497
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Clinical Research Specialist

Clinical Research Specialists in America make an average salary of $63,025 per year or $30 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $88,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $44,000 per year.
Average Salary
$63,025
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How much should you be earning as an Clinical Research Specialist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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Choose From 10+ Customizable Clinical Research Specialist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Clinical Research Specialist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Clinical Research Specialist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Clinical Research Specialist Demographics

Clinical Research Specialist Gender Statistics

female

70.5 %

male

29.5 %

Clinical Research Specialist Ethnicity Statistics

White

73.1 %

Asian

12.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.8 %

Clinical Research Specialist Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

48.7 %

French

7.7 %

Portuguese

5.1 %
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Clinical Research Specialist Education

Clinical Research Specialist Majors

15.9 %
13.5 %

Clinical Research Specialist Degrees

Bachelors

64.2 %

Masters

15.2 %

Associate

7.7 %

Top Colleges for Clinical Research Specialists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

3. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

4. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

6. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

9. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

10. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404
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Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) for Clinical Research
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Top Skills For a Clinical Research Specialist

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, 11.8% of Clinical Research Specialists 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 Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Clinical Research Specialist. The best states for people in this position are California, Nevada, Delaware, and Hawaii. Clinical Research Specialists make the most in California with an average salary of $84,946. Whereas in Nevada and Delaware, they would average $79,444 and $74,978, respectively. While Clinical Research Specialists would only make an average of $73,643 in Hawaii, 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. California

Total Clinical Research Specialist Jobs:
8,899
Highest 10% Earn:
$117,000
Location Quotient:
1.38
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. Delaware

Total Clinical Research Specialist Jobs:
264
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
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. Maine

Total Clinical Research Specialist Jobs:
359
Highest 10% Earn:
$93,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
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
Full List Of Best States For Clinical Research Specialists

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Top Clinical Research Specialist 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 Specialists and discovered their number of Clinical Research Specialist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Medtronic was the best, especially with an average salary of $80,622. Merck follows up with an average salary of $95,037, and then comes University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science with an average of $56,153. 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 Specialist. The employers include Medtronic, Huron Consulting Group, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Most Common Employers For Clinical Research Specialist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Clinical Research Specialist SalaryAverage Salary
1$102,640
2$95,305
3$95,037
4$80,622
5$72,692
6$70,839