Research Associate Education Requirements And Degrees

There are several education requirements to become a research associate. Research associates usually study biology, chemistry or biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology. 60% of research associates hold a bachelor's degree and 19% hold a master's degree. We found these by analyzing 49,981 research associate resumes to investigate the topic of research associate education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a research associate are University of California, Berkeley and University of California - Davis.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in research associate education paths.

We prepared a list of a research associate certifications that you should consider. The necessary certifications that research associates must have to succeed are Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

What Degree Should I Get to Become a Research Associate ?

We assessed our data to determine the typical level of education for research associates. The most common degree for research associates is bachelor's degree. In fact, 60% of research associates earn that degree. A close second is master's degree with 19% and rounding it off is doctoral degree with 11%.

  • Bachelors degree, 60%
  • Masters degree, 19%
  • Doctorate degree, 11%
  • Associate degree, 3%
  • Other Degrees, 7%
What Should I Major in to Become a Research Associate ?

According to our resume data, most research associates, 20% to be exact, major in biology. Some other common majors for a research associate include chemistry and biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology majors.

Most Common Colleges for Research Associate

Here are the most common colleges for a research associate career in the US based on their resumes. Research associates often get their degree in University of California, Berkeley, University of California - Davis, and University of California - Los Angeles.

University of California, Berkeley

University of California - Davis

University of California - Los Angeles

Pennsylvania State University

University of Maryland - College Park

Average Research Associate Salary by Education Level

Research associates with a Doctorate degree earn more than those without, at $69,812 annually. With a Masters degree, research associates earn a median annual income of $64,642 compared to $62,718 for research associates with an Associate degree.

High School Diploma or Less

Some College/ Associate Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Master's Degree

Doctorate Degree

Educationascdesc
Salaryascdesc
High School Diploma or Less$56,511
Some College/ Associate Degree$62,718
Bachelor's Degree$55,091
Master's Degree$64,642
Doctorate Degree$69,812

Research Associate Jobs You Might Like

Most Common Certifications For Research Associate

There are certain things that come along with being certified. In addition to earning a credential that proves you know what you're doing, you might also receive some extra benefits or a salary raise from your company. Sometimes it pays to do the extra work. If you're interested in making more money as a research associate, you might consider earning these certifications:

  • Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9

1. Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP)

Clinical Research Professionals (CRPs) come from a wide variety of backgrounds. CRPs may have backgrounds in nursing, pharmacy, medical technology, business administration, health record maintenance, statistics, biology, teaching, or in other areas. CRPs work in various settings such as cooperative research groups; academic and private institutions; private offices; pharmaceutical, device, and biotechnology companies; Clinical Research Organizations (CROs); Site Management Organizations (SMOs); independent research and development organizations; or organizations involved in the management of clinical trials. These varying backgrounds and settings contribute to the unique knowledge and diverse expertise of CRPs.

Clinical Research Professionals (CRPs) come from a wide variety of backgrounds. CRPs may have backgrounds in nursing, pharmacy, medical technology, business administration, health record maintenance, statistics, biology, teaching, or in other areas. CRPs work in various settings such as cooperative research groups; academic and private institutions; private offices; pharmaceutical, device, and biotechnology companies; Clinical Research Organizations (CROs); Site Management Organizations (SMOs); independent research and development organizations; or organizations involved in the management of clinical trials. These varying backgrounds and settings contribute to the unique knowledge and diverse expertise of CRPs.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) for Clinical Research
udemy
4.1
(212)
2. Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMP designation following your name tells current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.To be eligible for a PMP Credential, you must first meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct. The final step to becoming a PMP is passing a rigorous multiple-choice examination designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains: initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility. This computer-based examination is administered globally with translation aids in 10 languages.

The PMP designation following your name tells current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.To be eligible for a PMP Credential, you must first meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct. The final step to becoming a PMP is passing a rigorous multiple-choice examination designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains: initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility. This computer-based examination is administered globally with translation aids in 10 languages.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Project Management Certification Training + 2 Practice Exams
udemy
4.8
(116)
3. SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9

SAS offers professional certifications validating a candidate's knowledge at the job role level. Designed in tracks, each certification will require the successful completion of one or more exams to earn a credential.

SAS offers professional certifications validating a candidate's knowledge at the job role level. Designed in tracks, each certification will require the successful completion of one or more exams to earn a credential.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 
Certifying Organization
SAS Institute, Inc.
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
SAS Programming - Learn SAS from Beginner to Advanced
udemy
4.5
(521)

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Research Associate

Top Online Courses For Research Associates

Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for research associates from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a research associate:

  • Procedures
  • Research projects
  • Data analysis
If you want to improve research associates skills these courses could help you in this.

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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...

Survey Data Collection and Analytics
coursera

This specialization covers the fundamentals of surveys as used in market research, evaluation research, social science and political research, official government statistics, and many other topic domains. In six courses, you will learn the basics of questionnaire design, data collection methods, sampling design, dealing with missing values, making estimates, combining data from different sources, and the analysis of survey data. In the final Capstone Project, you'll apply the skills learned thro...

Qualitative Research Methods: Analyzing Data
edX (Global)

This short course is adapted from a semester length graduate level course taught at MIT covering Qualitative Research Methods. The first half of the course is covered in 21A.819.1x, and covers an introduction to qualitative research and conducting interviews. This course consists of the second half of the course, and covers what to do with the data once you have started collecting it. This will include transcribing data, creating codes and codebooks, coding data, analyzing codes, and how to...

Research Methodology
udemy
4.1
(491)

Academic Research Business Research Thesis & Dissertation Report Research Paper / Journal...

Qualitative Research Methods
coursera

In this course you will be introduced to the basic ideas behind the qualitative research in social science. You will learn about data collection, description, analysis and interpretation in qualitative research. Qualitative research often involves an iterative process. We will focus on the ingredients required for this process: data collection and analysis. You won't learn how to use qualitative methods by just watching video's, so we put much stress on collecting data through observation and in...

Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
udemy
4.5
(280)

Learn the basics of conducting qualitative research. Learn to design interviews, conduct observations, and analyze data...

Plant Bioinformatic Methods
coursera

The past 15 years have been exciting ones in plant biology. Hundreds of plant genomes have been sequenced, RNA-seq has enabled transcriptome-wide expression profiling, and a proliferation of "-seq"-based methods has permitted protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions to be determined cheaply and in a high-throughput manner. These data sets in turn allow us to generate hypotheses at the click of a mouse or tap of a finger. The Plant Bioinformatics Specialization on Coursera introduces core bio...

Research Methods and Statistics: An Introduction
udemy
4.3
(628)

A Primer in Research Methodology and Statistics in the Social Sciences...

Research Data Management and Sharing
coursera

This course will provide learners with an introduction to research data management and sharing. After completing this course, learners will understand the diversity of data and their management needs across the research data lifecycle, be able to identify the components of good data management plans, and be familiar with best practices for working with data including the organization, documentation, and storage and security of data. Learners will also understand the impetus and importance of arc...

CERTaIN: Pragmatic Clinical Trials and Healthcare Delivery Evaluations
edX (Global)

In this course, experts will discuss the options a researcher must consider when embarking on clinical research. What research design should I choose? How do I start the process of getting my research approved? How will I analyze the data I collect? These are all important questions that a researcher faces. We will discuss the key decisions a researcher needs to make when preparing for and conducting research, as well as tools for data analysis. You will learn what a pragmatic clinical trial...

Statistics / Data Analysis: Survey Data and Likert Scales
udemy
4.7
(287)

How to Process Survey Data and Analyze Likert Scales In SPSS...

Understanding Research Methods
coursera

This MOOC is about demystifying research and research methods. It will outline the fundamentals of doing research, aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at the postgraduate level. It places the student experience at the centre of our endeavours by engaging learners in a range of robust and challenging discussions and exercises befitting SOAS, University of London's status as a research-intensive university and its rich research heritage. The course will appeal to those of you who require an unde...

Network Analysis in Systems Biology
coursera

An introduction to data integration and statistical methods used in contemporary Systems Biology, Bioinformatics and Systems Pharmacology research. The course covers methods to process raw data from genome-wide mRNA expression studies (microarrays and RNA-seq) including data normalization, differential expression, clustering, enrichment analysis and network construction. The course contains practical tutorials for using tools and setting up pipelines, but it also covers the mathematics behind th...

Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics
coursera

If you've ever skipped over`the results section of a medical paper because terms like "confidence interval" or "p-value" go over your head, then you're in the right place. You may be a clinical practitioner reading research articles to keep up-to-date with developments in your field or a medical student wondering how to approach your own research. Greater confidence in understanding statistical analysis and the results can benefit both working professionals and those undertaking research themsel...

Biospecimen Research Methods
edX (Global)

The success of your research depends on the quality of the biospecimens you use. Get ahead of the competition, increase your chances of being published in high impact journals, and open doors to opportunities for working in leading biomedical research laboratories or biobanks. This biology and life sciences course will enable you to collect, recognize and utilize a quality human biospecimen. Over 6 weeks, professionals, with extensive experience in biobanking from the University of British...

Complete Data Wrangling & Data Visualisation With Python
udemy
4.5
(460)

Learn to Preprocess, Wrangle and Visualise Data For Practical Data Science Applications in Python...

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...

Research Methods For Business Students
udemy
4.7
(462)

A-Z guide to writing a rockstar Research Paper with a bulletproof Research Methodology!...

Clinical Research for beginners
udemy
4.3
(303)

The Art of Publishing - Master PubMed, Study design, Biostatistics, Journal choice, Manuscript writing & Referencing...

Qualitative Research Methods: Conversational Interviewing
edX (Global)

This short course is adapted from a semester length graduate level coursetaught at MIT covering Qualitative Research Methods. This online course will focus specifically on teaching how to prepare for and conduct a conversational interview for data gathering purposes. We will also discuss the nature of qualitative research as a methodology, how it compares and differs from other forms of research, and how qualitative and quantitative research complement each other in a research project. This...

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Top 10 Colleges For Research Associates

In a lot of cases, a higher education can mean a higher salary or even a better job. That's why we found out the best colleges for research associates. We based this list on these metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of students working, ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, average cost of attendance and median debt for graduates.

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

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

3. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

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

4. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

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

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

8. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

10. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

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

Top 10 Affordable Colleges For Research Associates

If those top 10 were a bit out of your price range, you might want to check these schools instead. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price and mean earnings after 6 years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for research associates.

1. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,998

2. Baruch College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,262
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,046

3. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$16,714

4. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,034

5. Queens College of the City University of New York

Queens, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,338
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,281

6. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,136

7. Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Brooklyn, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,240
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,991

8. University of South Florida

Tampa, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,410
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$20,456

9. California State University - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,749
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,823

10. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,656
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,623

Top 10 Hardest Colleges To Get Into For Research Associates

Some people like a challenge. Well, we challenge you to get into one of these schools. It's not going to be easy. We know this based on these institutions' admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted and mean earnings of students 6 years after admission.

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
5%
SAT Average
1,520

2. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
6%
SAT Average
1,512

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,492

4. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

Admissions Rate
11%
SAT Average
1,513

5. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

Admissions Rate
9%
SAT Average
1,516

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,508

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
4%
SAT Average
1,497

8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

Admissions Rate
10%
SAT Average
1,514

9. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

Admissions Rate
15%
SAT Average
1,506

10. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
17%
SAT Average
1,507

Top 10 Easier To Apply Colleges For Research Associates

Why make getting a job harder on yourself than it has to be? With these colleges, you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores and average salary of students 6 years after graduation in order to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into.

1. Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
84%
SAT Average
1,031

2. Barry University

Miami, FL • Private

Admissions Rate
91%
SAT Average
1,006

3. Kean University

Union, NJ • Private

Admissions Rate
86%
SAT Average
991

4. Cardinal Stritch University

Milwaukee, WI • Private

Admissions Rate
71%
SAT Average
1,035

5. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Camden

Camden, NJ • Private

Admissions Rate
71%
SAT Average
1,086

6. William Paterson University of New Jersey

Wayne, NJ • Private

Admissions Rate
93%
SAT Average
994

7. San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
72%
SAT Average
1,054

8. American International College

Springfield, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
68%
SAT Average
1,010

9. Rosemont College

Rosemont, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
89%
SAT Average
1,026

10. Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
98%
SAT Average
1,003

Research Associate Internship Jobs

Research Associate Jobs

Updated April 30, 2021