Median pay for Clinical Research Associates in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $62K per year. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the company, followed by career duration and location. Female Clinical Research Associates make up most of the survey respondents at 76 percent. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers.

$41,745 - $88,275
(Median)
$42K
$62K
$88K
MEDIAN: $61,934
10%
50%
90%

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$14.45 - $47.62
(Median)
$14
$23
$48
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$41,745 - $88,275  
   
Bonus
$6.21 - $8,829  
Profit Sharing
$1,014  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,610 - $90,349  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,077
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$14.45 - $47.62  
   
Overtime
$9.00 - $52.37  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$6.21 - $8,829  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,014  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,610 - $90,349  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 215
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Job Description for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

Clinical research associates (CRA) are responsible for assisting in the clinical research process, providing advanced technical expertise in steps such as handling supplies, ordering tests, and collecting results, presenting specific research information to the public, and a variety of administrative tasks. CRAs must follow strict privacy and safety regulations to prevent problems with subjects and ethical concerns; they must also be organized and pay close attention to detail when conducting research using investigative methods in clinical or healthcare settings.

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Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Tasks

  • Investigate cause, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites.
  • Evaluate effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
  • Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
  • Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.
  • Prepare and analyze organ, tissue and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms, or to study cell structure.

Common Career Paths for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


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Clinical Research Associates' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Clinical Trial Manager. The average Clinical Trial Manager brings home $96K per year. Career advancement for the typical Clinical Research Associate often leads to becoming a Senior Clinical Research Associate or a Clinical Operations Manager; median salaries in these positions are $30K higher and $11K higher, respectively.

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Clinical Research Associates flock to Medpace, Inc., Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc, Covance, Inc, PRA International, and Icon Clinical Research Inc, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Clinical Research Associates seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Inventiv Clinical Solutions, where the average salary comes to $86K. Gilead Sciences, Inc., Inc. Research, Inc., and St. Jude Medical, Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Clinical Research Associates earning around $84K, $80K, or $79K at each firm, respectively.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reports the lowest median salary in the area by far — it's only $36K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Medpace, Inc. ($52K), Parexel International Corp ($58K), and Icon Clinical Research Inc ($61K).

Popular Skills for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Survey results show that Clinical Research Associates use a fair number of skills. Most notably, facility with monitoring and Oncology are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Data Analysis and Oral / Verbal Communication. It is often found that people who know Clinical Research are also skilled in Data Analysis and Project Management. Most people experienced in Regulatory Compliance also know Project Management and Data Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Clinical Research Associates with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $59K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $69K. Clinical Research Associates see a median salary of $77K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $85K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $61,560

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Clinical Research Associates, 19 percent higher than the national average. Clinical Research Associates will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+18 percent), Seattle (+11 percent), Los Angeles (+8 percent), and Durham (+6 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 17 percent south of the national average, can be found in Cincinnati. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Princeton (6 percent less) and Boston (3 percent less).

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Reviews

What is it like working as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA)?

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) in Lincoln:
"CRA for a Staffing Agency."
Pros: I got to work with good people, for and with companies with a strong commitment to ethical behavior.
Cons: I was underpaid and under-appreciated. Because I was working for a staffing agency, I was basically treated as a second-class citizen at the client site.

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) in Minneapolis:
"Poor culture, office is crammed, top-level unqualified."
Pros: The Clinical position is located in Arden Hills, MN. The supervising manager is located in NC. There is a lot of latitude in performing your job as this is definitely one where micro-managing is not conducive. However, if you require a lot of guidance, this position would not be a good fit. The supervising manager expects the staff to be self-starters and if they don't deliver, many contractors have lost their position this way. Clinical research efforts are mainly a marketing vehicle to stimulate new sales or trials for the product. This company is easily accessible from my home. I am able to compensate some personal time as a result of my work travel. I have been deliberate in voicing what I want and the direction of my career. I've explained that I want to participate on core teams and work on project management or even compliance tasks. No change in my responsibilities. No considerations given. Many higher-ups are very exclusive and only travel together to bond.
Cons: The company culture is lacking. The management does not seem interested in developing their current talent. Either this is the case, or they are not invested in the long term future as the nature of the company has been to "sell the company in 3-5 years" since establishing MN location on 2009. Management has been quoted as saying, "what we do next after this" to lead one to believe the company is temporary. Top level managers (VPs) remotely manage their departments, currently located in the Arden Hills office, as they have consistently stated they will not move to Minnesota. The result is the staff are left to their own devices usually to tackle highest priorities for each unfinished project and then jump to another unfinished project tackling only the highest priority to address pressing deadlines. The culture is slow to embrace change. There are many individuals who say that "that's how we've always done things" or "that was how we used to do it when X used to work here."

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Experience Affects Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries




National Average
$62,000


Skills That Affect Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

monitoring
up arrow 40%

up arrow 11%

Clinical Research
up arrow 3%

Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 2%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

National Average
$62,000

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 3%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 114 votes.

Gender

Female
76 %
Male
24 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
58%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
9%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
medical benefits
Vision: 70%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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