Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Clinical Research Associates in the United States can expect wages of $61K per year on average. Total cash compensation to Clinical Research Associates ranges from $40K on the lower end to $88K on the higher end; the final number includes potential for approximately $7K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — career length and geography are driving factors as well. A large number enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Job satisfaction for Clinical Research Associates is high. Female Clinical Research Associates make up most of the survey respondents at 78 percent. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$42,326 - $85,737
(Median)
$42K
$61K
$86K
MEDIAN: $61,176
10%
50%
90%

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$15.42 - $48.61
(Median)
$15
$23
$49
MEDIAN: $23.00
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$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$42,326 - $85,737  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,958  
Profit Sharing
$402.68 - $6,953  
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).
)
$40,093 - $87,999  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,282
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$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$15.42 - $48.61  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $57.75  
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
$0.00 - $6,958  
   
Profit Sharing
$402.68 - $6,953  
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).
)
$40,093 - $87,999  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 232
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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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For Clinical Research Associates, progressing to a Clinical Trial Manager role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Clinical Trial Manager can earn $96K annually. The most common next step for a Clinical Research Associate is to become a Senior Clinical Research Associate or a Pharmaceutical Project Manager. The former position pays an additional $29K per year on average, and the latter position pays $21K more per year.

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc, Covance, Inc, Medpace, Inc., Quintiles, Inc., and Icon Clinical Research Inc are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Clinical Research Associates. Employees of PRA International can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $82K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $51K to $93K. Soaring salaries can also be found at St. Jude Medical, Inc., Quintiles Transnational Corp, and Covance, Inc, where earnings of $79K, $71K, or $69K are standard for Clinical Research Associates.

Other low-paying employers include Medpace, Inc. at $54K and Parexel International Corp at $57K, though some Clinical Research Associates there earn up to $101K.

Popular Skills for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Survey results suggest that Clinical Research Associates use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Oncology, Clinical Research, Regulatory Compliance, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Oral / Verbal Communication and Data Analysis. The majority of those who know Clinical Research 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.


For Clinical Research Associates, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $59K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $67K on average. Clinical Research Associates with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $72K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Clinical Research Associate with more than 20 years of experience can earn $86K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $60,961

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

For Clinical Research Associates, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 23 percent above the national average. Clinical Research Associates will also find cushy salaries in Dallas (+20 percent), Houston (+15 percent), Atlanta (+2 percent), and Los Angeles (+2 percent). Falling short of the national average by 15 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Cincinnati. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in New York and Austin (6 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Reviews

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

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

Late-Career
up arrow 41%



National Average
$61,000


Skills That Affect Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

up arrow 13%

Clinical Research
up arrow 1%

National Average
$61,000

Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 1%

Project Management
up arrow 1%


Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 163 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
60%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 81%
medical benefits
Vision: 68%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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