Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary
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. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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.Read More...
Excellent communication skills are important in this position in order to develop strong business relationships, and multitasking skills are important to complete paperwork and keep research records for future reference. They may work in teams to reach goals under strict deadlines, but should also work well on their own with minimal supervision. CRAs must be proficient with computers to log research information and fill out applications, documents, and other required data, as well as Microsoft Office applications to write detailed reports based on their findings. They also use electronic communication to gather information.
Clinical research associates work in offices and laboratory environments depending on the employer, and should be able to stand on their feet for long periods of time. They must be highly skilled in research and how to use research tools and equipment, as well as provide maintenance and cleaning functions when not in use. A high school diploma is required for this position, and prior work experience in a clinical research capacity is highly beneficial. Research certifications are also helpful.
Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Tasks
- 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.
- Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)
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.
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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
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).
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