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Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Median pay for Clinical Research Associates in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $60K per year. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is experience level, followed by the company and location. Work is enjoyable for Clinical Research Associates, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Clinical Research Associates making up 76 percent. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$40,956 - $83,475
(Median)
$41K
$60K
$83K
MEDIAN: $60,134
10%
50%
90%

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$15.18 - $49.03
(Median)
$15
$23
$49
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$40,956 - $83,475  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,163  
Profit Sharing
$1,228 - $5,900  
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).
)
$39,249 - $86,241  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,082
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24$48$72
Hourly Rate
$15.18 - $49.03  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $71.89  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,163  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,228 - $5,900  
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).
)
$39,249 - $86,241  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 190

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United States (change)


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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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At the upper end, Clinical Research Associates who move into a Clinical Trial Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Clinical Trial Managers is a much higher $95K per year. 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 $30K per year on average, and the latter position pays $22K 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, Quintiles, Inc., Icon Clinical Research Inc, Covance, Inc, and Medpace, Inc. are top-notch employers for Clinical Research Associates in this area. Those at St. Jude Medical, Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $79K. Clinical Research Associates can also look forward to large paychecks at PRA International ($72K), Quintiles Transnational Corp ($71K), and Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc ($70K).

Medpace, Inc. offers the least pay with a median salary of $56K; furthermore, salaries there max out at only $71K. Workers at Icon Clinical Research Inc, Quintiles, Inc., and Parexel International Corp also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $61K, $62K, and $66K respectively.

Popular Skills for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Survey results show that Clinical Research Associates use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Oncology, Regulatory Compliance, Clinical Research, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Data Analysis. Most people who know Clinical Research also know Data Analysis and Project Management. Those familiar with Regulatory Compliance tend to be well versed in 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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $64K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $58K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $71K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $85K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by 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 Minneapolis (+21 percent), Dallas (+20 percent), Houston (+18 percent), and Seattle (+4 percent). Trailing the national average by 13 percent, Cincinnati is the market with the smallest paychecks. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Chicago (10 percent less) and New York (9 percent less).

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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United States (change)

Experience Affects Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 42%



National Average
$60,000


Skills That Affect Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

Oncology
up arrow 18%

Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 2%

Clinical Research
up arrow 1%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

National Average
$60,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 174 votes.

Gender

Female
76 %
Male
24 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
60%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 78%
vision benefits Vision: 64% employee benefits None: 11%
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