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Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Clinical Research Associates in the United States can expect to earn an average of $60K per year. Career length is the main element affecting pay for this group — the company and location are driving factors as well. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Clinical Research Associates. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Clinical Research Associates making up 76 percent.

$40,660 - $83,678
(Median)
$41K
$60K
$84K
MEDIAN: $59,674
10%
50%
90%

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$15.27 - $48.88
(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
$40,660 - $83,678  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,152  
Profit Sharing
$1,017 - $5,149  
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).
)
$39,064 - $86,431  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,072
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
$15.27 - $48.88  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $71.44  
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 - $6,152  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,017 - $5,149  
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).
)
$39,064 - $86,431  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 185

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Job Description for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

Clinical Research Associates (CRA) serve a major role in the development of medicine. They are employees of pharmaceutical companies, and they work with a wide range of people in different positions. Without CRAs, pharmaceutical companies would have a difficult time ever having a new medicine researched and approved for sale on the market.

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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 $94K 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 $23K 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 all popular places to work. St. Jude Medical, Inc. offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $79K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include PRA International, Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc, and Quintiles Transnational Corp, where Clinical Research Associates typically earn around $72K, $70K, or $70K, respectively.

Medpace, Inc. doles out the lowest salaries in town — median pay is $56K — not to mention workers can only make as much as $71K and scope of pay is rather limited. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Icon Clinical Research Inc ($61K), Quintiles, Inc. ($62K), and Parexel International Corp ($66K).

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, 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 familiar with Clinical Research also know Data Analysis and Project Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

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


For many Clinical Research Associates, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $57K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $64K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $71K. Clinical Research Associates who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $85K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Clinical Research Associates, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 25 percent above the national average. Clinical Research Associates will also find cushy salaries in Dallas (+18 percent), Houston (+18 percent), Minneapolis (+12 percent), and Seattle (+5 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Chicago, 12 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 12 percent less in Cincinnati and 11 percent less in New York, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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."

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 43%



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
0%

National Average
$60,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 183 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
9%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

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