Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Clinical Research Associates in the United States take home approximately $61K per year on average. In the world of Clinical Research Associates, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $6K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $7K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $39K and $87K. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and geographic location. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. 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.

$41,145 - $83,921
(Median)
$41K
$61K
$84K
MEDIAN: $60,712
10%
50%
90%

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$15.32 - $49.16
(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
$41,145 - $83,921  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,169  
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).
)
$39,339 - $86,539  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,099
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$19$38$57
Hourly Rate
$15.32 - $49.16  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $56.52  
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 - $6,169  
   
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).
)
$39,339 - $86,539  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 197
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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 may progress into high-paying roles like Clinical Trial Manager, where median compensation is $95K annually. Senior Clinical Research Associates or Pharmaceutical Project Managers are common next-step roles for Clinical Research Associates moving up in their careers; annual pay for Senior Clinical Research Associates is $29K higher on average, and it's $22K higher for Pharmaceutical Project Managers.

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Clinical Research Associates fill the offices of leading firms Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc, Quintiles, Inc., Covance, Inc, Icon Clinical Research Inc, and Medpace, Inc. The biggest paychecks can be found at St. Jude Medical, Inc. — the median salary there is $79K. PRA International, Quintiles Transnational Corp, and Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Clinical Research Associates earning around $73K, $71K, or $70K at each firm, respectively.

Medpace, Inc. offers the least pay with a median salary of $55K; furthermore, salaries there max out at only $71K. Icon Clinical Research Inc, Quintiles, Inc., and Parexel International Corp also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $61K, $62K, and $66K.

Popular Skills for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Oncology, Regulatory Compliance, Project Management, and Clinical Research are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Data Analysis. Most people familiar with Clinical Research also know Data Analysis and Project Management. Skill sets containing Regulatory Compliance also tend to include 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 a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $58K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $66K. Clinical Research Associates with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $71K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $85K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Clinical Research Associates, 22 percent above the national average. Clinical Research Associates will also find cushy salaries in Dallas (+21 percent), Minneapolis (+19 percent), Houston (+16 percent), and San Diego (+5 percent). Cincinnati is the lowest-paying area, 15 percent south of the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include New York and Chicago (7 percent lower).

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

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Experience Affects Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 40%



National Average
$60,000


Skills That Affect Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

Oncology
up arrow 19%

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 162 votes.

Gender

Female
76 %
Male
24 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
61%
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: 65% employee benefits None: 11%
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