Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary
The national average salary for Clinical Research Associates is $62K annually; Inventiv Clinical Solutions pays the most in this field, though, offering a median salary of $86K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Gilead Sciences, Inc., St. Jude Medical, Inc., and Parexel, where Clinical Research Associates typically earn around $84K, $79K, or $76K, respectively. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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 $97K per year. Career advancement for the typical Clinical Research Associate often leads to becoming a Senior Clinical Research Associate or a Clinical Project Manager; median salaries in these positions are $30K higher and $26K higher, respectively.
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Popular Skills for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)
Clinical Research Associates seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, facility with monitoring and Oncology are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 38 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Data Analysis and Oral / Verbal Communication. Those proficient in Clinical Research are, more often than not, also skilled in 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 do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $59K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $69K. Clinical Research Associates with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $78K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $84K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Clinical Research Associates, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Clinical Research Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Minneapolis (+20 percent), Miami (+19 percent), New York (+9 percent), and Los Angeles (+7 percent). Cincinnati is the lowest-paying area, 15 percent south of the national average. Workers in Houston and Philadelphia earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (7 percent less and 6 percent less, respectively).
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