Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Pay for Clinical Research Associates in the United States sits in the ballpark of $61K per year. In the world of Clinical Research Associates, total cash compensation can vary between $39K and $87K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $6K and $7K, respectively. The particular firm is the main element affecting pay for this group — career length and geography are driving factors as well. Female Clinical Research Associates make up most of the survey respondents at 76 percent. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Clinical Research Associates. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance.

$41,145 - $84,009
(Median)
$41K
$61K
$84K
MEDIAN: $60,732
10%
50%
90%

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$15.39 - $49.21
(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 - $84,009  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,164  
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).
)
$39,417 - $86,570  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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
$15.39 - $49.21  
   
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 - $6,164  
   
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).
)
$39,417 - $86,570  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 196
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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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For Clinical Research Associates, progressing to a Clinical Trial Manager role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Clinical Trial Manager can earn $95K annually. When Clinical Research Associates are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Senior Clinical Research Associates or Pharmaceutical Project Managers. Those roles pay an additional $29K and $22K, respectively.

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., Covance, Inc, Icon Clinical Research Inc, and Medpace, Inc. are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Clinical Research Associates. St. Jude Medical, Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $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.

Other low-paying employers include Medpace, Inc. at $53K and Icon Clinical Research Inc at $61K, though some Clinical Research Associates there earn up to $88K.

Popular Skills for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Typical Clinical Research Associates report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Oncology, Regulatory Compliance, Project Management, and Clinical Research are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Data Analysis. Most people skilled in Regulatory Compliance are similarly competent in Project Management and Data Analysis. The majority of those who know 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.


Clinical Research Associates do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $59K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $66K on average. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $70K in this role. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $85K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Clinical Research Associates, 22 percent higher than 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). The smallest paychecks in the market, 16 percent south of the national average, can be found in Cincinnati. On the whole, employers pay 7 percent below the median salary for those in this field in New York and Chicago.

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
$61,000


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
$61,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 160 votes.

Gender

Female
76 %
Male
24 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
61%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 79%
vision benefits Vision: 65% employee benefits None: 11%
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