Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Clinical Research Associates in the United States pull down an average of $61K annually. Overall cash earnings for Clinical Research Associates stretch from $39K on the lower end to $87K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $6K from bonuses and $7K from profit sharing. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though career duration and location have a (lesser) impact as well. For the most part, Clinical Research Associates enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Clinical Research Associates making up 76 percent. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$41,218 - $84,477

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$15.33 - $49.12

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$41,218 - $84,477  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,218  
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).
)
$39,479 - $87,052  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,102
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$19$38$57
Hourly Rate
$15.33 - $49.12  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $56.52  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,218  
   
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).
)
$39,479 - $87,052  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 198
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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 experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Clinical Trial Manager. The latter position pays an average of $95K annually. Clinical Research Associates typically move into roles as Senior Clinical Research Associates or Pharmaceutical Project Managers, and those positions pay $29K more and $22K more, respectively.

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Dominating the field, Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc, Quintiles, Inc., Covance, Inc, Icon Clinical Research Inc, and Medpace, Inc. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Clinical Research Associates. St. Jude Medical, Inc. attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $79K. Clinical Research Associates will also find cushy salaries at PRA International (+$73K), Quintiles Transnational Corp (+$72K), and Covance, Inc (+$70K).

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Medpace, Inc. at $53K, and Icon Clinical Research Inc where $61K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Clinical Research Associates there earn up to $88K.

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, Project Management, and Clinical Research are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Data Analysis. It is often found that people who know Regulatory Compliance are also skilled in Project Management and Data Analysis. Most people 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 with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $59K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $66K. Clinical Research Associates with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $70K. 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


For Clinical Research Associates, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 22 percent greater than the national average. Clinical Research Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+21 percent), Minneapolis (+18 percent), Houston (+15 percent), and San Diego (+4 percent). In Cincinnati, salaries are 16 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Chicago and Los Angeles are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 7 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively.

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%

Clinical Research
up arrow 1%

Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 1%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

National Average
$61,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 156 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: 10%
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