Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Clinical Research Associates in the United States pull down an average of $62K annually. Cash earnings for Clinical Research Associates — which occasionally include more than $10K from bonuses and more than $5K from profit sharing — stretch from around $39K to approximately $92K. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the company, followed by tenure and geography. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Clinical Research Associates making up 78 percent. Work is enjoyable for Clinical Research Associates, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$41,758 - $90,013
$42K
$62K
$90K
MEDIAN: $61,957
10%
50%
90%

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$14.59 - $45.42
$15
$23
$45
MEDIAN: $22.94
10%
50%
90%

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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$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$41,758 - $90,013  
   
Bonus
$6.00 - $9,784  
Profit Sharing
$293.61 - $5,106  
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).
)
$39,420 - $91,891  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,111
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$22$44$66
Hourly Rate
$14.59 - $45.42  
   
Overtime
$7.35 - $63.06  
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
$6.00 - $9,784  
   
Profit Sharing
$293.61 - $5,106  
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).
)
$39,420 - $91,891  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 247

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United States (change)

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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

  • 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)


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Clinical Research Associates may progress into high-paying roles like Clinical Trial Manager, where median compensation is $97K annually. Clinical Research Associates moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Senior Clinical Research Associates or Clinical Project Managers. The median paychecks in those roles are $30K higher and $26K higher, respectively.

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Dominating the field, Medpace, Inc., Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc, PRA International, Covance, Inc, and Icon Clinical Research Inc are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Clinical Research Associates. The biggest paychecks can be found at Gilead Sciences, Inc. — the median salary there is $84K. Soaring salaries can also be found at St. Jude Medical, Inc., Inventiv Health, and Parexel, where earnings of $79K, $76K, or $76K are standard for Clinical Research Associates.

Earnings fall especially short at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where the median salary of $36K is the lowest in the field, less than half of the top paying company's rate. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Medpace, Inc. ($51K), Kaiser Permanente ($52K), and Parexel International Corp ($58K).

Popular Skills for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, facility with monitoring, Oncology, and Clinical Research are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 38 percent, 10 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Data Analysis. People who know Regulatory Compliance usually also know Project Management and Data Analysis. For most people, competency in Clinical Research indicates knowledge of Data Analysis and Project Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

Pay by Experience for a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) has a positive trend. An entry-level Clinical Research Associate (CRA) with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $59,000 based on 971 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Clinical Research Associate (CRA) with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $70,000 based on 303 salaries. An experienced Clinical Research Associate (CRA) which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $79,000 based on 140 salaries. A Clinical Research Associate (CRA) with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $84,000 based on 32 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $61,427

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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 Minneapolis (+21 percent), New York (+9 percent), Atlanta (+8 percent), and Los Angeles (+8 percent). Cincinnati ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 16 percent below the national average. Houston and Philadelphia are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries tend to be 7 percent less than the median.

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA)?

Clinical Research Associate (CRA) in Lincoln:
"CRA for a Staffing Agency."
Pros: I got to work with good people, for and with companies with a strong commitment to ethical behavior.
Cons: I was underpaid and under-appreciated. Because I was working for a staffing agency, I was basically treated as a second-class citizen at the client site.

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

Key Stats for Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 132 votes.
Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
3%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

▲37%

▲29%

▲13%

National Average
$61,000

▼3%

Skills That Affect Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salaries

monitoring
▲38%

▲10%



Project Management
▼0%

National Average
$61,000



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 132 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
vision benefits
Vision: 69%
no benefits
None: 10%
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