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Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Salary

Clinical Research Associates in the United States take home approximately $60K annually on average. Final cash compensation to Clinical Research Associates varies from around $39K to approximately $86K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $6K and $7K, respectively. While the specific employer and location impact pay for this group, career length is the most influential factor. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Female Clinical Research Associates make up most of the survey respondents at 76 percent.

$40,965 - $83,571
(Median)
$41K
$60K
$84K
MEDIAN: $60,411
10%
50%
90%

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$15.20 - $49.34
(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
$40,965 - $83,571  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,183  
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).
)
$39,251 - $86,440  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,094
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$24$48$72
Hourly Rate
$15.20 - $49.34  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $71.44  
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 - $6,183  
   
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).
)
$39,251 - $86,440  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 193
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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 who transition into a Clinical Trial Manager role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $95K per year. It is quite typical for Clinical Research Associates to transition into roles as Senior Clinical Research Associates or Pharmaceutical Project Managers, where reported median earnings are $29K and $22K higher per year.

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., Icon Clinical Research Inc, Covance, Inc, and Medpace, Inc. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, St. Jude Medical, Inc. offers the most; Clinical Research Associates earn $79K on average there. Other big spenders include PRA International, Quintiles Transnational Corp, and Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc, top-paying firms where Clinical Research Associates see paychecks nearing $72K, $71K, or $70K.

Employees at Medpace, Inc. take home the smallest paychecks, and $56K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $46K and quickly nearing the top at only $71K. A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Icon Clinical Research Inc ($61K), Quintiles, Inc. ($62K), and Parexel International Corp ($66K).

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, Clinical Research, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Data Analysis. Those proficient in Clinical Research are, more often than not, also skilled in Data Analysis and Project Management. Those proficient in Regulatory Compliance are, more often than not, also skilled in 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 more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $58K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $65K. On average, Clinical Research Associates make $71K following one to two decades on the job. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $85K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Clinical Research Associates, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 22 percent above the national average. Clinical Research Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+22 percent), Minneapolis (+19 percent), Houston (+17 percent), and San Diego (+5 percent). Falling short of the national average by 15 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Cincinnati. Below-median salaries also turn up in Chicago and New York (11 percent lower and 9 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 41%



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 169 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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