How to Become a Clinical Research Associate?

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How to Become a Clinical Research Associate?

Whenever a patient is given any pill, vaccine, therapy, procedure, or medical device has to undergo various clinical research trials. Clinical Research associates play a significant role in the healthcare industry. This research is necessary to gain evidence-based insights on how good or bad is the drug or vaccine. Go through the below article to learn about who is a clinical research associate, what are their roles & responsibilities, average salary, skills required to become a clinical research associate, courses, top universities, etc.

Candidates can also check How to Become a Clinical Psychologist.

Who is a Clinical Research Associate?

Clinical Research Associates are also called “Monitors”. These individuals act as a conducting body between institutions sponsoring and funding clinical research trials, and the clinics conducting the research. The responsibility of these individuals is to ensure that clinical trials run smoothly and monitor all the processes, procedures, and results. They also have to ensure that the researchers are following proper guidelines and protocols at every step. Usually, the clinical research associate works on behalf of a pharmaceutical company, university, or health organization or even for a contract research organization (CRO). 

Roles & Responsibilities of Clinical Research Associate

Usually, the CRA is assigned the below-mentioned roles and responsibilities. However, the duties can vary depending on the company and projects.

  • CRA is responsible for the selection, initiation, and visiting of the participating clinical trial centres.
  • They should check properly if the study has been carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations.
  • They must develop different study procedures, methods, and instructions and must also design different data collection tools.
  • They are required to manage the supplies of medicines along with their accountability.
  • They are required to collect, verify, and finalise collected data, create reports and their results, and present them to other medical staff.
  • CRA must coordinate with the ethics committee and ensure the safety and well-being of test subjects.
  • They are required to submit the clinical documents so that the ethics committee can review and approve them.

Watch the video below to learn more about the life of a clinical research associate

Credit: @IQVIA

Also Read: Healthcare Management Courses: All You Need To Know

Steps to Become a Clinical Research Associate

In order to become a clinical research associate the candidates are required to follow the steps mentioned below: 

  • Firstly the candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree in a health science-related field. Some of the common degrees that can be pursued are biological sciences, biomedical sciences, health sciences, medical technology, life science or clinical research.
  • Secondly, interested candidates must gain some relevant experience in the required field. Candidates can do part time jobs in a laboratory or maybe in a clinic. They can also go for internships at universities, hospitals, or medical colleges.
  • Lastly, the candidates can pursue a master’s degree in health science to get full-time employment opportunities easily.

Skills Required to Become a Clinical Research Associate

Clinical research associates are required to have certain skills to be successful in their careers. However, even if they do not possess these skills, they can always learn and acquire them by learning various online courses. Check below some of the skills required to become a clinical research associate: 

  • CRA must possess administrative skills so that they can document important information correctly.
  • They must require computer and  IT skills such as databases and systems management.
  • They must possess Written and oral communication skills.
  • They must have the ability to manage and coordinate with several stakeholders.
  • CRA must have a strong understanding of the clinical research trials and healthcare space, along with medical terminologies.

Candidates interested in doing part time jobs must check 9 Best Part-Time Jobs in Germany: Salary & Recruiters

Courses or Training for Clinical Research Associate

How to Become a Clinical Research Associate?

In order to start a career in clinical research the candidates must have a degree in a life science or other health-related discipline. However, there are different types of courses and training available for aspirants who want to start their careers as clinical research associates. Check below the available qualifications, certifications, and training requirements:


A Master’s degree (MSc. or equivalent) or a Ph.D. can be advantageous but it’s not compulsory and it will always give a valuable experience in the field of clinical research. Some companies will see the relevant work experience and help them in reaching higher positions.


Candidates can become certified CRA by The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) by clearing a certification exam. However, this is not a requirement but it can always be advantageous. The exam tests the knowledge of scientific concepts, research design, product development and regulation, and data management.


There are lots of online courses for the CRA aspirants. However, the candidates should do thorough research work before signing up for anything and should make sure it is a recognized training course recommended by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) or the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA).

Candidates interested in the field of medicine must also check Career in Medicine: Complete Guide, Checklist & Jobs

Average Salary of Clinical Research Associate

The salary for a clinical research associate varies on the organization and experience level. Clinical research associates are offered a median salary of $95,310 annually, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How to Become a Clinical Research Associate?

Country Wise Salary of Clinical Research Associate

Check below the salary offered to clinical research associates in different countries:

Country Average Base Salary
Australia$124,437 (AUD)/yr
Brazil$107.344 (BRL)/yr
Canada$95,011 (CAD)/yr
Netherlands€48K – €60K/yr
Ireland€44K – €53K/yr
United Kingdom£36K – £49K/yr
United States$95,011 (CAD)/yr
Note: According to Glassdoor, the average annual base salary is $69,236, and a total salary of $108,425 


What is the role of the clinical research associate?

The main role of the clinical research associate is to monitor Good Clinical Practice guidelines as developed by the International Research Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). 

How to prepare for a CRA interview?

To ace the CRA interview it is important to have some knowledge of the CRA role. The candidates must possess the required skills and knowledge to achieve their long-term goals.

What are the skills required to become a CRA?

The candidates must have strong communication skills, both written and verbal, interpersonal skills, excellent relationship-building skills, and lastly, they should be able to motivate others.

What is the demand for clinical research associates?

The projected demand for a clinical research associate is around 6% (2018-2028). About. Around 4,600 new jobs may arise in the coming decade. In the previous 5 years, the clinical research associate salaries have increased by 15%.

This was all the information about how to become a clinical research associate. If you also want to explore such a profession and want to know more about the course that will help you become a professional aircraft maintenance engineer, contact Leverage Edu

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