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Clinical Research Administration: Career Requirements, Salary & Duties

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a clinical research administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about education, job responsibilities, and certification available to find out if this is the career for you.

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Clinical research administrators make sure that medical drug and technology technology follows protocol and legal terms. Clinical research administrators need at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree is strongly preferred. They can expect to earn around $60,000 a year.

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Essential Information

Clinical research administration is an expanding field that involves making sure the testing of new medical drugs and technologies adhere to procedures, protocols, and legislation. Mostly involved in clinical trials, clinical research administrators ensure that all regulatory requirements and ethical issues are dealt with in an efficient and legal manner. A bachelor's degree is required; a master's degree in clinical administration is often preferred. Research administrators may also obtain certification through the Society of Clinical Research Associates.

Required Education Bachelor's degree, Master's degree in clinical research often preferred
Optional Certifications Available from the Society of Clinical Research Associates
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% for all natural science managers*
Median Annual Salary (2016) $59,850 for research administrators**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Clinical Research Administration Job Description

Clinical research administrators plan and direct all research-related activities involved in the production of new medical technologies, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and prosthetics. To perform these duties, they must be knowledgeable in a number of areas, including administration, budgeting, and government regulation.

Clinical Research Administration Salary and Employment Information

According to PayScale.com in January 2016, the majority of research administrators earned between $42,455 and $87,197 a year, with a median of $59,850. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projected that the employment of all types of natural sciences managers, including clinical research administrators, would grow by an approximate three percent between 2014 and 2024. Many job openings will be directly related to the replacement of retiring professionals, and competition for such positions is expected to be high. Clinical research administrators can find employment in various industries, from pharmaceutical firms and hospitals to scientific research and development laboratories.

Responsibilities of Clinical Research Administrators

Clinical research administrators are responsible for all research study activity and administration. In addition to ensuring that all studies and trials follow state, local, and federal regulations, they are responsible for maintaining all clinical trial reports and records, including case report forms and drug fulfillment forms. Administrators also convene with laboratories, hospitals, and investigators to report research procedures, results, and analysis.

Education Requirements for Clinical Research Administrators

Most clinical research administration careers are the result of advancement of scientists or researchers after years of work in the clinical research field. A bachelor's degree is typically required for an entry-level position in clinical research. Many colleges and universities offer master's degree programs in clinical research administration which can provide those with or without any prior clinical research experience entry into clinical research coordinator jobs.

Clinical research administrators also have the option of certification through the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA). Applicants are expected to have years of experience in the field and, depending on the category of applicant, some degree of college education.

As a clinical research administrator, it's your responsibility to ensure the validity, safety and credibility of clinical trials. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, but many positions call for a master's degree, and professional certification can prove competency as well. Jobs in this field are projected to grow slowly through 2024, and the median salary in 2016 was almost $60,000.

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