Clinical Trial & Pharmaceuticals Administration: Job Description & Requirements

Mar 19, 2019

Find out what a clinical trial and pharmaceuticals administrator does. Explore the training, skills, salary, employment outlook and alternate careers, to determine whether you should pursue this profession.

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Career Definition for a Pharmaceutical Administration Professional

Pharmaceutical administration professionals help facilitate clinical trials by administering experimental medicines to test subjects and taking detailed notes on the results. They must take the subjects' vital signs, such as their blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature, and need to carefully record any patient feedback about side effects. Additional job duties include overseeing subject enrollment, assessing the eligibility of potential subjects for clinical trials, identifying protocol problems, and reviewing study protocols.

Required Education Usually, a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree
Job Skills Written and oral communication, detail oriented, strong science/medical background, problem solving skills, business management skills
Median Salary (2017)* $118,970 (natural sciences managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 10% growth (natural sciences managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

You typically need a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree as well as several years of job experience as a scientist to become a natural science manager, including a clinical trial pharmaceutical administrator. Students who want to be pharmaceutical administration professionals should take courses like biology, pharmacology, psychology, chemistry, and business administration.

Skills Needed

Pharmaceutical administration professionals need to have excellent written and oral communication skills and should be able to pay close attention to detail. They must be able to administer simple medical tests and should have a strong science background. Clinical trial administrators should have exceptional monitoring skills and be able to assess potential problems in subjects. Additionally, they need knowledge of business and management principles to successfully manage large clinical trials.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for natural science managers, which includes clinical trial and pharmaceutical administrators, will be limited, with a 10% increase expected from 2016-2026. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported median wages in 2017 for natural science managers as $118,970.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some alternative career options:

Medical Scientist

Usually needing a Ph.D. or a medical degree, medical scientists conduct research related to human health matters, often using clinical trials. Faster-than-average employment growth of 13% was anticipated by the BLS from 2016-2026, and an annual median wage of $82,090 was reported in May 2017.


By earning at least a master's degree in epidemiology or public health, epidemiologists study the causes and patterns of human disease and injury in an effort to improve public health. The BLS reported an annual median salary of $69,660 for epidemiologists in 2017 and projected an average increase of 9% for available positions from 2016-2026.

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