Medical Research Administrator: Job Description and Requirements

Medical research administrators require some formal education. Learn about the degree program, job duties and salary expectations to see if this is the right career for you.

You will need at least a bachelor's degree to become a medical research administrator. Practical business-related experience and a master's degree, however, may be preferred by some employers.

Essential Information

Working with other administrative and research staff, a medical research administrator ensures funding is used properly and that all research activities are properly documented. They may work with others to obtain grant money and create policies. Most employers require an applicant for this position to have at least a bachelor's degree, and some prefer applicants with master's degrees. Business administration or health care administration are suitable fields of study.

Required Education Bachelor's degree, usually in business or health care administration
Projected Job Growth (2014-24)* 8% for administrative services managers
Median Salary (2015)** $86,110

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

According to in 2014, the main industries hiring medical research administrators were education, medical research, healthcare and clinical research. The BLS site reported that, as of May 2015, the median salary for research administrators was $86,110.

A medical research administrator works with other administrative staff to manage grant funding and medical research projects. They may work to develop research plans and lead meetings with members of the research staff. In addition to securing funds for research projects, they may also manage the allocation of funds and supervise financial reporting. They also handle administrative duties like creating policies for research departments.


Employers usually expect an applicant to have some work experience in management or finance. An aspiring medical research administrator needs to earn at least a bachelor's degree, although employers may give preference to applicants who have a master's degree. Degrees in health care administration or business administration are suitable for a medical research administrator. A bachelor's degree program in health care administration may include courses on health care marketing, accounting, finance and planning, along with classes on medical terminology, coding and billing. A bachelor's degree program in business administration focuses on general business topics like communications, accounting and business law.

A master's degree program in health care administration offers students an advanced education in health care management topics. A master's program in business administration gives a student a well-rounded education in the different aspects of business including marketing, ethics and leadership. A master's degree program usually includes an internship or thesis option that allows students to develop work and research experience in their field.

Medical research administrators typically hold either a bachelor's or master's degree in a field such as healthcare administration. Jobs in this field are growing as fast as average for all occupations, with the primary employers being in the fields of healthcare, research and education.

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