Clinical Research Job Overview Clinical research jobs are as varied as the life science field itself. The role of the ...
Clinical Research Job Overview
Clinical research jobs are as varied as the life science field itself. The role of the clinical researcher is to determine the effectiveness and safety of various devices, medications, treatment protocols, and diagnostic tools. Some clinical researchers work for government agencies, such as the FDA, to conduct trials on medications. Others work with hospitals and universities in developing and testing medical devices like pacemakers or stents. Other clinical research jobs involve testing the effectiveness of various treatment regimens on disease conditions. Clinical research jobs run the scale from research associate to clinical trial director.
Some daily tasks of a clinical researcher might include:
- Designing clinical trials
- Determining appropriate subjects and study participants
- Setting trial schedules
- Researching legal protocols
- Maintaining detailed records and documentation
- Collaborating with other research staff
- Developing safety protocols
- Communicating results through written and verbal reports
It's difficult to list the typical daily tasks of a clinical researcher, given the huge variety of research projects and clinical trials. Most clinical researchers report a great deal of satisfaction with their profession.
Clinical Research Job Education Requirements
At a minimum, clinical researchers have a bachelor's degree in one of the life sciences or nursing. Because of the complexity of medical research projects, many clinical researchers have master's degrees or even PhDs, which require a significant investment in post-secondary education. At the director level, clinical researchers are expected to have a medical doctor degree. The medical research nurse is a rapidly growing specialty.
Clinical Research Job Market
Clinical research is a rapidly growing field. As a result of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, funding for medical research has dramatically increased, both at the public and private levels. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for clinical research associates will grow a whopping 39.6 percent over the next decade; one of the highest rates for all occupations. Because there are so many facilities and institutions that engage in clinical research, the job outlook for qualified research professionals at all levels is excellent.
Clinical Research Job Salary Information
Because the educational and experience level varies so greatly for clinical research professionals, the salary range is diverse. At the bachelor's level, a clinical research coordinator's salary can range from $42,997 to $72,432, certified coordinators can earn about $10,000 more per year. Clinical research associates can expect to earn between $55,960 and $129,000. At the director level, the average salary range is from $138,300 to $184,700.