A clinical research associate which is also called trial monitor or clinical monitor is a medical scientist or healthcare professional that preforms clinical trials and many other related activities. Their main job is to monitor clinical trials and this job is guided by what is called good clinical practice (GCP). They may work directly with the sponsor of a clinical trial or they may work for a contract research organization or they work as a freelancer.
Clinical research associate can work in government clinical research institute, pharmaceutical companies, private owned clinical research institute etc. and their salaries may differ based on how much the individual companies or employees offer at their different choice of work place. But on the average, clinical research associates are paid around $65,000 per year. This leaves the pay at about $24 - $25 per hour.
There are various factors that can affect how much a clinical research associate (CRA) goes home with at the end of the month or cumulatively at the end of the year. These factors can be the location of the company, that is, the economic strength of the country or city where they are working, the degree or certificate or the level of education and exposure that the CRA has, the number of years if working experience that they have accumulated. These factors work together to determine how much they take home.
Some clinical research associates are paid around $45,000 per year which is less than the average of $65,000, based on the aforementioned factors while some others can get as much as $85,000, which is $20,000 more than the average payment. It just depends on where you work and what degrees you have got.
You can boost your chances of getting a higher pay, in the region of $85,000 to $90,000 or even more by getting the necessary education and certification. Become a certified clinical research professional, get the necessary certificate from the responsible bodies SOCRA (Society of Clinical Research Associates) or the bigger body ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals). This leaves you a better CRA for the knowledge, experience, education and the certificate that you will get. All of these raise your profile and your income increases as your profile increases. Visit ccrps.org for more information on clinical research training courses and professional certification.