How to Become Clinical Researcher

According to CNN Money, the Clinical Research profession is one of the best jobs in America, landing at the number 4 spot out of 100 top jobs.

What makes this profession one of the best jobs out there? Growth potential, high wages and the variety of topics to research make this a busy and engaging profession.

Individuals who want to become a Clinical Researcher will need to take several steps in order to enter this field.

Education Requirements to Become a Clinical Researcher

The minimum level of education that an individual needs in order to become a Clinical Researcher is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.

Some positions and employers request an individual have a minimum of a Master’s degree as well as a CRA certification.

Recommended areas of study for the undergraduate degree include Medical Technology, Public Health Administration or Microbiology.

Typical courses that an individual takes during their undergraduate degree include: Anatomy, Health Care Management, Biostatistics, Mathematics, Biochemistry and Epidemiology.

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An extensive educational background in these areas of study will help individuals prepare for the in depth research they perform.

Individuals pursuing a Master’s degree may also opt to focus on Medical Technology, Public Health Administration or Microbiology.

In addition, individuals who want to become a Clinical Researcher may also gain some work experience by working as a health care worker or lab technician.

For better prospects, individuals can seek a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) certification provided by professional groups such as the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).

The ACRP has very detailed requirements in order to take the certification exam.

Professionals must be able to show that they can work independently on a variety of research topics, work on behalf of sponsors and be able to handle a variety of essential duties that Clinical Researchers perform.

Visit ACRP for more information on the CRA certification.

Clinical Researcher Job Description

Clinical Researchers are hired by pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturers, contract research organizations or by academic institutions to oversee and conduct clinical studies and trials on a variety of medical devices and pharmaceuticals waiting to be approved to be on the market.

Their extensive work is required and is the final step into getting several types of medical devices or pharmaceuticals onto the market.

Their clinical trials must assure that any products going onto the market are safe and effective for human use or consumption.

Using their extensive background, Clinical Researchers are responsible for overseeing clinical trials and making sure all proper protocols and procedures are being followed by their team.

In short, these professionals are responsible for the quality control needed to carry out important clinical trials.

In addition, these professionals are responsible for leading and carrying out experiments, clinical research and other medical studies.

They monitor procedures and end results and supervise other researchers carrying out the experiments or clinical research.

Some day to day duties for Clinical Researchers include:

  • Responsible for the management of assigned clinical trials
  • Be the main contact person for inquiries regarding patient information
  • Selection of researchers and management of selected Clinical Research Assistants
  • Patient recruitment and analysis
  • Prepare documentation for anything related to the trial
  • Coordination of the transportation of laboratory samples before and after trials
  • Organize clinical trial material
  • Manage project files including information regarding to the progress or ethical information

Clinical Researcher Salary and Career Path

Medical Scientists, which includes professionals working as Clinical Researchers, earned a median annual of income of $90,700 in 2012.

The exact wage will depend heavily on experience as well as the industry an individual is employed in.

For example, professionals working in the Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry earned approximately $92,940 per year in 2012 while Medical Scientists working in higher education such as colleges and universities earned approximately $53,740 in 2012.

The job projections for this career look strong and are expected to increase by 36.4 percent through the year 2022.

Compared to other professions, this growth is considered fast and strong.

The sheer amount of clinical trials that are required to be performed and the increased personalization of medicines are factors in this fast growing industry and contribute to its title of one of the best jobs in America.

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