Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a clinical research coordinator. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) Do?

Clinical research coordinators organize and manage clinical research studies. Before the trial begins, they help the primary investigator design the experiment and plan out the budget. Then, they assist with subject recruitment, registration and the experiments themselves. As results come in, clinical research coordinators report any side effects and safety concerns. They also make sure that the study remains in compliance with all relevant legal and ethical standards.

The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree most common
Education Field of Study Health sciences, clinical research coordination
Certification Optional certification available from the Association for Clinical Research Professionals and the Society of Clinical Research Associates
Key Responsibilities Plan and organize research trials; investigate participants; manage databases and results
Job Growth (2014-24) 3% (for all natural science managers)*
Median Salary (2017) $47,838**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **PayScale.com

What Is a Clinical Research Coordinator?

As a clinical research coordinator (CRC) you will work within a team to coordinate medical research studies. As an entry-level member of the team, you will work under a principal investor, but you are responsible for the organization, coordination and integrity of the project. It will be your responsibility to find study sites, vet participants, maintain and dispense drugs for the study, setup follow-up visits and accurately complete report and regulatory forms as well as ensure all participants have filled out the proper paperwork. You will develop and monitor protocols that meet governmental and institutional policies, gather clinical data including side effects, manage investigational devices and maintain related databases.

What Education/Licensure Do I Need?

As a clinical research coordinator you will most likely need a bachelor's degree, but it is not required for all positions. Some positions only require an only a high school diploma or associate degree, while others require experience as a CRC and certification as a registered nurse. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can also earn a clinical research coordination diploma to learn specific CRC skills.

The Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) offer certifications to increase your marketability and demonstrate your professional standing. You can demonstrate your skills and your understanding of work-related information by passing the certification test.

Where Can I Work and How Much Money Can I Make?

As a clinical research coordinator, you can work for private or public research organizations, academic medical centers, drug or device research companies, or clinical research organizations.

Your salary could range between $35,672 and $64,575 a year as of January 2017, including bonuses and profit sharing, according to PayScale.com. You may also be eligible for vacation time from 1.6 to 3 weeks a year, depending on the company you work for and your experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to be more directly involved in technical laboratory research, you could consider becoming a biological technician. In this entry-level job, you would assist with experimentation and laboratory maintenance; jobs are available in labs that are involved with clinical or translational research, as well as those that conduct basic science. Alternatively, if you are seeking an administrative position within the medical field, you could look for a job as a health services manager. This job involves coordinating the daily operations of a medical facility or hospital department. To become either a biological technician or health services manager, you need at least a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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