Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

The main function of a clinical research associate is to monitor clinical trials. The CRA may work directly with the sponsor company of a clinical trial, as an independent freelancer or for a contract research organization (CRO).

Clinical Research Associate (CRA)

Average Hourly Earnings



A CRA is usually required to possess an academic degree in Life Sciences and needs to have a good knowledge of good clinical practice and local regulations.


  • Ensure compliance with the clinical trial protocol
  • Checks clinical site activities including making on-site visits
  • Reviews case report forms (CRFs)
  • Communicates with clinical research coordinators
  • Ensures the rights, safety and well-being of human study subjects are protected
  • Makes certain that the scientific integrity of the data collected is protected and verified
  • Ensures that adverse events are correctly documented and reported

Work Environment

Clinical Research Associates usually work in teams that includes clinical staff, statisticians, administrative support and others. They usually work in an office, but may travel to sites. Workers in this occupation spend a fair amount of their days sitting. They frequently use email and spend a great deal of their workdays using the telephone. Their workdays sometimes include face-to-face discussions. Being able to work well in a group or team is very important in this work. Accuracy is also very important. Most work full time.

Key Traits

Investigative. Frequently requires working with ideas and involves an extensive amount of thinking. May involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. Conventional– Often involves following set procedures and routines. May include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually have a clear line of authority to follow.