Most companies or independent employers require that a Clinical Research Associate possess a Bachelor’s Degree in a Science field, preferably Life Sciences or Biology. They will also consider those with an RN or Pharm D qualification. It is also desirable to have had some work experience or previous job in the medical or pharmaceutical industry. An unpaid internship, which many companies offer to college students, can be very beneficial in building a resume that will convey that a candidate is suitable for a research position.
The successful candidate for this line of work must demonstrate excellent communication and organizational skills. The clinical research assistant is often required to help to recruit investigators and participants for clinical studies, as well as prepare protocols, draft procedures and present reports at meetings and conferences. The job often entails a great deal of travel so that aspect should also be taken into consideration before embarking upon this career path.
The employment opportunities for a Clinical Research Associate can be found within large drug companies, small private studies and at many medical teaching facilities. There are also a number of government jobs available to those with the right skills in Clinical Research, although they often require a candidate acquire an official certification in the field before they can be considered for employment. By becoming a member of the Society of Clinical Research Associates the aspiring Clinical Research Associate can demonstrate to potential employers a superior level of dedication to the field. The organization also holds an annual conference, and can provide the networking resources to find a job as a clinical research assistant it also provides advanced educational courses and certification examinations.
The Society also maintains a list of known available jobs in the field to help its members find work that may go unadvertised in the usual channels.
This can be a difficult line of work to break into initially. A person wishing to work as a Clinical Research Associate may have to consider taking another position within the healthcare or pharmaceutical industry while they continue to look for the right opportunity to join the team of a clinical trial. However with persistence and networking, the determined candidate should be able to find the employment they are looking for. Some Clinical Research Associates choose to work on a freelance basis, offering somewhat discounted services to employers. Once a worker has obtained that first position, continuing employment should not be difficult to find. The advances in medicine in general mean there are record numbers of new drugs and procedures coming to the market and all of these new innovations need to be able to demonstrate their effectiveness and safety through a number of well conducted clinical trials.