A clinical research associate is sometimes referred to as a clinical or trial monitor and works in medical research and clinical trials. The median annual salary for clinical research associates in the US is $61,957 compared to AU$70,503 ($54,153 USD) in Australia. When converted to the US dollar, the median annual salary in New Zealand and Canada are similar at NZ$68,047 ($49,912 USD) and C$60,808 ($46,857 USD), respectively. Of the countries reviewed in this guide, the UK falls on the low end of the pay scale for clinical research associates at £30,808 ($34,343 USD). Salaries vary worldwide for clinical research associates based on geographic region, professional experience, and work setting with details outlined in this guide.
How Much Does a Clinical Research Associate Make?
Annual salaries and US dollar equivalents for clinical research associates in select countries are provided in the chart below.
|Country||Clinical Research Associate
Clinical Research Associate Salary Determinant Factors
Salaries for clinical research associates vary worldwide with influence from geographic region, professional experience, and work setting. Information on this career field and earning potential is provided in this guide.
1. How Much Does a Clinical Research Associate Make by Country
Salary for Clinical Research Associate Salary in the US
Clinical research associates in the US earn between $42,000 and $90,000 per year. There are opportunities for bonus pay that can reach $9,800 and some employers offer profit sharing with the potential to earn an additional $5,100. Earnings increase over the course of one’s career, peaking for those with 20 years’ or more experience. Geographic region in the US impacts earnings with those in San Francisco and Minneapolis earning 22% and 21%, respectively, more than the national average for this career, while those in Seattle may earn 4% less.
Salary for Clinical Research Associate Salary in Canada
Entry level clinical research associates in Canada earn just over C$42,000 per year with earnings increasing most during the first five to 10 years of professional experience. Salaries peak at nearly C$90,000 per year. There are opportunities for bonus pay that can significantly increase income by more than C$13,000 in additional earnings.
Salary for Clinical Research Associate Salary in the UK
Clinical research associates in the UK begin their careers at a salary level of about £23,000 per year. Annual earnings increase steadily to nearly £39,000; however, experience in this field is relatively low as most clinical research associates in the UK do not have more than 10 years’ experience. There are opportunities for additional pay through bonus income that can reach £5,500.
Salary for Clinical Research Associate Salary in Australia
Clinical research associates in Australia earn between just under AU$58,000 to more than AU$89,000 per year. Earnings increase over the course of one’s career; however, those who work in this career often have 10 years’ experience or less. Bonus pay can sharply increase earnings by nearly AU$20,000 in additional pay.
Salary for Clinical Research Associate Salary in New Zealand
Entry level clinical research associates in New Zealand can expect a starting salary of more than NZ$46,500 per year. Earnings increase during one’s career, peaking at more than NZ$82,000 for senior level professionals.
2. How Much Does a Clinical Research Associate Make According to Experience?
While experience positively affects overall earnings in countries reviewed in this guide, the largest gap between entry level and senior level clinical research associates is found in the US and Canada. Incomes increase $48,000 in the US and C$48,000 (36,967 USD) in Canada, representing 114% growth in overall pay in these countries. Clinical research associates in New Zealand and Australia earn slightly higher starting salaries compared to some other areas; however, experience further increases earnings by 76% and 53%, respectively. While pay in the UK for this career is lower compared to the other countries included in this guide, earnings increase 70%, or £16,000, over one’s career.
3. How Much Does a Clinical Research Associate Make According to Work Environment?
Clinical research associates work in research laboratories, educational institutions, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. Work experience can greatly influence income as those who are employed in for-profit organizations like pharmaceutical companies may have greater earning potential compared to their colleagues employed in the public sector, such as higher education, or nonprofit organizations. In addition to a difference in base salary pay, bonus potential can be greater in for-profit organizations.
Most clinical research associates work full-time hours during typical business hours, Monday through Friday; however, deadlines may result in the need for overtime hours that extend in the evenings or weekends. Some may be involved in work that requires travel, both domestically and internationally, which may result in extensive time away from home and family. While there can be stress involved with this work, most employed in this career field express a high level of job satisfaction.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Clinical research associates often receive a full benefits package that includes health, dental, and vision insurance. Paid time off for holidays, vacation, and sick time are common. Bonus pay is common in all countries reviewed in this guide, and can boost overall income by significant levels.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 8% growth among medical scientists, which includes clinical research associates, between 2014 and 2024. This rate of growth is on par with the overall growth rate of all occupations, and should remain steady due to an increased need for medical improvement and advancement in care and treatment of the global aging population. To work as a clinical research associate, the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree is necessary, typically in a science-related field, psychology, or sociology. Those who commit their career to this field and earn the highest incomes often have a PhD.
Income, bonus pay, and benefits are strong for clinical research associates, and entry into this career field requires only the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree, making it a good return on educational investment. A full-time work schedule is common with some need for overtime hours and travel. Future job opportunities are expected to increase 8% in the coming years, which should continue to support salary levels and provide sufficient employment for incoming clinical research associates.