Entry-Level CRA Jobs: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

Entry-Level CRA Jobs: People from medical school would always ask, “What are the conditions and requirements to get Entry-level CRA Jobs?” Understandably, people want a job that they will be well paid for. This article will discuss all you need to know about Entry-Level CRA jobs. 

First, you need to decide if the position (entry-level CRA jobs) is right for you. You could research or talk to someone you know about it. Only some have acquaintances, so read this article if you do not.

  • CRA are professionals. They ensure that all clinical trials are carried out in a research site at a good standard. The knowledge needed for this role is all that has to do with therapeutic areas. 
  • 60-70% of your work time, you have to be available to run around; it could even involve traveling. A digital skill will be required to cross-check between medicals from a patient chart and data entries in the study system.
  • Writing for medical or, more accurately, clinical research is another crucial talent. You require this ability to complete a visit report following each site monitoring visit. 

In addition to those mentioned above, you should have excellent proficiency in the following fundamental soft skills:

  • ability to speak and write in English for a variety of reasons.
  • Medical staff must be well-trained to carry out the study protocol requirements. 
  • It is tough to ask doctors to accept your advice and directives because they have strong personalities. 
  • The recruiting of trial volunteers, completing data entry into the research systems, and gaining the support of the site team are all subject to negotiation. 
  • Planning and time management abilities are essential because you will supervise three to five clinical studies simultaneously, each in a distinct execution stage. 
  • Ability to work under pressure is necessary because you will be subject to regulatory authority inspections, a quality audit from your sponsor, and deadlines for submitting visit reports (RA). 

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Secondly: Once you have acquired all of the soft skills listed above for the entry-level CRA jobs, the next stage is to learn about the procedures that oversee clinical research activity.

This can be done by Googling “ICH-GCP,” which stands for “International Conference of Harmonization — Good Clinical Practice,” Even though you can read about it, it is only the beginning. A GCP training certificate is necessary to obtain entry-level CRA jobs. 

Thirdly: Look out for the Competitive Benefit 

While interviewing for CRA entry-level jobs, you should be familiar with questions like “Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position”? Otherwise, why should we pick you? At this stage, you require a competitive advantage. Of course, you can emphasize your benefits, like: 

  • You are a good team player, can perform well under pressure, have good communication and negotiating skills, enjoy challenges, pick things up quickly, and this profession fits your passion. 
  • A competitive edge is necessary to accept a position with such high pay and qualifications. Therefore, you must be well-informed and understand what roles to take up for entry-level CRA jobs. Does and how do they contribute to a clinical trial?

Fourthly: Steps to take to get Entry-Level CRA Jobs.

You should be asking yourself how to apply for CRA jobs. 

  • The business network LinkedIn is among the most fantastic options. It is an excellent platform for all clinical research positions, not just CRA; 
  • www.pharmiweb.com is another website dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry. After creating your profile here, the job search engine is simple to use and intuitive; 
  • There are many opportunities available on the websites www.Glassdoor.com and Total.com, which are generic job search engines that are not just for the pharmaceutical industry; 
  • The www.proclinical.com website is quite helpful and has a section dedicated to CRA employment, even entry-level ones; 
  • Going straight to the source is a brilliant alternative course of action. You can use search engines: Simply enter “CRO” or “Clinical research Organization”, and you will have it all displayed. 

You can visit the website of any CRO, you will undoubtedly find their careers page, which lists this position as well as the locations of all entry-level CRA jobs and other parts available at that business; It’s acceptable to apply for a local, regional, or worldwide CRO (Top 10 CRO on Google) in any location. 

  • Pharmaceutical firms having internal entry-level CRA jobs or Clinical Monitor jobs are comparable to CROs. Their websites’ career search is similar to the CRO. 
  • Send your resume to employment agencies, the likes of which are known to specialize in pharma and CRO jobs. 

The fifth step is to attend interviews. 

Please remember that you must dress professionally for in-person interviews, wearing a suit or business casual attire.

Entry-Level CRA Jobs

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Entry Level CRA Jobs: What You Should Know (CRA) 

Entry-level CRA jobs: Clinical monitors and trial monitors are other names for CRAs. Monitoring Good Clinical Practice (GCP) standards, such as those created by the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, is a vital aspect of the job (ICH). 

Salary Levels 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies CRAs as clinical and medical informaticists. As a result, Income.com reports that wages for CRAs range from $54,958 to $69,331, with a median salary of $62,432 expected in 2022. 

The Chron states about CRAs: “A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or another life science is the minimal educational need for this position.” Although they may have one to three years of clinical research experience, entry-level clinical research associates who have learned their job duties through training with experienced medical scientists may be preferred by some organizations. 

Additional requirements include critical thinking, communication, decision-making, data analysis, observation, and computer abilities. 

Similar ranges are reported by Payscale.com, with a median salary of $61,984 and a range from $46,000 to $96,000. 

Advancement to a position as a clinical trial manager for a clinical research associate “may result in a large boost,” according to Pay scale. As they advance in their careers, Clinical Research Associates frequently become Senior CRAs or Clinical Project Managers. 

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Requirements and Certification

For entry-level jobs, a certification exam to become a Certified Clinical Research Associate is offered by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) (CCRA). It is advantageous but not necessary to be CCRA certified to work as a CRA. 

By working independently of the investigative staff conducting research at a site or institution, you are not subject to the primary investigator’s or site manager’s authority. You are not otherwise permitted to change or manipulate clinical trial data, according to the ACRP. You must demonstrate this to be eligible for compensation. 

Additionally, you must prove that the sponsor employs you, typically a pharmaceutical or device company, a charitable organization, or a physician. 

It also generates a lengthy list of obligations the applicant must fulfill throughout 3,000 to 6,000 hours. The CCRA is designed for people who work as CRAs right now. 

For this position, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher and 3,000 hours of experience as an LPN, LVN, or RN performing critical duties. You can work as a lab technician or medical assistant if you have a high school diploma and have completed essential tasks for at least 6,000 hours. 

An Associate’s Degree and a minimum of 4,500 hours working on crucial tasks are also acceptable qualifications. 

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Entry-level CRA jobs: Educational courses are available instead of following a reasonably circular logic and working as a CRA to gain experience. Many courses are available online, but be cautious because there are many scammers. 

In that regard, it would be wise to confirm if a course has the endorsement of the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SCRA) or the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) before enrolling (SoCRA). 

A life science or medical degree is one of the best educational backgrounds for this career. Given that ICH-GCP is at the core of what it means to be a CRA, any coursework on good clinical practice as defined by the ICH is essentially required. 

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Here are a few concepts—or strategies—that could accelerate the time to employment, albeit it is debatable whether they constitute actual shortcuts or even exist. 

1. Previous Knowledge 

This is not at all a shortcut. However, there exist positions for clinical trial assistants (CTA) and clinical research coordinators (CRC). 

It is also a good idea to volunteer for any tasks associated with clinical studies, but more is needed, according to CRA Career & Jobs. Make sure it’s a worthwhile experience, and you aren’t being taken advantage of, as with all volunteer work. 

2. Think about the employers 

Clinical research associates generally work for pharmaceutical corporations or contract research organizations (CROs). For biopharma businesses, a CRO specializes in managing a large portion of the clinical trial labor, managing the clinical trials, and providing statistical analysis, resources, etc. 

They observe that most job seekers for CRA positions start their search at large corporations like Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer. 

However, smaller biopharma firms, medical facilities, and physician offices might require CRAs. 

According to CRA Career & Jobs, “If you begin your web search, you will soon come across many small to mid-sized CROs.” Unfortunately, most individuals only apply to these businesses because finding employment is simpler. 

3. Take relevant courses 

Concentrate mainly on GCP coursework. According to CRA Career & Jobs, “If you don’t have any monitoring experience, taking specific courses will improve your chances of getting an entry-level CRA position.” 

You will be able to start your CRA training as soon as you have spent a few weeks, or better still, months, mastering GCP. 

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4. Don’t just apply for positions that are advertised 

This seems counter-intuitive. And for the most part, huge corporations will use recruiters and job postings. However, smaller businesses might be more receptive to “spontaneous” applications. 

In this regard, CRA Career & Jobs offers the following two pieces of advice: Send your resume and cover letter to some organizations that aren’t actively seeking CRAs. In the letter, clarify why you’re interested in the organization and that you’d be grateful to be contacted if any positions become available. 

Working as a clinical research associate may be an exciting, lucrative job with various prospects. If you’re prepared to change careers and work as a CRA, know that you’ll improve your own life and the lives of the clients and patients you assist.

A certification exam to become a Certified Clinical Research Associate is offered by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) (CCRA). CCRA certification is not necessary to operate as a CRA, although it is advantageous. 

According to the ACRP, you must provide proof that you have worked independently of the investigative staff conducting research at a site or institution, which entails that you do not answer to the primary investigator or site manager and are not otherwise able to alter or manipulate clinical trial data. 

You must also demonstrate that you work for the sponsor, typically a pharmaceutical or device company, a granting organization, or a doctor. 

Additionally, it produces a long list of responsibilities that the applicant must have completed throughout 3,000 to 6,000 hours. The CCRA is intended for those who are currently employed as CRAs. 

For this job, you need at least a bachelor’s degree and 3,000 hours of experience as an LPN, LVN, or RN doing essential tasks. 

To sum up, if you want to work in clinical studies, you could apply for one of the following jobs: 

  • Clinical Trial Assistants work in offices; Clinical. 
  • Research Associates travel at least 60% of the time yet earn more money; 
  • Associate in Internal Clinical Research, 99% office-based; 
  • Clinical Study Coordinator works at a hospital or medical facility’s office; Regulatory Officer is an office-based position. 

If it’s a good fit for you, any of these are excellent choices.

Working in clinical research is a dream for many people. Fortunately, getting a job doesn’t need much effort if you use the above advice. 

Build a strong foundation with your education, take advantage of opportunities to improve your skills and gain experience, network to make lasting connections, and be specific in your résumé and interview questions. 

That makes it easier for you to stand out as a candidate, which increases your chances of getting job interviews and job offers.

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Entry-Level CRA Jobs: FAQ

How feasible is it for you to pursue a career in clinical research? 

Anyone qualified and interested in this topic can find employment in clinical research. 

Most jobs involve keeping an eye on the quality of medical data and gathering it, which only sometimes requires medical studies. Project management and administrative tasks make up a large portion of clinical studies. 

Clinical research can be a job for anyone who has graduated from a university, college, or higher education institution.

How can you locate the organizations that provide the most chances to pursue a career in clinical research? 

Due to their legal status as businesses with a strong focus on clinical research, CROs are the organizations with the most significant number of employment openings in this industry. 

In terms of regional or local CROs, you have the following handy tool in addition to Google’s ability to help you search by, for example, “CRO in India”: 

You must adopt the same strategy if you’re interested in working for a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company that develops cutting-edge medications. Please keep in mind that, simply because their activities were outsourced to CROs, it is not very sure that they have a local clinical trials section. 

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What Entry-Level CRA jobs can someone with no experience apply for? 

Do your research and determine which position best suits you before thinking about applying for it. Examine the responsibilities of each of these roles; ideally, a job description would be available to assist you in determining whether the position is a good fit for you. 

Most positions are for Clinical Research Associates. However, you should know that this position requires 60% travel and only 40% office work. The time spent visiting the sites can occasionally be much higher, mainly when the study is first initiated at the medical centers. 

If you choose an office-based position, you can start as a clinical study coordinator in a hospital or as a clinical trial associate, in-house clinical research associate, regulatory officer (entry-level CRA jobs), or in a CRO or pharmaceutical business. 

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