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Clinical Research Associate

Clinical trial associates help conduct clinical trails that evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new treatment interventions or compare the effectiveness of new treatments to current best practices or other control groups.



Clinical Research Associates & Coordinators affect every man, woman, and child in some way, whether now or in the future, as this type of research determines most options available for physicians to treat a patient. Clinical trials are required for every type of drug to treat every type of disease.

In many medical settings, three types of clinical trials are usually conducted. These are called Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III trials and are administered in sequence to learn more about a given treatment intervention. Several steps or phases of clinical research must occur before a large-scale Phase III study is implemented. A Phase IV trial is a post-approval study and can be a long-term follow-up of a treatment that was previously found to be effective, a post-marketing surveillance study, or a study to learn more about the treatment.

Phase I trials are the initial clinical trials in humans. The major objective of a Phase I trial is to evaluate the safety of a new treatment, including excess toxicity and side effects. The objective of a Phase II trial is to determine whether a specific treatment is effective enough to warrant further study, usually if the new treatment appears potentially better than the existing best treatment. Phase I and II trials are relatively small, involving approximately 20-50 patients, and usually all patients are given the new treatment intervention.

A Phase III trial is almost always a randomized trial (by chance alone assigning patients to a treatment group), comparing a new treatment to the current best treatment or other control group. Such a trial can be quite large, including 100 to several thousand patients, and could take place at several centers. Randomization is used to ensure that patients given the two treatments are as alike as possible (for example, in age and health), the only differences between them being the treatment they are given. The Phase III trial is much more definitive due to the larger number of patients, the randomization process, and the multiple centers participating.


Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree in the biology and chemistry fields can qualify a student for career in Clinical Research.


Salary Information 2023

According to, the average salary for a Clinical Research Associate in 2023 was $64,785.


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