One of the toughest things to consider after receiving a job offer is if the compensation offered is fair; and let’s face it, most people have a hard time assigning a monetary value to themselves. Additionally, we are finding that working in clinical research is very lucrative.  Especially for Clinical Research Associates.

The best way to determine what compensation range to expect (or negotiate) as either a contract CRA or in terms of CRA Salary for perm, is to do your part up front and research it.  There are a number of ways you can easily do this research and gain a good understanding of what typical CRA jobs are offering in terms of compensation.

Use the Internet

The World Wide Web is a great place to start your research.  There are various free resources on the web which allow you to sift through compensation information and compare the different rates for different jobs.  I personally benchmark positions using,, and  You can also search the job boards for postings similar to your desired position.  Many of these postings will list compensation ranges.

These Internet services are not always the most accurate since they are typically very general, but you can get more industry specific information at minimal cost.  However, do not limit yourself to just conducting Internet searches; don’t be afraid to approach this task the old-fashioned way because job listings are also great ways to find information about compensation.

Ask the People Around You

Personal input from former and current employees within the industry of a potential job may be a great way to identify the compensation range of a CRA salary or hourly rate for a contract CRA.  By talking with those around you, you are easily able to compare and contrast your responsibilities with your peers and obtain a basic idea of what to expect.  Another option is to seek out a clinical research recruiter who specializes in the placement of CRAs because they are experts in every element of finding and accepting a job offer. CRA Recruiters can also provide a plethora of resources and information that you may not have thought of or have access to and typically at no cost to you.

Consider the Benefits

When you are determining your expected compensation range for a CRA salary, make sure that you are taking the entire compensation package into account.  Often, a high paying job is balanced with a benefits package that isn’t as attractive.  Many companies offer a 401(k) contribution plan, and typically the size of the company is directly related to the size of their contribution levels.

Written by Eric Lee 

Investing in a Lifetime of Success,

Angela Roberts


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