How to Become a Clinical Data Analyst: Career Path Guide
To become a clinical data analyst, you have to begin by determining if this career path is right for you. Do you enjoy mathematics and working with numbers? Are you interested in a career that allows you to apply your analytical abilities towards healthcare research? If so, then you may be well suited for a career as a clinical data analyst!
Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as a clinical data analyst. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations and much more!
Education Needed to Become a Clinical Data Analyst
To become a clinical data analyst, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, healthcare management, biology, chemistry or any field related to medicine.
Coursework that gives you knowledge in medicine, record management, health information systems and computer technology should be pursued if you wish to become a clinical data analyst, as this field requires expertise with computer science as well as healthcare issues.
Although it may or may not be a requirement, many employers prefer clinical data analyst candidates to have a master's degree in either a healthcare discipline or computer science.
Tip for Success: Individuals who have completed a master's program may qualify for certain positions with less clinical experience than others who have not received the advanced degree.
Clinical Data Analyst Job Description
Clinical data analysts are responsible for accurately capturing and recording research data for scientific study and validation. They must ensure that experiments or protocols are completed consistently, and that verifiable scientific data is present to back the research. Clinical data analysts might also conduct training for technical and software programs.
Clinical Data Analyst Job Duties
• Liaise with research team in order to accurately collect and record data
• Oversee internal and outsourced data management activities
• Implement study-specific procedures that comply with regulatory and internal procedures
• Design, document, test, implement and manage clinical data collection and reporting systems
• Report conclusions to stakeholders and other interested parties
• May develop software programs
• Conduct training in the use of technical and software programs
Experience Needed to Become a Clinical Data Analyst
If you want to become a clinical data analyst, you may need between 2-4 years of experience working in the healthcare field, preferably with clinical data. Participating in an internship can help you gain experience while you are still a student, and possibly help you get an entry-level job upon graduation. Such opportunities are available for both bachelor's and master's degree candidates. Typical tasks that are assigned to interns may include data collection, data analysis and written or oral dissemination of data results to healthcare staff and customers.
Clinical Data Analyst Certification
Although professional certification may not be a requirement to get a job as a clinical data analyst, it can be highly beneficial. Organizations such as the Canadian Health Information Management Association (Canada) and the American Health Information Management Association (United States) offer related certification. Earning the credentials offered by these organizations often requires a combination of education and experience, as well as passing a qualifying exam.
Benefits of becoming certified:
• Achieve recognition of expertise
• Validate mastery and specialized competence
• Differentiate knowledge and skills
• Demonstrate professionalism and commitment
• Exhibit broad organizational knowledge
• Facilitate professional development
• Qualify for certain employment opportunities
Necessary Skills of Clinical Data Analysts
In order to become a successful clinical data analyst, you will need to acquire a certain set of skills, including:
• Able to compile, analyze and evaluate data
• Able to accurately apply data to clinical issues
• Must have a strong understanding of database programming concepts and clinical data management systems
• Must be able to use information technology to create statistical models
• Must be able to manage multiple projects and processes at the same time
• Must be able to effectively communicate findings to other members of the research team
Clinical Data Analyst Salary
The salary level of clinical data analysts can vary depending on a multitude of factors, such as their level of experience, their level of education, their specific role within the research team, where they work, and many others.
Clinical Data Analyst Salary Canada (Alberta figures only): According to the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, Wages for health information management professionals who are members of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta range from $26.18 to $32.18 an hour.
Clinical Data Analyst Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for Medical Scientists in the United States is $76,700 per year.
Who Hires Clinical Data Analysts?
The following types of organizations often employ the skills, knowledge and competencies of clinical data analysts:
• Colleges and universities
• Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics
• Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
• Clinical research facilities
• Government departments
Clinical Data Analyst Job Opportunities
Clinical Data Analyst Jobs - Canada
Clinical Data Analyst Jobs - United States
Careers Similar to Clinical Data Analyst
Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to that of a clinical data analyst, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.
References: How to Become a Clinical Data Analyst
Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a clinical data analyst.
Alberta Learning and Information Services website: alis.alberta.ca
American Health Information Management Association website: www.ahima.org
Health Sciences Association of Alberta website: www.hsaa.ca
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov
Scholarships for Becoming a Clinical Data Analyst
The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a Clinical Data Analyst. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our All Scholarships by Major page.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!
Becoming a Clinical Data Analyst: Applicable Majors
Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a clinical data analyst. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!