How to Become a Clinical Research Coordinator


If you're very interested in clinical study, you can work closely with others, and you don’t mind having an irregular work schedule, then a career as a clinical research coordinator might be well suited for you!


Below, we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as a clinical research coordinator. We've also included helpful information for a clinical research coordinator career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Clinical Research Coordinator

Although educational requirements in this field can vary by employer, you'll need to have clinical knowledge and experience, due to the medical nature of the job.


Having a degree in a clinical field, such as nursing, is a great way to break into work as a clinical research coordinator. Graduates with a bachelor of science (suited for entry-level jobs) or a master of science (suited for jobs with more responsibility) in areas such as biology, chemistry and biochemistry will also be well prepared for this profession, from an educational standpoint.


Graduates from any of the aforementioned fields may want to also pursue a certificate or diploma in clinical research, as these programs focus on providing students with skills in practical areas of clinical research. 





Certification Needed 

Although certification for clinical research coordinators is typically not required to get a job, it is available in the United States from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, and in Canada from the Clinical Research Association of Canada.  


Certification enables clinical research coordinators to demonstrate that they have met eligibility requirements and at least have a minimal level of job-related knowledge and skills.



General Job Description of Clinical Research Coordinators

Clinical research coordinators are responsible for supporting, facilitating and coordinating the daily trial activities of research studies. They must provide guidance on the administration of the study including compliance, financial, personnel and other related aspects.



Typical Responsibilities of the Job

• Coordinate with the Principal Investigator and central administration of the organization conducting the research in order to help ensure that clinical research and related activities are performed in accordance with federal regulations and sponsoring agency policies and procedures

• Recruit and screen patients for trials

• Obtain grants for clinical research

• Report incidents of non-compliance to the appropriate agencies

• Ensure that all personnel involved in the research have the appropriate credentials

• Facilitate the coordination of daily research activities

• Assist the Principle Investigator in the development of materials and tools necessary to appropriately train individuals involved in the conduct of the study around issues related to protocol requirements, schedule of visits and execution of research plan



Salary Level Typical to This Profession

The salary levels for clinical research coordinators can vary greatly, depending on factors such as where they work, their level of education and experience, and many other factors. According to the National Center for Biotechnical Information, clinical research coordinators typically earn in excess of $40,000 per year.


We also checked another source to obtain salary information for Clinical Research Coordinators, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Although they do not have specific data on clinical research coordinators, they do have salary information for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, some of whose duties are similar to those of coordinators. Median annual earnings in 2019 were $52,330 for medical and clinical laboratory technologists.





Working Conditions Common to This Field

The typical work environment for a clinical research coordinator is in a laboratory setting. In this setting, the must interact with research subjects, the principal investigator and other laboratory staff.


The work schedule of a clinical research coordinator depends highly on the research activities being conducted. For example, if the clinical research coordinator is involved in a study relating to eating habits in the daytime versus the evening, the coordinator must be present at the lab with the subjects at corresponding times. 



Who Employs Them?

Organizations that employ clinical research coordinators include:


• Federal government

• Hospitals

• Pharmaceutical companies

• Private research firms

• Universities



Job Postings - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "clinical research coordinator" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.


Careers Similar to This in Our System

Listed below are occupational guides in our database for careers that are similar in nature to clinical research coordinator, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


• Biotechnology Researcher

• Clinical Research Associate

• Clinical Technician

• Laboratory Manager

• Medical Scientist




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of this profession:


Occupations in Alberta:Biochemist.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 6, 2019.

Life, Physical, and Social Science:Medical Scientists.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 6, 2019.

Research:Clinical Research Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities.” (n.d.). Washington University in St. Louis website. Retrieved November 6, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Clinical Research Coordinator

Scholarships in our database are sorted by major. Scholarships relevant for the education needed to become a clinical research coordinator can be found on the pages listed below:


Biochemistry Scholarships

Biology Scholarships

Chemistry Scholarships

Nursing Scholarships


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!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below can help set a proper educational foundation for this career. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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Clinical Research Coordinator