CRA BASICS, TIPS AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR ENTRY LEVEL CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES OR THOSE INTERESTED IN BECOMING CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES
What are some of the benefits of being a CRA? That is a great question, so I made a list of all the reasons why being a CRA is great: 1. You don’t have to always work out of a cubicle. I don’t know about you but I hate sitting at a desk all day. I enjoy moving around and working in a new environment sometimes. If this is you too than the CRA job is great for that. You get to travel to a new site all the time. Its always fresh and new. Also some CRA opportunities allow you to work out of your home office either full time or part-time. This is great because you can save money on gas and time commuting. 2. You get to travel all over the country, maybe the world. If you are not a regional CRA (A CRA that only travels locally) you have the opportunity to to travel to all kinds if different locations all over the country. I have traveled to states I would have otherwise not had the opportunity to go to. I have also had the opportunity to travel internationally for work. Nothing beats traveling internationally and getting your passport stamped on your company’s dime. 3. You get to determine your own schedule. Depending on how flexible your company is you get to determine when you go where. So as long as you visit the sites according to the monitoring plan (I will discuss later what a monitoring plan is) it is pretty much up to you how you organize and schedule your trips. 5. You Get Paid! Due to the extensive travel, you are well compensated for your job especially if you have experience. 6. You get discounts on drugs If you work for a pharmaceutical company part of your benefits are you can buy things from the company store for really, really cheap this includes any over the counter products the company makes. You also may be able to receive all prescription drugs made by your company for free when your doctor prescribes them to you if you take the company health insurance. 7. You get to meet new people Not only do you interact with your coworkers you also interact with physicians and study coordinators at your sites. This is great for beginners in the field because you receive the opportunity to build your network. Never underestimate the power of your network your next job could be waiting for you in your network! 8. You play an important role in drug development The best part about being a Clinical Research Associate is you play a pivotal role in drug development. It is great knowing that what you do will ultimately have an effect on the quality of life of other human beings. It’s a great feeling ! 9. You get to learn Every study is different so you are constantly brushing up on different therapeutic areas and how to run different types of studies. Also, because the field is constantly changing there is always more to catch up on, even if you are the most experience CRA. 10. You can get another Job The CRA job is NOT a dead end job! Once you are in that position for a few years you can move on in the industry fairly easily. If you want to stay in clinical operations you can become a study manager or if you want to switch jobs completely you can go into data management, drug safety or advertising and marketing. The possibilities are endless and it all depends on your experience and interest. One thing you should never feel in this job is stuck.
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