Clinical Research Coordinator

Career Profile:

Clinical Research Coordinator

A clinical research coordinator manages participants and data in clinical trials that use human volunteers.
As a clinical research coordinator (CRC) you are responsible for organizing information and data on participants enrolled into clinical trials. You also compile, collect and document trial data. You support the planning and implementation of clinical studies. Your duties include facilitating workflow at the main study site and other sites. You work closely with research nurses to ensure arranging any follow-up visits for participant and that data requires for the study at specific timepoints are collected. You ensure that the study’s paperwork is complete and correct and meets regulatory guidelines. You compile, collect and document data into a research database. You also educate patients and staff about the purpose of the clinical trial. The demand for CRCs is increasing with the need for drugs to treat newly discovered diseases.

Where You Work

As a CRC, you have a wide choice of work environments. You could work in hospitals, biomedical research organizations and institutions, physicians’ offices, contract research organizations, specialty disease centers, pharmaceutical industry, and medical device suppliers.

How You Help

The success of a clinical trial can depend on your role as the CRC. You work directly with the principal investigator and patients with a specific disease, ensuring that patients receive treatment and assessments as described in the clinical trial methods. In this way, you’d be ensuring patient safety and privacy, as well as ensuring that all trial guidelines are met. Clinical trials help improve drugs, discover new treatments and find answers to questions about diseases such as cancer.

Helpful High School Courses

  • Health
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Computer Science
  • Advanced Mathematics

Skills to Build

  • Good communication skills
  • Strong background in science and health
  • Ability to collect and interpret data
  • Time management and organization skills


  • Interaction with the principal investigator, research staff, physicians, and nurses on a daily basis
  • Hands on investigative work
  • Advancing the way diseases are treated, prevented or diagnosed


  • Can be frustrating as studies take a long time and may be inconclusive
  • May be difficult to remain informed about all the latest advances

Education You Need

Requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in science, and may be more advantageous (though not necessary) to have certification in a clinical field such as registered nurse, pharmacist, or physician’s assistant

A Day in the Life

  • 8:00
    Meet with the clinical trial team to discuss study activation of clinical trial to test a new chemotherapy drug
  • 9:30
    Register newly enrolled breast cancer patient for the clinical trial into research database
  • 10:00
    Review medical records and record data for patients on the clinical trial
  • 11:00
    Meet with research staff and primary investigator to discuss issues in workflow and patient safety
  • 1:00
    Perform quality control for data entry. Follow-up with treating physician for missing data elements.
  • 2:45
    Plan date, time, location and recruitment for next clinical trial
  • 4:00
    Read the latest research on breast cancer treatment

Average Annual Salary Range

  • $48,000-$64,000*

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* Actual salary dependent on education, experience, location, and other variables