(Another) Entry CRA ? [Pharm Rep w BS in Biomedical Engineering]

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Comments (4)

Vincent in Trenton, New Jersey

60 months ago

Hello All,

I am interested in becoming a CRA. I have no monitoring experience, but a BS in Biomedical Engineering. I have been in the pharmaceutical industry (sales) for the past 2 years since graduating. I am planning on taking the CKA (Core Knowledge Assesment) given by the ACRP and also attending the national conference in Tampa.

The CKA is the only legitamate certification I can find (and sit for) without having 2 years monitoring experience.

I am just writing to look for any suggestion or tips to help break in. I have been in close contact with the CRCs in the various physicians offices I visit to see if they can help.

Do you think I can somehow focus on my background and draw on parallels between a pharm sales rep and CRA (already operating independently w/o office, direct contact/communications physicians/ healthcare professionals etc...) to obtain a position or should I not go that route.

Only problem is that I don't know if I can actually take that significant of a paycut from my current position to start as a CRA. (not sure what salary is, but it can't be that great)

Thanks in Advance.

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Elizabeth in Raleigh, North Carolina

60 months ago

Vincent,
Entry level CRA positions will pay in the $40,000 to $47,000 range. Please keep in mind that as an entry level CRA you will be "in-house" for at least 12 months. That means you need to live close to a place that hires and trains entry level CRAs. The obvious choices are normally the large CROs, but many have them have had layoffs at the CRA 1 level. As far as the resume goes, home office experience will not help you starting out. The CRA attributes are very different. Focus on your understanding of medical terminology and detail orientation. If you would like me to review your resume or discuss this in further detail you are more than welcome to e-mail me directly at elizabeth@clinicalstrategist.com

Good luck,
Elizabeth

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NitaW in Raleigh, North Carolina

56 months ago

I am in the same boat as Vincent. I also would LOVE to become a CRA. I know there are many opportunities in the Raleigh area, but all require experience. I have a BS in Biology and some Biotech experience. Any advice on how to enter this field?

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NitaW in Raleigh, North Carolina

56 months ago

Thanks Elizbeth! I would really appreciate any advice you can offer. -Nita

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