What Does a Research Associate Do?
Research Associates typically work for medical research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies or government agencies to ensure the safety and efficiency of clinical trials or studies. They work closely with clinical trial participants, medical professionals and other clinical research staff to test the effects of new pharmaceutical drugs or treatments before going on the market. Their job is to create clinical trial schedules and maintain up-to-date records on trial participants, legal documents and health forms. They may also be responsible for hiring and training clinical trial staff members and contacting previous employees to check their availability for upcoming trials.
Research Associate Skills and Qualifications
Research Associates need several technical skills to succeed in this role. They must have skills related to their background (e.g., an understanding of health care or financial markets) and the ability to gather data. Research Associates also need to be good at technical writing and be able to express complex data in a simple, actionable way. Other important skills and qualifications for these employees include:
- Critical thinking skills
- Attention to detail
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Communication skills
- Listening skills
- Time-management skills
- The ability to maintain quality standards, ensuring the integrity of data
- Teamwork skills
Research Associate Salary Expectations
According to salary estimates from roughly 1,300 Indeed users, employees and job postings, the average annual salary for Research Associates is approximately $53,000. Pay can fluctuate greatly based on factors such as the job’s location and the candidate’s education and experience level.
Research Associate Education and Training Requirements
A Research Associate needs to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as marketing, math or statistics. Additional training is not required, but many students will complete research and gain relevant experience as part of their degree. Candidates may also complete a master’s degree, though this isn’t required for all positions.
Research Associate Experience Requirements
Research Associates can find work with no prior experience (outside of their college coursework). In fact, some companies hire Research Associates while they’re still completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Some Research Associates complete a few years of professional experience before moving into full-time research positions or into Research Scientist or management roles.
Job Description Samples for Similar Positions
A Research Associate’s skillset overlaps with several other positions, so it can help to expand your research into a few similar roles. For example, Research Analysts purely interpret and present data, whereas Research Associates conduct research and play a role in planning studies. Understanding these differences can help you craft the perfect job posting for your role. A few roles similar to a Research Associate are: