A clinical research assistant is part of a medical research or clinical trials team. They are usually the ones who assist the clinical research coordinator, among other duties. In the US, a clinical research assistant salary is nearly $38,000 per year compared to nearly AU$56,000 ($43,777 USD) in Australia and NZ$54,000 ($39,328 USD) in New Zealand. Annual earnings in US dollar currency are similar in Canada and the UK at C$40,000 ($31,031 USD) and £24,000 ($29,396 USD), respectively, while those in South Africa and India are on the lower end of the pay scale at R171,000 ($14,469 USD) and Rs300,000 ($4,617 USD), respectively. Salaries for clinical research assistants vary by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting as further explained in this guide.
How Much Does a Clinical Research Assistant Make per Year?
Annual and hourly earnings information for clinical research assistants in select countries is provided in the chart below.
|Clinical Research Assistant Salaries||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
|AU$55,746 ($43,777 USD)||NZ$54,000
Factors that Influence the Clinical Research Assistant Salary
While geographic region is a strong influencer of salary for clinical research assistants, professional experience and work setting may also affect earning potential. Salary information and career insight on this career are provided in this guide.
1. Geographic Area
Clinical Research Assistant Salary in US
Clinical research assistants in the US earn an average annual salary of nearly $38,000, or $16 per hour. Early career employees receive close to $29,000 per year, increasing with experience to more than $51,000 per year. Bonus income of nearly $3,000 is offered by some employers.
Clinical Research Assistant Salary in Canada
The average annual salary for clinical research assistants in Canada is about C$40,000 per year, with another C$1,500 possible in bonus income. Hourly wage earners receive an average of C$21 per hour. The average entry level salary is more than C$29,000 per year, while senior level professionals earn well over C$55,000 annually.
Clinical Research Assistant Salary in the UK
In the UK, clinical research assistants receive an annual salary of nearly £24,000, while hourly wage earners receive about £14 per hour. Those early in their careers can expect an entry level salary of nearly £19,000 per year while senior level professionals early well over £30,000 annually.
Clinical Research Assistant Salary in Australia
Clinical research assistants in Australia earn between more than AU$41,000 per year in entry level positions to more than AU$75,000 per year at the senior level. The overall average annual salary is AU$56,000 per year, or AU$26 per hour.
Clinical Research Assistant Salary in New Zealand
The average compensation for clinical research assistants in New Zealand is about NZ$54,000, while hourly wage earners receive about NZ$24 per hour. Entry level clinical research assistants can expect roughly NZ$52,000 per year, increasing with experience to about NZ$56,000 annually for senior level professionals.
Clinical Research Assistant Salary in India
The average annual salary for clinical research assistants in India is more than Rs300,000 per year, equating to about Rs155 per hour. While entry level employees earn more than Rs123,000 per year, senior level positions can garner an average annual salary of more than Rs503,000 per year. Some employers offer bonus pay that can add an additional Rs17,500 in additional pay.
Clinical Research Assistant Salary in South Africa
In South Africa, clinical research assistants earn more than R171,000 per year, plus bonus income that can add up to R27,500 to overall earnings. The average hourly wage is about R89 per hour. Early career clinical research assistants earn about R81,000 per year while annual pay for senior level professionals can reach R368,000 per year
Clinical research assistants see increasing incomes as they gain additional experience in their careers. While India sees the lowest salaries among the countries reviewed in this guide, it also experiences the widest gap between entry level and senior level pay. Senior level professionals in India earn about Rs380,000 more per year over their entry level counterparts, equating to an increase of 309%. The highest salaries are found in Australia and the US, which experience a growth rate of 83% and 76%, respectively, equating to AU$34,000 and $22,000 in additional annual salaries for senior level professionals.
Clinical research assistants are employed in many settings where research occurs, including research laboratories, academic institutions, hospitals, and healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Employment in the private sector, for-profit organizations, and large healthcare institutions and companies may offer higher salaries and bonus opportunities compared to the public sector and nonprofit organizations.
Many clinical research assistants work full-time hours, defined as 36 to 40 hours per week; however, there are part-time employment opportunities across many work settings. Typical work schedules are during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, with additional hours needed at times in the evenings and weekends as well as occasional travel for field work.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Clinical research assistants often receive a benefits package that includes healthcare coverage and paid time off. Reimbursement for work-related travel is typical, and some employers may provide training allowances. Bonus income is seen in several areas, though does not add sizeable amounts to overall earnings.
Through 2026, a growth rate of 13% is estimated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for clinical research assistants. This is a faster than average growth rate and is expected as a result of increased medical technology and advancements. A career as a clinical research assistant requires a bachelor’s degree, often in a science-related or math field of study. Those with advanced education and additional experience often advance to higher positions and may be more competitive for some employment.
Clinical research assistants earn good salaries combined with benefits and bonus packages. Career advancement is common through experience in this position. With a faster than average growth rate expected in the coming years, income levels should remain stable with ample employment for newly trained employees entering this career field.