Clinical Research Jobs: A career in the health and medical industry

Are you interested in medical jobs? Why not consider a career in clinical research? With the right training you can enjoy a prosperous career in this industry. To find out what clinical research jobs are all about, read our blog.

What does Clinical Research entail?

Clinical Research Associates test medical drugs to ensure that they are safe to use. They work with both new and existing d rugs. They conduct clinical trials on the drugs in order to analyse its risks and benefits. They also assess the effectiveness of drugs.


Clinical Research Associates typically play a role in each step of the clinical trial, making it an important aspect of healthcare jobs. Their duties include setting up and starting the trial. As the trial progresses they monitor it and once it has run its course they shut it down.

Clinical trials are conducted at various phases including the development phase or after its launch. Subjects in the trial may include healthy or sick people. Trials are also used to determine the side effects of the drug.

What Clinical Research Jobs involve

Duties of a clinical research associate include writing the trial methodology and presenting it to a committee. They are responsible for developing data collection documents. An important part of this position is liaising with the ethics committee in order to protect trial subjects.


Jobs within the field of clinical research involve finding a suitable venue where the trial can be conducted. Employees in this position are responsible for hiring an investigator to supervise the trial.

The Clinical Research Associate is responsible for preparing the trial site, initiating the trial and monitoring its progress. They are required to train trial staff and visit the site regularly. Other duties include verifying data, writing reports and analysing results.

Work environment and income within these medical jobs

Clinical research jobs are available at pharmaceutical companies. Contract Research Organizations also offer these positions. Working conditions are variable depending on the company, however Clinical Research Associates usually work Monday to Friday. They may be required to put in extra hours in the evening. Working weekends is typically not required for employees in this position.


While shift work is not common in these types of healthcare jobs, Clinical Research Associates may find contract work for a 6 to 12 month period. Field based employees will spend many hours out of the office visiting doctors and nurses. They may be required to visit hospitals as well as trial sites. In other companies the Clinical Research Associate will spend most of the time in the office. They can find freelance work once they have experience in this position.

Clinical research offers a good salary. There is room for progression in this career and senior positions offer significant salary increases. While salaries vary depending on the employer, the average annual salary in South Africa when it comes to these types of medical jobs is R346 970 according to Payscale.

The downside to jobs in clinical research is that they can be stressful and demanding. Employees in field work positions will be required to spend a lot of time travelling and possibly stay away overnight.

Skills and Education for healthcare jobs in this field

Now that you know what clinical research jobs are all about, find out if you have what it takes to succeed in this career. If you are lacking in some areas you can complete training to develop your skills. Communication and interpersonal skills are valuable in this career. Leadership qualities are beneficial.


You will also need excellent numeracy, analytical and administrative skills. The ability to multi-task is vital if you want to succeed.

To be eligible for medical jobs in this field of study you will need a tertiary education. A relevant degree in nursing or medical sciences is a suitable qualification for this field of work.

If you are working towards a career in clinical research you can expect to study subjects such as anatomy, biology and chemistry. Completing a relevant postgraduate qualification will greatly increase your chances of being hired.

If you have just graduated, you can get your career off to a good start by applying for clinical data coordinator positions. You could also look for clinical trials administrator vacancies. These positions offer a good starting point as they allow you to gain experience in the industry.


Other healthcare jobs that will contribute to a successful career include nursing, pharmaceutical research and medical sales. Clinical Researcher Associates typically receive in-house training. External training courses can help you to advance your career. Training, skills and experience will influence your chances of promotion.

Once you have decided whether or not you are interested in clinical research, you can start developing your skills and experience. Already qualified? Register your CV on and start applying for clinical research jobs advertised on Job Mail!

Clinical Research Jobs: A career in the health and medical industry | Job Mail Blog
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Clinical Research Jobs: A career in the health and medical industry | Job Mail Blog
If you are interested in medical jobs, why not consider pursuing an exciting career with clinical research jobs? Read our blog to learn more!
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