The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Special Report: An Assessment of the Adequacy of the Clinical Research Workforce

Growth of the clinical research workforce may not be keeping pace with that of clinical trial demand, according to a new statistical analysis of workforce trends and issues from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and TEConomy Partners, LLC.

“Over the last three years, there are signs that demand has been increasing with average compound annual growth in monthly job posting activity of 9.3% across all clinical research positions,” the analysis concludes. “This 9.3% is substantial and is behind the average year-over-year growth in clinical trial activities of 12.2% over the 2016-2019 period, suggesting that the clinical research workforce may not be keeping pace with current clinical trials workload needs.”

Other analysis highlights include:

  • The clinical research profession shows high variance in educational requirements. Over one-third of job positions in postings have no minimum experience requirement and 50$ require 3 years or less.
  • The lack of industry-wide standards beyond minimum education and experience, both of which are ill-defined, means that career paths in clinical research are not visible or accessible to the broader workforce.
  • Estimation of the actual employment footprint of clinical research professionals is difficult because there is not a clear definition of clinical research occupational segments that translates well into the existing occupational categories that drive employment projections.

The analysis provides data and insights related to:

  • Demand for clinical research professionals, including a breakdown by geography.
  • Salary among the leading positions in clinical research.
  • Education and experience requirements in the industry.

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