Career Development

What Does a Clinical Trial Coordinator Do?

Find out what a clinical trial coordinator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a clinical trial coordinator.

Clinical trial coordinators are responsible for managing clinical trials from beginning to end. They ensure that all protocols and procedures are followed, monitor subject safety throughout the trial, and coordinate communication between researchers, sponsors, and subjects.

Clinical trial coordinators must have strong interpersonal skills in order to effectively communicate with all parties involved in a clinical trial. They also need to be detail-oriented individuals who can juggle multiple tasks at once while maintaining accuracy and efficiency.

Clinical Trial Coordinator Job Duties

Clinical trial coordinators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Coordinating with study participants to ensure they understand their participation requirements and any possible risks or benefits of the study
  • Reviewing study protocols, progress reports, and interim results to ensure that studies are being conducted according to design and that results are accurately recorded
  • Reviewing reports from Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to ensure that study protocols are in compliance with regulations
  • Coordinating with investigators to ensure that all research activities are carried out in accordance with protocols and approved by ethics boards
  • Maintaining accurate records of study data such as lab results and clinical findings
  • Preparing budgets and managing budgets for clinical trials
  • Preparing and sending correspondence to investigators regarding study procedures and requirements
  • Scheduling appointments for study participants to visit clinical research facilities for examinations
  • Submitting study completion reports to ethics boards or institutional review boards

Clinical Trial Coordinator Salary & Outlook

Clinical trial coordinators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the company they work for, and the location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $76,500 ($36.78/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of clinical trial coordinators is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As pharmaceutical companies seek to develop new drugs and medical devices, demand for clinical trial coordinators will increase. Clinical trials are a crucial part of the drug development process. As more drugs and medical devices are developed, there will be a greater need for clinical trial coordinators to ensure that these products are safe and effective.

Clinical Trial Coordinator Job Requirements

A clinical trial coordinator typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require clinical trial coordinators to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as biology, health science or health administration. Some employers may accept candidates who have a related associate degree. Courses in biology, research methods, research ethics and research design can help prepare candidates for this role.

Training & Experience: Clinical trial coordinators receive on-the-job training in the form of an orientation period with a new employer. During this period, they learn about the company’s policies and procedures and the specific requirements of the clinical trial they are managing.

Certifications & Licenses: Clinical trial coordinators do not need certifications to get hired, but earning one can help them gain more competitive job offers and increase their earning potential.

Clinical Trial Coordinator Skills

Clinical trial coordinators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is an essential skill for a clinical trial coordinator because they often work with a variety of people from different backgrounds. They may communicate with patients, medical professionals, research staff and other trial coordinators. They also need to communicate complex information in a way that is easy to understand.

Organization: Clinical trial coordinators often have strong organizational skills, as they often have many tasks to complete in a short period of time. They may be responsible for scheduling appointments, tracking data and maintaining records. Being able to prioritize tasks and keep track of important information is an important skill for clinical trial coordinators.

Time management: Time management is another skill that can be helpful for clinical trial coordinators. They often have many tasks to complete in a day and keeping track of their schedules can help them stay on track. They may also need to manage the schedules of other members of the clinical trial team.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill for clinical trial coordinators, as they often handle sensitive information and paperwork. This skill allows them to ensure that all of the information they send to researchers or sponsors is accurate and complete. It also helps them ensure that all of the paperwork is in the correct order and that all of the necessary signatures are present.

Problem-solving: A clinical trial coordinator needs to be able to solve problems and address issues that arise during a trial. This may include finding solutions to issues with the trial’s budget, finding new locations for trials when the original location is unavailable or finding new research partners when a research partner drops out of a trial.

Clinical Trial Coordinator Work Environment

Clinical trial coordinators work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and research institutions. They typically work full time, and some may work evenings or weekends to accommodate the schedules of the patients and the research facilities. Clinical trial coordinators may be required to travel to different locations to meet with patients, doctors, and other professionals involved in the clinical trial. The work can be stressful, as coordinators must pay close attention to detail and be able to work under pressure.

Clinical Trial Coordinator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how clinical trial coordinators work. Clinical trial coordinators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Communication Between Clinical Trial Participants and Researchers

Clinical trial participants are often asked to provide a great deal of information, which can be difficult for some people to do. This is especially true for those who are not familiar with the research process or who have never been involved in a clinical trial before.

As clinical trials become more complex, there is a need for better communication between researchers and participants. This means that clinical trial coordinators will need to be able to effectively communicate with both parties in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

The Use of Technology in Clinical Trials

The use of technology in clinical trials is becoming increasingly common as researchers look for ways to improve the efficiency of their studies. This trend is likely to continue as technology continues to evolve and become more sophisticated.

As clinical trials move towards using more technology, clinical trial coordinators will need to be familiar with these technologies in order to help run the trials efficiently. They will also need to be able to train other members of the team on how to use these technologies.

More Collaboration Between Healthcare Professionals

There is an increasing trend towards collaboration between healthcare professionals in order to provide the best possible care for patients. This trend is being driven by the growing complexity of medicine, which requires a variety of different specialists to work together in order to provide the best possible care.

As clinical trial coordinators, you will need to be able to work well with other professionals in order to ensure that clinical trials are conducted properly. You will also need to be able to communicate effectively with all members of the team in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

How to Become a Clinical Trial Coordinator

A clinical trial coordinator (CTC) is a vital part of any clinical research team. As the CTC, you will be responsible for managing all aspects of a clinical trial from start to finish. This includes recruiting patients, ensuring they are compliant with the study protocol, and collecting and reporting data.

To become a CTC, you must have a strong understanding of clinical trials and medical research. You should also have excellent communication skills and be able to work well under pressure.

Advancement Prospects

Clinical trial coordinators typically advance in one of two ways: either by taking on more responsibility within their current organization or by moving to a larger organization.

As coordinators gain experience, they may be given more responsibility for designing and conducting clinical trials. They may also be promoted to management positions, such as director of clinical research or vice president of clinical affairs.

Coordinators who move to larger organizations may have the opportunity to work on more complex trials and to assume greater responsibility. Those who move into management positions may oversee a team of coordinators and other research staff.

Clinical Trial Coordinator Job Description Example

The [CompanyX] research team is looking for a highly-organized and detail-oriented clinical trial coordinator to join our team and help us manage our current and future clinical trials. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a clinical research setting and coordinating multiple projects simultaneously. He/She will be responsible for developing and maintaining clinical trial databases, tracking patient recruitment, and ensuring regulatory compliance. The clinical trial coordinator will work closely with the research team to ensure that all trials are conducted according to protocol and in a timely manner.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for assigned clinical trials, providing administrative and project management support
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including principal investigators, research nurses, and patients
  • Assist in the development of study-related documents, such as protocols, informed consent forms, and case report forms
  • Track and maintain regulatory documentation, ensuring compliance with institutional review board guidelines and federal regulations
  • Coordinate all aspects of trial implementation, from site activation to close-out
  • Monitor patient recruitment and enrollment progress, troubleshooting issues as they arise
  • Manage clinical data, ensuring accuracy and completeness according to protocol requirements
  • Prepare and distribute regular reports on clinical trial status to sponsors, principal investigators, and other key personnel
  • Serve as a resource for questions related to assigned studies, providing clear and concise answers in a timely manner
  • Attend and participate in sponsor monitoring visits, as needed
  • Identify opportunities for process improvement and make recommendations to management
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline
  • 1-2 years experience working in a clinical research setting
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or higher in a scientific discipline
  • Certification in clinical research (CCRC, ACRP, SOCRA, etc.)
  • 3+ years experience working in a clinical research setting
  • Experience coordinating multiple clinical trials simultaneously
  • Familiarity with electronic data capture (EDC) systems


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