How Do I Become a Clinical Trial Specialist?

A clinical trials specialist works for pharmaceutical companies, universities, medical firms, and other organizations to conduct research. To work as a clinical trial specialist, a person must typically complete high school and a science-related college degree. Clinical specialists are frequently senior employees, which means that those who fill these positions must first gain experience as clinical assistants or in other junior positions.

Many clinical trials involve drugs, which necessitates a bachelor’s degree in biological science, pharmacology, chemistry, or a related field for someone wishing to work as a clinical trial specialist. Furthermore, many employers demand that job applicants have completed postgraduate degrees or have graduated from medical school. Some research requires a specialist to have completed a degree program in a specific field of science, such as psychiatry or psychology, in which case a specialist may be required to have completed a degree program in that field.

Clinical specialists plan new drug and treatment trials, which includes determining study timelines, determining how the results will be measured, and locating volunteers or paid workers willing to participate in the trials. As a result, many employers demand that anyone interested in working as a clinical trial specialist has prior supervisory or management experience. Some companies even prefer to hire people with degrees in management or business administration. In other cases, medical school graduates can progress from junior clinical positions to assistant specialist positions and eventually take over project management. Aside from having general clinical trial experience, a specialist job applicant must have participated in trials that focus on similar types of research as the current project, such as vaccine development or drug side effects research.

Clinical trial participants and other medical professionals in many countries are required to obtain licenses or complete certification courses. As a result, someone interested in becoming a clinical trial specialist may need to take a government-sponsored training course and pass a practical or written exam. Many governments have the power to take disciplinary action against individuals who engage in any type of misconduct, and many employers will not hire specialists who have previously faced such disciplinary action.

Clinical specialists must often work long hours and travel frequently, in addition to having medical training and experience. As a result, most companies demand that specialists have current driver’s licenses. Firms also require specialists to have strong interpersonal and administrative skills, as anyone conducting such trials must interact with large groups of people on a regular basis and keep track of results.