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5 Ways to Decide If a Career in Clinical Research Is Right for You

The career you chose back in your early twenties may not suit your current lifestyle. Or, you may be ready to do something that’s more rewarding or provides a higher standard of living. You may be wondering if a career in clinical research would be right for you.

Making a career change is a big decision, especially when you have a family to support. You need to carefully consider your new career to be sure it’s the right choice for you and your family. Here are five ways to decide if a career in clinical research is the right choice for you.

1. Research the Job Duties

Before you change careers, you need to make sure you’re interested in the day-to-day tasks of your new career. You don’t want to go through the trouble of switching careers only to discover you hate your new career.

Clinical research professionals work on clinical trials. They review the requirements for studies, implement the studies, and supervise studies in progress. After studies are over, they write closure reports. To perform these tasks, you’ll need to be detail-oriented and able to work independently.

2. Evaluate the Work Environment

Your work environment plays a big role in how much you enjoy your career. That’s why it’s important to evaluate the work environment of your new career. As a clinical research professional, you’ll split your time between an office and clinical trial sites.

Clinical research professionals tend to travel a lot. Generally, they spend three or four days a week travelling between clinical trial sites. If you want to work in one office all the time, or if you can’t travel, you may not like this career. On the other hand, if you love working in new environments, this career could be perfect for you.

3. Study the Employment Outlook

When you’re thinking about a career change, the employment outlook for your new career is very important. If your current career has a poor employment outlook, you may not want to go through that again. A strong employment outlook helps your job prospects.

In Ontario, the clinical research field has excellent employment potential. A moderate number of people are expected to retire from the field, which opens up opportunities for new workers. Employment growth is expected to be strong.

4. Determine If the Salary Meets Your Needs

For career changers, salary is important. You don’t want to switch careers only to discover you’re making less than you did before. Before you decide to make the switch to a research career, determine if the average salary meets your needs.

Health policy researchers, consultants, and program officers make a median wage of $32.45 per hour in Ontario, according to Job Bank data. The highest paid people in this occupation make $51.28 per hour. If that’s more than you’re making in your current career, this career may be a good choice for you.

5. Decide If You Want to Return to College

To get a job in this field, you’ll need to return to college. With a diploma in clinical research, you can start looking for work in the field. If you don’t want to go back to college, this career option may not be the right choice for you. You may want to research other career options that don’t require additional education.

If you want to go to college, don’t let obstacles hold you back. For example, concerns about funding can keep mature students from returning to college. As a mature student, you may be able to get financial assistance from the government, your bank, or even your college.

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