Clinical trial managers are leaders who supervise the process of conducting research designed to test potential drugs before they enter the market. These individuals aim to improve treatment options for people suffering from a wide range of illnesses. If you seek to become a clinical trial manager, you need to complete four years of undergraduate training followed by at least two years of graduate school and work in a real-life situation to create the best employment opportunities for yourself in this job area.
A person who plans to become a clinical trial manager first must earn his or her four-year bachelor’s degree in one of the sciences or in nursing. Being admitted into this type of program involves submitting a list of your high school classes along with your high school diploma or the equivalent certification. Your potential training establishment will want to see any scores you have earned on recent standardized tests as well as a completed admission application.
A science-focused degree program gives you the basic knowledge you need to thrive in this industry. You have to learn concepts such as anatomy and physiology because, if you want to become a clinical trial manager, you must understand the parts of the human body and how various systems work. Mastering chemistry and pharmacology principles is necessary because these types of professionals are in charge of studies that test the effects of certain drugs on ill individuals to help researchers to develop new medications.
Graduate school is the next step for someone who wants to fill a leadership role in this career area. You should consider completing a two-year master’s degree in clinical trial management, which will introduce you to government regulations for conducting industry research. Classes also cover how to establish standards to ensure that outcomes of clinical studies are positive, as well as how to protect research subjects and appropriately analyze the results of your work. Some employers look for individuals who have earned a four- to five-year doctoral degree in the field as well, which further improves your opportunities to conduct research in a university setting if you desire to become a clinical trial manager.
Gaining field experience also will make you attractive to employers in this field. An internship exposes you to the concepts of overseeing a scientific study while staying within budget as well as drafting research protocols — necessary skills for someone who desires to become a clinical trial manager. These opportunities often are available at pharmaceutical companies and could lead to long-term employment.