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What are the Different Clinical Data Manager Jobs?

Jillian Peterson
Jillian Peterson

Clinical data managers are a vital part of any medical trial, and there are many clinical data manager jobs out there for individuals trained and certified in clinical data management. Health care is one of the fastest growing industries, and clinical data manager careers are growing along with the industry as a whole. If you are certified in clinical data management, you can find clinical data management jobs at universities, government agencies, medical supply companies and pharmaceutical companies around the world.

The first step in finding clinical data manager jobs is to fully understand the clinical data manger job description. A clinical data manager records the data generated by a clinical trial, including experimental data, patient reactions to medications and any other study data. Clinical data managers not only record this information, but also verify the data for accuracy. It is the clinical data manager’s job to ensure all data gained from a clinical trial is accurate and useful to researchers. Clinical data managers also work with a team of professionals, such as clinical research associates and clinical medical technologists, to ensure the clinical trial runs smoothly.

A clinical data manager ensures that clinical trial information and results are recorded accurately.
A clinical data manager ensures that clinical trial information and results are recorded accurately.

Qualified professionals can find many clinical data manager jobs at universities and university hospitals. Many universities perform clinical trials to test advances in medical technology and hire clinical data managers to work in these trials. Although some universities will use graduate students as data management assistants, often the university will hire a professional clinical data manager to oversee students and personally review all data for accuracy and efficacy.

There are many government agencies that perform clinical trials to determine the efficacy of new drugs or medical technologies, and they hire for many clinical data manager jobs as well. Regulatory agencies must double check the safety and efficacy of new medical technologies, so they may conduct independent clinical trials or double-check data from private clinical trials. Government-run hospitals can also be sources of clinical data manager jobs because they often work with government agencies to test new medical technologies.

Another source of clinical data manager jobs is private medical companies. Private biomedical research companies often hire teams of clinical data managers to work on the clinical trials for new medical technologies. Pharmaceutical companies will also sponsor clinical trials, either at their company labs or in other research facilities. It is very important for pharmaceutical companies to present complete and accurate data to regulatory agencies and independent researchers, and clinical data managers ensure the company has the most accurate and useful data.

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Discussion Comments


@NathanG - While the article does not say, I’m willing to bet that a large part of the clinical data manager job description is to work with databases.

The information gleaned from the clinical trials isn’t usually stored in spreadsheets. I imagine that they would use large databases to store the results of hundreds or even thousands of clinical trials, and they would have advanced reporting and querying capabilities in these data management systems.

After all, you want a statistical representation of the number of possible side effects across a given sample, not for just one or two cases. I’m sure they use database and reporting tools that are unique to the healthcare sector.


@indemnifyme - I think there’s a reason that they get paid so well. The results of their work have huge implications. It can mean the difference between whether or not a drug goes to market, and how accurately the drug company catalogs any possible side effects that may arise from using the drug.

I had a friend who took part in a clinical trial for a certain drug. He was paid $500, which seemed like decent work for a couple of days stay in the hospital.

In return for being the “guinea pig” they informed him that there might be side effects to the drug they were going to give him, however those side effects affected very few patients, like a tenth of one percent or something like that.

It’s the clinical data manager’s job to gather data and report on any side effects. Otherwise, there will be lawsuits.


I was curious about the clinical data manager possible salary. After all, the job seems like a lot of work! Anyway, according to one of those salary comparison websites, the average salary for a clinical data manager is $73,000 per year. Not too shabby!

Also, I imagine someone who has a lot of experience and maybe more education could probably make more. Plus it seems like most clinical data managers are employees, as opposed to being contractors or something. So they probably get pretty decent benefits too!


@Monika - That makes sense. No one wants their clinical trial to be invalid-I know they take a lot of time and money to put together!

Anyway, I think jobs in clinical data management sound like a pretty good idea, if you're interested in that kind of thing. The medical field is always growing, so I don't think there will be any shortage of these jobs. Pharmaceutical companies are always coming out with new drugs, after all.

Also, it seems like clinical data managers have a lot of different options. They can work in a hospital, for a university, or for a government agency. I think with any job it's a good idea to have several different potential employers.


I think the clinical data manager might be the most important person who works on a clinical trial. I have a friend who used to be a clinical research assistant, and from what she told me, there are a ton of rules regarding the data that gets collected.

It only takes one small mistake for a trial to become invalid. Also, the entire point of a clinical trial is to get information about a medication. If that information isn't recorded correctly, there was no point to doing the trial in the first place!

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    • A clinical data manager ensures that clinical trial information and results are recorded accurately.
      By: anyaberkut
      A clinical data manager ensures that clinical trial information and results are recorded accurately.