How to Become a Regional CRA

Revised and Updated by Seth Preston on: September 27, 2019

Opportunities for entry-level monitors (the term we use for regional CRA’s) can be few and far between. When they do open, the competition is fierce. What can you do to expedite your career in monitoring?

Here, we’ll share industry secrets for breaking in at ground level.

  1. Become a site coordinator.

    Ophthalmology site coordinators with at least two years of experience have the niche expertise they need to thrive as a monitor with Trial Runners. Entry-level positions don’t open often, but when they do, they are filled by site coordinators.


  1. Establish relationships

    Network with small CRO’s in your niche industry by connecting with hiring managers, project leads, and existing monitors on LinkedIn. This will build your knowledge of the company, assist in establishing relationships with key players, and keep you aware of new positions as they open.


  1. Obtain your Bachelor’s degree.

    If you don’t already have a Bachelor’s degree, obtaining it in a life science field can improve your chances of getting hired as a regional CRA. If you already have a four-year degree and it isn’t in biology, don’t fret; many successful monitors have unrelated degrees.


  1. Learn everything you can

    Learn all about the industry and the company before you interview. Subscribe to company newsletters, join professional associations, and follow current events in the industry.


  1. Plan for monitoring

    Plan before you ever land the job. It takes a purposeful, planned lifestyle in order to support 75% travel; consider how the commitments you make now may promote or inhibit a career in regional monitoring in the near future and respond accordingly.


  1. Work to refine the skills most employers seek in a regional monitor:
    • Active listening, demonstrated by giving full attention to others, taking time to understand the message, asking appropriate questions, and listening fully before formulating a response.
    • Coordination, or adapting your plan based on the nuances of the plans of others.
    • Reading, writing, and speaking clearly, concisely, professionally, and persuasively.
    • Critical thinking, judgment, and decision-making skills demonstrated through active problem solving in complex situations.
    • Leadership of others through empowerment, motivation, development, and direction.
    • Time management skills, which are demonstrated through the completion of tasks by established deadlines and the ability to stay on task despite changes and workload.
    • Service orientation, or genuine desire and commitment to serve others.
    • Instruction, which ensures you are able to teach others to improve outcomes.


Finally, at Trial Runners specifically, an intense focus on finding cures and improving outcomes for patients is critical in landing a job. You can demonstrate your passion by being knowledgeable on the subject, focused on solutions, and excited about new opportunities in ophthalmology.

Trial Runners regularly has unique openings for regional monitors. Ophthalmology site coordinators who are excited by the prospect of traveling and advancing their careers are encouraged to get in touch.