Obtaining CRA, or certified research administrator, certification requires a combination of post-secondary training and work experience as a research assistant. As of 2014, it's possible to achieve certification without an associate or bachelor's degree as long as you meet the established work experience and employer recommendation requirements. Check with local and state certification agencies to determine exact eligibility requirements.
- Earn an associate degree in a related field
Enroll and complete an associate degree in science or a related field. Certifying organizations may require a set amount of work experience to qualify as well. For example, the Research Administrators Certification Council requires an associate degree holder to have five years of work experience as a researcher to qualify for examination.
- Obtain a bachelor's degree
Graduate from an accredited bachelor's degree program in science, research or a related field. While this level of education provides further practical and theoretical training, certifying agencies, such as RACC, may require up to three years of work experience in the field.
- Earn certification through work experience
It may be possible to qualify for CRA certification without any post-secondary degrees. The Research Administrators Certification Council states that, as of 2014, an applicant with six years of work experience may qualify for examination if he submits a petition application along with two employer-written reference letters.