average nurse salary

Average Nurse Salary

The average salary of a nurse can be an important consideration when you are deciding whether you want to pursue a nursing degree and what kind of nurse you’d like to be. Knowing about how much money you might make can help you make decisions about your nursing career. 

We’ll break down the median annual salary, highest paying industries, and highest paying states, metropolitan, and non-metropolitan areas for Registered Nurses, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, and Practical and Vocational Nurses

 

Registered Nurse Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs in the United States earned a median annual salary of $71,730 in May 2018. There were 2,951,960 employed RNs in 2018.

Highest Paying Industries

The median annual wage for nurses in top industries in 2018 are as follows:

Government
Hospitals (state, local, private)
Ambulatory healthcare services
Nursing and residential care facilities
Educational services (state, local, private)

Median Annual Wage for Nurses in Top Industries

  1. Government: $78,390
  2. Hospitals (state, local, private): $73,650
  3. Ambulatory healthcare services: $68,320
  4. Nursing and residential care facilities: $63,990
  5. Educational services (state, local, private): $61,850

Highest Paying States

The average annual salaries for nurses in the highest-paying states in 2018 are as follows:

California
Hawaii
Washington, DC
Massachusetts
Oregon

Average Annual Salaries for Nurses in the Highest-Paying States

  1. California: $106,950
  2. Hawaii: $98,080
  3. DC: $92,350
  4. Massachusetts: $92,140
  5. Oregon: $91,080

Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying metropolitan areas in 2018 are as follows: 

Salinas, CA
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
Stockton-Lodi, CA
Napa, CA
Modesto, CA
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA

Average Nurse Salaries in the Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

  1. Salinas, CA: $131,710
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $128,990
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $128,610
  4. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $127,440
  5. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA: $120,530
  6. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $115,900
  7. Stockton-Lodi, CA: $111,140
  8. Napa, CA: $106,060
  9. Modesto, CA: $106,040
  10. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA: $104,680

Highest Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying nonmetropolitan areas in 2018 are as follows:

Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California
North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California
Alaska nonmetropolitan area
Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area
North Coast Region of California

Average Salaries for Nurses in the Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

  1. Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California: $102,470
  2. North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California: $96,930
  3. Alaska nonmetropolitan area: $95,780
  4. Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area: $93,220
  5. North Coast Region of California: $92,320

Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the median annual salaries for Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners:

  • Nurse Anesthetists: $167,950
  • Nurse Midwives: $107,030
  • Nurse Practitioners: $103,770

Highest Paying Industries

The average annual salaries for these three specialties in the top-paying industries (as of May 2018) are:

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: $120,540
  • Outpatient care centers: $115,720
  • Offices of other health practitioners: $112,740
  • Offices of physicians: $111,440
  • Educational services; state, local, and private: $104,310

Nurse Anesthetist Salary Info

Highest-Paying States

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying states are as follows:

Montana
California
Iowa
Oregon
Wisconsin

Average Salaries for Nurse Anesthetists in Highest-Paying States

  1. Montana: $246,370
  2. California: $212,210
  3. Iowa: $209,130
  4. Oregon: $205,730
  5. Wisconsin: $204,830

Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying metropolitan areas are as follows: 

Akron, OH
Columbus, GA-AL
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
Green Bay, WI
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
Lansing-East Lansing, MI

Average Salaries for Nurse Anesthetists in Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

  1. Akron, OH: $285,460
  2. Columbus, GA-AL: $244,330
  3. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL: $243,660
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $242,890
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $237,260
  6. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA: $233,940
  7. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD: $217,880
  8. Green Bay, WI: $216,200
  9. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI: $211,100
  10. Lansing-East Lansing, MI: $210,100

Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying nonmetropolitan areas are as follows: 

Northeast Iowa
Western Washington
Southern Indiana
Northwest Minnesota
West Kentucky

Average Salaries for Nurse Anesthetists in Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

  1. Northeast Iowa: $287,210
  2. Western Washington: $252,060
  3. Southern Indiana: $233,730
  4. Northwest Minnesota: $222,070
  5. West Kentucky: $218,120

Nurse Midwife Salary Info

Highest-Paying States

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying states are as follows:

California
Massachusetts
Maryland
Arizona
New Jersey

Average Salaries for Nurse Anesthetists in Highest-Paying States

  1. California: $139,990
  2. Massachusetts: $119,380
  3. Maryland: $115,440
  4. Arizona: $114,900
  5. New Jersey: $113,980

Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying metropolitan areas are as follows:

Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, CA
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
Cleveland-Elyria, OH
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
Salt Lake City, UT
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagra Falls, NY
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Average Salaries for Nurse Midwives in Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

  1. California: $133,780
  2. Alaska: $122,880
  3. Massachusetts: $122,740
  4. New Jersey: $122,100
  5. New York: $120,970

Nurse Practitioner Salary Info

Highest-Paying States

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying states are as follows:

California
Alaska
Massachusetts
New Jersey
New York

Average Salaries for Nurse Practitioners in Highest-Paying States

  1. California: $133,780
  2. Alaska: $122,880
  3. Massachusetts: $122,740
  4. New Jersey: $122,100
  5. New York: $120,970

Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying metropolitan areas are as follows:

New Bedford, MA
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA
Sumter, SC
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
Leominster-Gardner, MA
Yuma, AZ
Rochester, MN
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Average Salaries for Nurse Practitioners in Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

  1. New Bedford, MA: $156,980
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $150,790
  3. Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA: $148,440
  4. Sumter, SC: $145,890
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $145,400
  6. Leominster-Gardner, MA: $145,020
  7. Yuma, AZ: $142,650
  8. Rochester, MN: $142,640
  9. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL: $141,800
  10. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $141,460

Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries in the highest-paying nonmetropolitan areas are as follows:

Big Thicket Region of Texas
Central Louisiana
Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California
Coastal Plains Region of Texas
Southwest New York

Average Salaries for Nurse Practitioners in Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

  1. Big Thicket Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area: $143,480
  2. Central Louisiana nonmetropolitan area: $141,380
  3. Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area: $128,410
  4. Coastal Plains Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area: $127,370
  5. Southwest New York nonmetropolitan area: $125,260

Practical Nurse and Vocational Nurse Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for practical and vocational nurses in 2018 was $46,240. 

Highest Paying Industries

As of 2018, the median annual salaries for licensed practical and vocational nurses in top industries are: 

  • Government: $48,050
  • Nursing and residential care facilities: $47,470
  • Home healthcare services: $46,510
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: $44,630
  • Offices of physicians: $42,520

Highest Paying States

The average annual salaries for practical/vocational nurses in the highest-paying states are as follows:

Rhode Island
Massachusetts
Alaska
Nevada
Connecticut

Average Salaries for Practical/Vocational Nurses in Highest-Paying States

  1. Rhode Island: $59,130
  2. Massachusetts: $58,990
  3. Alaska: $58,250
  4. Nevada: $57,140
  5. Connecticut: $56,970

Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries for practical/vocational nurses in the highest-paying metropolitan areas are as follows:

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH
Salinas, CA
Napa, CA
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Average Salaries for Practical/Vocational Nurses in Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $65,410
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $63,650
  3. Santa Rosa, CA: $62,480
  4. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $61,540
  5. Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH: $61,150
  6. Salinas, CA: $60,950
  7. Napa, CA: $60,810
  8. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA: $60,680
  9. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $59,300
  10. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $59,260

Highest Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

The average annual salaries for practical/vocational nurses in the highest-paying nonmetropolitan areas are as follows:

Alaska Nonmetropolitan Area
Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California
Hawaii/Kauai Nonmetropolitan Area
Nevada Nonmetropolitan Area
North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California

Average Salaries for Practical/Vocational Nurses in Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas

  1. Alaska Nonmetropolitan Area: $61,410
  2. Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California: $58,550
  3. Hawaii/Kauai Nonmetropolitan Area: $55,040
  4. Nevada Nonmetropolitan Area: $54,270
  5. North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California: $54,090

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