What State do CRNAs Make the Most Money In? A Comprehensive Analysis

If you’re a registered nurse and you love the idea of working in the fast-paced, high-stakes world of anesthesia, you might be considering a career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). But before you dive into this exciting and challenging field, you’ll want to know: where are the best opportunities for high pay and rewarding work? Well, after doing some digging myself, I can tell you that there are definitely some states where CRNAs make much more money than others.

So, which states are the best for CRNAs looking to maximize their earnings potential? According to recent data, there are a few clear leaders in this regard. It turns out that California, Texas, and New York offer some of the highest average salaries for CRNAs in the entire country. Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t make a great living as a CRNA in other states – but if you’re looking to make the most money possible, these three states should definitely be on your radar.

So, what’s so great about working as a CRNA in California, Texas, or New York? Well, aside from the high salaries, these states also offer lots of opportunities for growth, learning, and specialization. Whether you’re interested in working in hospitals, outpatient clinics, or other medical settings, there are plenty of options to explore. Of course, as with any career choice, there are also some potential downsides to consider – but overall, if you have a passion for anesthesia and a desire to make a difference in people’s lives, becoming a CRNA can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling choice.

Top-paying states for CRNAs

When it comes to working as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), one of the essential factors to consider is the earning potential of the profession, and location plays a crucial role in salary compensation. CRNA salaries vary widely across states, with some regions paying significantly more than others. When exploring the question “what state do CRNAs make the most money?” the following top-paying states consistently rank at the top of the list:

  • Washington: CRNAs in Washington earn an average annual salary of $194,210, which is the highest in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Oregon: The second-highest paying state for CRNAs in the US is Oregon, with an average annual salary of around $186,100.
  • California: Ranking third on the list, California offers the third-highest annual average CRNA salary in the nation, hovering around $186,000.
  • North Dakota: Though not traditionally thought of as a high-paying state for healthcare professionals, North Dakota is fourth on the list of top-paying states for CRNAs, with an annual average salary of $185,000.

It is important to note that while these states offer higher salaries than others in the country, the cost of living in some of these areas may also be higher, respectively adjusting the earning potential of the profession. However, if you’re looking to maximize your earning potential as a CRNA and enjoy working in these states, it may be worth considering a job in any of these top-paying regions.

CRNA Salary Variations Across Different U.S. States

One of the biggest factors that determine the salary of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is the location of their practice. This is because the cost of living, demand for CRNAs, and average incomes in different U.S. states vary significantly. Here’s what you need to know about the salary variations of CRNAs across different states:

  • The top-paying states for CRNAs include Montana, Wyoming, California, Oregon, and New Hampshire, where the average annual salary ranges between $194,000 and $217,000.
  • On the other hand, states such as South Carolina, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska have the lowest average CRNA salaries, ranging between $143,000 and $167,000 per year.
  • It’s worth noting that the cost of living in each state plays a significant role in how far a CRNA’s salary will go. For instance, while the average salary in California is high, the cost of living is also high, which could decrease the purchasing power of the salary.

Below is a table showing the average salary of CRNAs in the top-paying and lowest-paying states:

Top-Paying States Average Annual Salary
Montana $217,000
Wyoming $209,000
California $207,000
Oregon $206,000
New Hampshire $194,000
Lowest-Paying States Average Annual Salary
South Carolina $167,000
Oklahoma $166,000
North Dakota $155,000
Iowa $149,000
Nebraska $143,000

In conclusion, where a CRNA practices dramatically affects their earning potential. CRNAs in the highest paying states can earn nearly $70,000 more per year than those in the lowest paying states. However, as mentioned, it’s essential to consider the cost of living and quality of life factors when considering a move for better pay.

Most Lucrative Cities for CRNA Jobs

While CRNAs can find job opportunities across the United States, some cities offer higher salaries and better job prospects than others. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top three cities for CRNA jobs based on salary and job openings.

  • Houston, Texas: Houston ranks as the number one city for CRNA jobs in terms of salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for CRNAs in Houston is $192,520, almost $25,000 higher than the national average. Additionally, Houston has a high demand for CRNAs, with over 450 job openings listed on job search websites like Indeed and Glassdoor.
  • Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles is another lucrative city for CRNAs, with a mean annual wage of $187,470. In addition to high salaries, Los Angeles has a large number of job openings – over 500 on Indeed alone. However, competition for these jobs can be high, as Los Angeles is a popular destination for healthcare professionals.
  • Miami, Florida: Miami is the third city on our list, with a mean annual wage of $182,340. While this is slightly lower than Houston and Los Angeles, Miami has a lower cost of living, which can make it a more affordable option. Miami also has a growing healthcare industry, with many job openings available for CRNAs.


If you’re a CRNA looking for a high-paying job, these three cities are a good place to start your search. Keep in mind that competition for CRNA jobs can be fierce, so it’s important to have a strong resume and relevant experience. With hard work and perseverance, however, you can land a job in one of these lucrative cities and enjoy a fulfilling career as a CRNA.

City Name Mean Annual Wage Number of Job Openings
Houston, Texas $192,520 450+
Los Angeles, California $187,470 500+
Miami, Florida $182,340 300+

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed, Glassdoor

State-by-state comparison of CRNA earnings

CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) are highly skilled and specialized registered nurses who assist doctors during surgeries and other medical procedures. They play a critical role in making surgeries pain-free and ensuring the safety of patients. These professionals earn high paychecks with the potential of earning even more in certain states. Here’s a state-by-state comparison of CRNA earnings:

  • California – $222,000
  • Texas – $196,000
  • Florida – $193,000
  • New York – $191,000
  • Pennsylvania – $189,000
  • Ohio – $189,000
  • Illinois – $181,000
  • Michigan – $179,000
  • North Carolina – $177,000
  • New Jersey – $176,000

If you’re looking to earn the most money as a CRNA, then the states mentioned above are a good place to start. With that said, it’s important to note that earning potential varies based on location within the state, employer, years of experience, and other factors.

In addition to state-specific factors, CRNA earnings are also influenced by national trends such as a growing demand for healthcare professionals, an aging population that requires more medical procedures and the increasing adoption of outpatient surgeries.

So, make sure to research and weigh all of the different factors when it comes to choosing a location to practice as a CRNA. However, with a national median salary of $169,450, it’s safe to say that becoming a CRNA offers excellent earning potential and a rewarding career.


CRNAs are an important part of the healthcare industry, and their highly specialized skills come with a great earning potential. Along with the above-mentioned states, there are many other states in the US where CRNAs can earn competitive salaries. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or looking to advance your career, researching payroll and employment trends is important in determining the best location to practice as a CRNA.

Rank State Annual Mean Wage
1 CALIFORNIA $222,420
2 WASHINGTON $219,920
3 OREGON $202,250
5 WYOMING $199,180

The above table provides a list of the states ranked by the annual mean wage earned by CRNAs. It’s clear that California and Washington are leading the pack with CRNAs earning above $200,000.

Factors affecting CRNA salaries in different states

When choosing a career path, salary is always a major consideration for most individuals. It is no different for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), who are among the highest-paid nurses in the healthcare industry. CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses who administer anesthesia to patients for surgeries, procedures, and other medical treatments.

The salary of a CRNA can vary significantly from state to state, and various factors contribute to this variation. Here are some of the factors that affect CRNA salaries in different states:

Geographic Location

  • The state or region where a CRNA practices can significantly affect their salary. Coastal states or metropolitan areas, for example, may have a higher demand for anesthesia services than rural areas, leading to higher salaries.
  • Some states with high living costs, such as California or New York, may pay CRNAs more to attract and retain healthcare professionals in the area.

Type of Employer

The type of healthcare facility where a CRNA works also affects their salary. Here are some examples:

  • Hospitals – CRNAs who work in hospitals may earn higher salaries than those who work in outpatient care centers or physician offices. This may be due to the complexity of cases and the need for expertise in a hospital setting.
  • Private Practices – CRNAs who work for privately-owned practices may have more autonomy and less bureaucratic red tape, but they may earn lower salaries than those who work in hospitals or other large healthcare facilities.

Years of Experience and Education

Like any other career, CRNAs with more experience and education generally earn higher salaries than those who are just starting. Here are some examples:

  • Entry-level CRNAs with less than two years of experience can expect to earn salaries in the lower range, usually between $121,000 to $141,000 in most states.
  • CRNAs with over five years of experience and doctoral degrees may earn an average of $200,000 or more per year.

Certification and Specialization

CRNAs can become further specialized in certain areas, such as cardiac anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, or pain management. Obtaining certifications and further specialization can increase a CRNA’s salary. For example, CRNAs with specialized certification in pediatric anesthesia can earn up to $10,000 more per year than those who don’t specialize, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Certification Salary Increase
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) N/A
Pediatric Anesthesia Specialty Certification (CPAN-PC) $10,000
Cardiac Anesthesia Specialty Certification (CCRN-CSC) $8,000
Pain Management Specialty Certification (CRNA-BC) $7,500

Note: These figures are only estimates and may vary depending on location and other factors.

High/low cost-of-living states for CRNAs

When considering the highest-paying states for CRNAs, it’s important to also take into account the cost of living in those areas. A state with a high average salary may not necessarily mean that CRNAs can afford to live comfortably due to the high cost of living. On the other hand, a state with a lower salary may actually be more lucrative when the lower cost of living is factored in. Here are some of the high and low cost-of-living states for CRNAs:

  • High: California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut
  • Low: Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, Kentucky

According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the cost of living in California is over 50% higher than the national average, while Hawaii is nearly 90% higher. This means that although the average CRNA salary in these states is high, the cost of living can significantly reduce their purchasing power. Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are also high-cost states, with a cost of living ranging between 15-20% above the national average.

On the other hand, states like Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma have a cost of living that is well below the national average, with an index ranging from 11 to 15% below the average. Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama also fall in this range. Mississippi, Iowa, and Kentucky have even lower costs of living, with an index ranging from 17 to 20% below the national average.

The impact of cost of living on CRNA salaries

The cost of living is an essential factor to consider when evaluating CRNA salaries in different states. A high salary in a state with a high cost of living may not necessarily translate to a comfortable lifestyle. For example, a CRNA earning $170,000 per year in California may enjoy a high salary, but the cost of living in California is so high that it can be challenging to make ends meet. On the other hand, a CRNA earning $130,000 annually in a state with a lower cost of living, like Missouri, may have the same purchasing power as someone earning more in California.

To see the impact of cost of living on CRNA salaries in different states, consider the following table:

State CRNA average salary (according to Payscale) Cost of living index (according to BestPlaces) Adjusted CRNA salary
California $174,000 152.3 $114,181
Texas $146,000 93.9 $155,620
Missouri $154,000 87.8 $175,455
New York $181,000 139.1 $130,123

The table demonstrates how cost of living can significantly impact the value of CRNA salaries. In California, the adjusted salary is significantly lower than the published average due to the high cost of living. In Texas, on the other hand, the adjusted salary is much higher than the published average, thanks to the low cost of living in the state.

When evaluating the highest-paying states for CRNAs, it’s crucial to also consider the cost of living in those states. A high salary does not necessarily mean a better quality of life if the cost of living is exorbitant. By factoring in the cost of living, you can make a more informed decision about where to work as a CRNA to ensure that your salary goes further.

Potential Income Growth Opportunities for CRNAs in Various States

As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), you are in high demand. You have the skills, expertise, and knowledge to administer anesthesia to patients before, during, and after surgical procedures. However, while the job market for CRNAs is strong overall, potential income growth can vary depending on where you work.

In this article, we will explore the potential income growth opportunities for CRNAs in various states. Specifically, we’ll look at the seven states where CRNAs make the most money. These states include:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Michigan
  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • New York

It’s worth noting that these states have a higher cost of living compared to other parts of the country. However, the high salaries typically offset these costs. The following chart shows the median annual salary for CRNAs in each of these seven states.

State Median Salary
California $196,930
Texas $169,880
Michigan $164,030
Florida $159,690
New Jersey $159,450
Ohio $157,840
New York $157,730

It’s important to note that salaries can vary within these states depending on factors such as experience, education, and place of employment. For example, CRNAs who work in large metropolitan areas may earn more than those in rural areas. Additionally, CRNAs who work in high-demand areas, such as surgical centers or trauma centers, may also earn more.

If you’re a CRNA looking for potential income growth opportunities, it may be worth considering a move to one of these seven states. Keep in mind that relocation can come with its own expenses, so it’s important to factor in cost of living and other potential financial obligations before making a move.

What State do CRNA Make the Most Money FAQs

1. Which state offers the highest CRNA salary?

Answer: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the District of Columbia tops the list with an average annual wage of $229,790 for CRNAs in May 2020.

2. What is the second-highest paying state for CRNAs?

Answer: The state of Montana offers the second-highest CRNA average annual salary, with an amount of $217,070.

3. Do states with higher living costs provide higher CRNA salaries?

Answer: It’s worth considering that states with higher living costs also tend to offer higher salaries, but that’s not always the case. The CRNA salary range varies from state to state, depending on different factors.

4. Are CRNA salaries uniform throughout the United States?

Answer: No, CRNA salaries are not uniform throughout the United States. The salary range can depend on several factors, such as the state’s population and the healthcare environment.

5. What type of healthcare facility pays the highest CRNA salary?

Answer: Anesthesiologists and pain management physicians tend to pay the highest salaries to CRNAs compared to other healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.

6. What factors can affect the CRNA salary within a state?

Answer: Factors that can affect the CRNA salary within a state include the demand for CRNAs, cost of living, healthcare environment, healthcare facility, job location, and the level of experience.

Closing Paragraph

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on “What State do CRNA Make the Most Money”. CRNA salaries can significantly vary from state to state, depending on several factors that we have discussed in this article. We hope that this article has provided you with some valuable insights into the CRNA profession and has helped to answer your questions about CRNA salaries. If you have any further queries, please feel free to browse our website for more information. Thanks again for reading, and we invite you to visit us again soon!