How Much Does a Nurse Anesthetist Make?

nurse anesthetist in operating room

The amount of time and rigorous training it takes to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) might seem daunting to some, but the payoffs can make it all worthwhile. Not only do CRNAs have a huge impact on the well-being of their patients, but they also report the greatest job satisfaction of any advanced-level nurse. What’s more, the experience and responsibility they hold are rewarded with highly competitive salaries. In fact, on average, CRNAs make more than any other advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

If you’re looking to the join the nursing field and earn an excellent living while you do it, read on to learn more about what salary you might expect as a CRNA, as well as the other benefits of the role.


National Average Salary for CRNAs

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse anesthetists across the country earn an average annual salary of $169,450.

That said, this figure is greatly affected by a number of factors, including your type of employer, location, and level of education and experience. Those within the top 10% of earners report making more than $200,000 per year.


Salary by workplace

The setting in which you work can have a big impact on the salary you might expect to earn. Within the broader categories, average annual salaries break down in the following ways:

EmployerAverage Annual Salary
Outpatient care centers$194,440
General medicaland srgical hospitals$184,590
Specialty hospitals$178,920
Federal executive branch$168,580
Physicians’ office$162,430
Health practitioner office$159,230
College and university$148,210

Typical workplaces for CRNAs

  • Traditional hospital suites
  • Obstetrical delivery rooms
  • Critical access hospitals
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Offices of dentists
  • Podiatrist clinics
  • Ophthalmologist offices
  • Plastic surgery centers
  • Pain management clinics
  • U.S. military and veterans’ facilities
  • Public health centers
  • Colleges and universities

Salary by city & state

Where you live also plays a role in what you might earn. Of the highest-paying states, the top 10 are as follows:

Top 10 States

$252,460

Montana

$217,230

California

$198,140

Iowa

$196,640

Hawaii

$194,080

Washington

$250,610

Wyoming

$207,480

Oregon

$196,730

Nevada

$194,570

North Dakota

$193,410

Virginia

Don’t see your state? Below, find an alphabetical list detailing the average annual salary for every other U.S. state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


If you want to know which metropolitan areas pay the best nurse anesthetist salary, the BLS reports the following cities rank highest in the nation:

Top 10 Cities for Salary

$243,390

San Francisco, CA

$237,960

San Diego, CA

$227,700

Spokane, WA

$217,070

Sacramento, CA

$203,790

Akron, OH

$238,030

Providence, RI

$230,290

Oakland, CA

$223,460

Vallejo, CA

$205,250

Wheeling, OH

$201,910

Toledo, OH


CRNA Salary Compared to Other Nurses

Of all nursing professionals, CRNAs earn higher than any other on average, though less than anesthesiologists. Below, compare salaries to other common roles within the field.

PositionAverage Annual Salary
Anesthesiologist (doctor or DO)$265,990
Nurse anesthetist$169,450
Nurse practitioner$107,480
Nurse midwife$103,640
Registered nurse$75,510
LPN / LVN$47,050
Nursing assistant$29,580

Other Benefits and Perks

Along with highly competitive salaries, the majority of nurse anesthetists get medical, dental, and vision benefits. Other receive site-specific bonuses that can add up to an additional $10,000 to their annual salaries.

Many employers will also pay for the continuing education you need to maintain your certification, and others will finance leadership training courses to help you advance in the field. Some employers might cover the fees for your malpractice insurance, which, for full-time CRNAs, can run roughly $4,000 a year, and around $2,200 for those working part-time.

Another benefit of working as a nurse anesthetist is the potential for being paid to travel. As CRNAs are needed in nearly every medical setting, you might have the option to work as a traveling nurse on short-term assignments that last between 8 and 26 weeks. Depending on need due to shortages, unfilled positions, leaves of absence, or emergency situations, traveling nurses often have the option to choose their assignments based on where they want to be located and in which specialty they’d like to work. Along with above-average pay, traveling nurses often get their housing paid for along with additional untaxed stipends.


Ready to Get Started?

If you’re ready to make a significant impact on the lives of patients and earn a substantial income while doing so, a career as a CRNA might be the perfect fit. If you’re just starting out, we can help you explore bachelor’s degree programs that put you on the right path toward getting the education you need. Use the Find Schools button to research bachelor’s degree programs or, if you already have your bachelor’s, specialized master’s degree programs that can lead to your certification as a CRNA.

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