Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Salary 2024

7 Min Read Published June 5, 2024
Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Salary Guide

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Salary

CRNAs are the highest-paid nursing job, and for good reason. Though all nurses provide compassionate care to their patients, being a nurse anesthetist and managing patients’ anesthesia needs requires a high level of judgment, skill, experience, and knowledge. The mean average nurse anesthetist's salary is $214,200, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook as of their latest report from May 2023.

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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Salary by State

Different locations throughout the country offer significantly different average salaries for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Though you may think the difference has to do with the cost of living or the number of professionals available in a remote region, the real differential is based on the scope of practice law within a state.

CRNA Salary by State

State Annual Mean Wage
Alabama $173,370
Alaska -
Arkansas -
California $250,920
Colorado $215,870
Connecticut $247,740
Delaware $207,030
Florida $176,950
Georgia $204,070
Idaho $178,600
Illinois $281,240
Indiana $207,180
Iowa $227,710
Kansas $184,650
Kentucky $185,630
Louisiana $218,770
Maine $227,270
Maryland $187,420
Massachusetts $272,510
Michigan $219,050
Minnesota $221,650
Mississippi $201,280
Missouri $230,470
Montana $256,460
Nebraska $212,860
New Hampshire $239,630
New Jersey $252,130
New Mexico $212,950
New York $256,160
North Carolina $222,560
North Dakota $234,950
Ohio $210,760
Oklahoma $208,410
Oregon $215,260
Pennsylvania $209,890
Puerto Rico $60,540
South Carolina $233,920
South Dakota $211,090
Tennessee $194,790
Texas $216,280
Utah $125,890
Vermont $254,790
Virginia $232,250
Washington $246,350
West Virginia $232,410
Wisconsin $247,160
Wyoming $228,780

Source BLS, Date extracted: June, 2024

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CRNA Salary by Years of Experience

There is a nearly $100,000 range between an entry-level nurse anesthetist’s salary and the salary of a nurse anesthetist who has been working in the position for eight or more years.

According to the website Salaryexpert.com, an entry-level nurse anesthetist will command an annual salary of $196,527, while a senior CRNA will earn $246,115. 

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Nurse Anesthetist Salary by Work Setting

Anesthesia is offered in different ways and in many different settings to relieve or avoid pain. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are often responsible for providing anesthesia services independently or working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, and the setting in which they work is a major driver of the salary they can be paid. 

Top Paying Work Settings for CRNAs

  1. Outpatient Care Centers - $246,980
  2. Specialty Hospitals - $230,220
  3. Other Ambulatory Health Care Services - $219,790
  4. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals - $217,570
  5. Physician Offices - $200,280

Source: BLS, 2022 annual mean salaries by industry

CRNA Salary by Scope of Work

While the cities offering the highest salaries for CRNAs reflect the areas where there is a heavy concentration of teaching and acute care facilities and greater competition for skilled professionals, the states that offer the highest salaries are also those in which CRNAs are likely to have extensive responsibilities due to the dearth of available healthcare facilities and/or anesthesiologists. 

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How to Increase Your Nurse Anesthetist Salary

Nurse Anesthetists who want to increase their salary can explore all the options we mentioned above, as well as by becoming a Chief Nurse Anesthetist. 

Chief Nurse Anesthetists will take on the additional responsibilities of managing, scheduling and training staff anesthetists and can increase their salary by between $10,000 and $20,000, annually.

>> Related: Top CRNA Schools

Is Becoming a CRNA Worth It? 

There is no question that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have the potential to earn a great living. However, it’s also true that pursuing the education required to become a CRNA adds up quickly, leading to a question well worth exploring: Is the high salary worth the time and cost required to earn the degree? 

CRNA School Costs 

  1. BSN: $35,000 - $95,000
  2. Masters of Doctorate CRNA Program: $70,000 - $120,000 
  3. Certification Exam: $725

There are only approximately 60,000 CRNAs in the country, and a big reason for that is the cost and commitment required to become one.

CRNA Education Requirements and Tuition Costs

  1. The minimum education required to become a CRNA is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which will cost between $35,000 and $95,000.
  2. After you receive your BSN, you will need to attend an accredited nurse anesthesia program -- either a Master’s degree or a doctorate. However, in 2025 CRNAs will be required to have a doctorate degree going forward, so it may be best to enroll directly in a doctoral program. The CRNA program will take between 24 months and 51 months to complete. According to CRNA Financial Planning, a partner of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the average cost of a CRNA program is between $35,000 and $60,000 per year.
  3. Lastly, you’ll also need to pass the certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification. The cost is roughly $725. You'll also need a minimum of one year of full-time clinical experience as a registered nurse in a critical care setting.

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Nurse Anesthetist Salary vs Education Costs

It will typically cost you less than $100,000 to become a BSN-degree Registered Nurse, but moving on to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist could cost you another $100,000 and possibly more. 

Student Loans Can Add to the Total Cost

Though some CRNA students will have the benefit of getting tuition reimbursement from their employer, others will pay for their own schooling out of pocket and may even finance it over a twenty-year period. This can add as much as another $100,000 to the total cost, bringing it to approximately $200,000 over the cost of 20 years. 

RN Salary vs CRNA Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a registered nurse is $86,070 as of May 2023, which is more than $100,000 per year less than the average pay for a CRNA. 

The ROI on Becoming a CRNA is High

If you assume that the monthly payment on a twenty-year, $200,000 loan would be approximately $1,400 per month and the monthly salary difference between $73,300 and $181,040 is nearly $9,000, it seems obvious that the difference of $7,600 additional dollars per month — plus the high degree of job satisfaction — makes the investment well worth it. 

Popular Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University

GCU 's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Simmons University

RNs with an associate degree: Advance your nursing career with a supportive online RN to BSN program for women. Simmons University has been empowering nursing leaders for more than 100 years and offering innovative online degree programs since 2013. Up to 96 transfer credits accepted. Request information now.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Should You Become a CRNA?

Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist offers both tangible and intangible benefits. You have the potential to earn a very high salary as well as the ability to work either independently or collaboratively with physicians. 

Nurse Anesthetists are responsible, highly respected in their field, and enjoy some of the highest levels of job satisfaction of all healthcare positions. But only you can figure out if it's the right path for you.

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Learn more with CRNA resources from Nurse.org:

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