Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Salary Guide

This guide answers questions about earning potential for nurse anesthetists. Whether you’re considering breaking into the field or you are currently a nurse anesthetist, this article will help you determine what to expect salary-wise. 

CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) offer anesthesia to patients via a catheter, IV, shot, or mask. They also monitor recovery. Nurse anesthetists often work alongside surgeons, dentists, and physicians. 

Training to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist requires a minimum of seven years. By the time someone becomes a CRNA, they usually have about 9,000 hours of experience. 

What Salary Can I Expect to Earn as a Nurse Anesthetist?

Putting in the extra hours and investing in education to become a CRNA is well worth your time! In fact, a registered nurse anesthetist is the highest-paid nursing position. You can expect to earn a comfortable six-figure salary for all the time, resources, and energy you will spend learning to become a competent and confident CRNA. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average nurse anesthetist (CRNA) salary is around $202,470. This breaks down to $97.34 per hour. Compared to the average registered nurse’s salary of $77,600, this specialization typically means quite a jump in pay. 

As with any position, a few factors will affect a nurse anesthetist’s salary. This includes location, years of experience, demand, and workplace location. To maximize your salary, it’s vital to weigh the cost of living expenses against your salary, to specialize when possible, and to be patient and let years of experience accumulate. 

Which US Cities Are Paying Nurse Anesthetists the Most?

Location will heavily determine how much you can expect for a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) salary. Let’s look at the cities that pay CRNAs the most, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

  1. Springfield, Illinois: $298,800 annually
  2. Riverside, California: $283,500 annually
  3. Ann Arbor, Michigan: $276,810 annually
  4. Hartford, Connecticut: $273,060 annually
  5. San Antonio, Texas: $262,560 annually
  6. New York City Metro: $247,850 annually

Remember, it’s always a good idea to factor in the cost of living when considering your salary options. This will determine how much of your salary you’ll keep and how much of that salary will go toward the cost of living expenses. If you receive a decent salary but live somewhere with a high COL, you may not have as much money to put toward other expenses or retirement.

Which US States Are Paying Nurse Anesthetists the Most?

It’s a good idea to consider which states are paying the most as opposed to individual cities. Here is a list of the top-paying states for a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) salary. 

  1. Connecticut: $276,540 annually
  2. New Jersey: $263,850 annually
  3. Illinois: $250,280 annually
  4. West Virginia: $247,650 annually

These states have fairly average costs of living, but working in a larger city may mean that you will earn more than other CRNAs living in the same state. 

How Does the Salary of a Nurse Anesthetist Compare to Other Fields in the Anesthesia Profession? 

With an average salary of $202,470, how does a nurse anesthetist compare to other jobs in the field of anesthesia? Generally, nurse anesthetists work under anesthesiologists but above anesthesia assistants and technicians. Their potential salaries reflect this hierarchy. 


Salary: $300,000-$500,000

Anesthesiologists are doctors that help manage a patient’s pain. They administer and monitor anesthesia to patients in a variety of medical settings. It takes a minimum of 8 years to become an anesthesiologist, and many complete an additional year of specialty training. This extra year of specialization helps land a job and a higher salary. 

Common specializations for anesthesiologists include neuroanesthesia, cardiac anesthesia, and pediatric anesthesia. 

Anesthesia Assistant

Salary: $53,000-$205,700

An anesthesia assistant helps aid the anesthesiologist and/or nurse anesthetist before administering anesthesia. An anesthesia assistant gathers all of the required patient information. This includes a patient’s medical history and alerting the physician or nurse of any vital information, such as patient allergies. 

During the medical procedure, the anesthesia assistant may adjust the dosage of the anesthesia and do lab work. How do you become an anesthesia assistant? You need to start with a four-year degree. Upon completing your Bachelor’s, prospective anesthesia assistants complete a two-year program. 

Anesthesia Technician

Salary: $63,000-$100,000

An anesthesia technician works on an anesthesiologist’s team. One of the primary roles of an anesthesia technician is ensuring all of the machines and tools utilized by the anesthesia team are in proper working order. This includes troubleshooting when something goes wrong and cleaning and sterilization of instruments. 

To become an anesthesia technician, most workplaces require an associate’s degree with additional certifications. 

How Do I Advance My Career as a Nurse Anesthetist and Earn More?

After you have completed all the necessary education and certifications, you may wonder how to maximize your earning potential as a nurse anesthetist. There are a few ways to increase the likelihood of a pay raise without having to return to school for more training. 

First of all, location is a huge factor in determining how much your salary will be. If you haven’t already, comb through the data available on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Look at your neighboring state’s data and remember to factor in the state’s cost of living expenses to determine how much you will make after paying for necessities. 

Another significant factor in determining salary is your place of work. Fortunately, as a nurse anesthetist, you have many choices in your workplace setting, some of which pay more than others. For example, outpatient care centers pay nurse anesthetists the most. Outpatient care centers pay an average of $254,180. However, physician’s offices pay an average of $194,240. 

Additionally, any specialized training will benefit your chances of earning more. If you can afford to get various certifications, such as working with children or the elderly, your skill set will be more diverse and in higher demand. 

Lastly, another reliable factor for increasing your wage is time and experience. The longer you’ve proven yourself to be a reliable and competent CRNA, the more valuable you become to your employer. As long as you stick with the job and accumulate experience, you’ll be able to negotiate higher salaries as you continue in your career.