How Much Do CRNAs Make? | (2024)

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) have been credentialed to administer anesthesia care since 1956. Each year, CRNAs provide 50 million patients with anesthetics. They also earn the highest salaries of all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), making over six figures annually.

This guide breaks down salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and other resources to see how CRNA salaries vary by region, gender, and workplace. Read on to find out where CRNAs earn the most and check out additional NurseJournal pages to explore how to become a nurse anesthetist or overview the CRNA career.

Fast Facts About Nurse Anesthetists

  • CRNAs represent more than 80% of the anesthesia providers in rural counties.
  • It takes about 7-8.5 years of education and experience to become a CRNA.
  • In March 2020, supervision requirements for CRNAs were suspended to increase the capacity of the U.S. healthcare delivery system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)

Average Salary for Nurse Anesthetists

A high demand for nurse anesthetists has led to steady pay increases. According to BLS data, CRNA salaries have increased by 23.4% since 2016. While nurse anesthetists enjoyed a mean annual wage of $164,030 in 2016, that figure rose to $202,470 by 2021.

The BLS also projects a 13% job growth rate for nurse anesthetists from 2020-30, or 5,600 new positions.

The chart below details nurse anesthetist salary data over the last six years.

COVID-19 Effects on Nurse Anesthetists

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how nurse anesthetists work. At the peak of the pandemic in March and June of 2020, CRNAs used their specialized nursing skills to care for critically ill patients. Their training particularly helped in managing oxygen administration and ventilation methods.

According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), these APRNs ranked among the top 20 specialties that provided in-person health services during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

CRNAs became the most sought healthcare providers after CMS waived their physician supervision requirements, offering patients better access to healthcare services. Regulatory changes made in response to the pandemic also allowed nurse anesthetists to operate independently to provide life-saving care.

CRNA Salary Disparities by Gender

Data shows that male CRNAs make more than women in the same role, and the pay gap may be increasing. According to a recent survey from Medscape, male CRNAs earn 15% more than women, an increase from the previous year.

Male CRNAs reported earning an annual gross salary of $217,000, whereas women earned $189,000 a year. Medscape polls APRNs every six years to gather information about incomes and job satisfaction.

The 2020 report features data from 3,294 APRNs, including 391 CRNAs. Male CRNAs represent 45% of the individuals surveyed. Other APRN career specialities represent fewer males: clinical nurse specialists (6%), nurse practitioners (11%), and nurse midwives (1%).

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What Kind of Salary Growth Can Nurse Anesthetists Expect?

A nurse anesthetist's earning potential depends on a variety of factors, including educational level, work setting, and professional experience. As the graphic below demonstrates, CRNAs earn more money as they gain additional nursing experience. According to Payscale, CRNAs with one year of experience earn an average salary of $165,040 as of April 2022.

Average Annual Salary of CRNAs by Experience

4 Ways to Increase Pay as a Nurse Anesthetist

Highest-Paying States for Nurse Anesthetists in 2022

Where a nurse anesthetist works may also affect salary potential. The following table addresses differences in CRNA pay by geographic location. Alaska ranks as the top-paying state, with CRNAs earning an annual mean wage above $208,000.

Top-Paying States for Nurse Anesthetists

StateAverage Salary
AlaskaAbove $208,000
New Jersey$263,850
West Virginia$247,650

Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Nurse Anesthetists

Salaries vary as much by city as they do by state. The following cities offer some of the top salaries for CRNAs. However, cities with high wages do not always have the highest employment numbers of nurse anesthetists.

New York, Newark, and Jersey City employ 2,420 CRNAs. Yet, Fairbanks, Alaska, employs only 40 nurse anesthetists but ranks as the top-paying metropolitan area for nurse anesthetists.

The top-paying metropolitan areas for nurse anesthetists are:

Highest-Paying CitiesAverage Salary
Fairbanks, AKAbove $208,000
Green Bay, WIAbove $208,000
Madison, WIAbove $208,000
Wausau, WIAbove $208,000
Springfield, IL$298,890

Highest-Paying Workplaces for Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse anesthetists' work settings also influence how much money they can earn. CRNAs who work in outpatient care centers make the most, followed by individuals who work in specialty services. The following table lists the field's five highest-paying workplace settings and what CRNAs earn in each.

Workplace SettingAverage Salary
Outpatient Care Centers$254,180
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals$219,540
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals$212,340
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools$200,340
Offices of Physicians$194,240

How Do Nurse Anesthetist Salaries Compare to Other Nurses?

Nurse anesthetists outearn nurses in many other specialties, including registered nurses who earn an average of $82,750 and nurse practitioners who take home about $118,040 a year. Additionally, certifications, educational achievements, and specializations all play a role in a nurse anesthetist's salary.

Find Out More About How Much Nurses Earned in 2020

4 Ways to Increase Pay as a Nurse Anesthetist

According to the BLS, the lowest earning 10% of nurse anesthetists make $131,840 a year, while the top 10% bring in over $208,000 annually. Earning potential differs according to industry, educational background, and experience level. However, CRNAs can increase their earnings through the following methods.

1. Consider pursuing hourly pay.
A 2020 report from Medscape found that hourly paid CRNAs earned more than salaried CRNAs. Salaried CRNAs reported earning $192,000 annually, whereas hourly workers earned $203,000 a year. What accounts for this difference? Additional hourly pay may come from working unpopular shifts (such as night or holidays) and overtime, which can be easier to get as an hourly worker. Nurses who pick up critical shifts may also receive additional hourly pay.
2. Increase education level.
The AANA has changed the minimum degree level for CRNAs from a master's to a doctorate. Nurse anesthetists must hold a doctoral degree by 2025. This recommendation follows the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's earlier suggestion that APRNs should earn a doctorate to practice. According to the AANA, CRNAs need either a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), or doctor of education (Ed.D.) to practice in an increasingly complex healthcare system. Higher degrees are associated with higher wages, according to Medscape. The site found that APRNs with a doctoral degree earned $127,000 a year, while master's degree-holders made $122,000.
3. Gain experience in administrative roles.
CRNAs can boost their salaries by gaining administrative experience. Anesthesia departments need directors and managers to handle administrative duties like staffing and financial matters. Gaining additional skills to work at a management level can increase a nurse anesthetist's pay.
4. Switch practice setting or location.
Setting and location also influence a nurse anesthetist's salary. For example, CRNAs who work in rural areas like upstate New York report an annual mean wage of $261,730. While CRNAs are often in high demand in rural regions, they often take on increased workloads. However, some professionals find that relocating or changing work settings benefits their financial situation.

Frequently Asked Questions: Nurse Anesthetist Salaries

How much do CRNAs make starting out?

According to Medscape's 2020 APRN Compensation Report, APRNs make about $109,000 a year during their first five years of employment. Again, this figure varies by location and setting. A nurse anesthetist's education and credentials also influence their initial pay rate.

Can a nurse anesthetist make 300k?

Yes. Nurse anesthetists can make $300,000 a year, or close to that figure. In upstate New York, one of the top-paying nonmetropolitan areas for nurse anesthetists, CRNAs earn $261,730 annually.

Do CRNAs make more than doctors?

Yes, in some instances and regions. What a nurse and doctor earn respectively depends on their specialty and location. CRNAs draw a median annual salary of $195,610, more than other APRNs, and the top 10% of nurse anesthetists earn above $200,000. In contrast, nurse practitioners make a median salary of $120,680, according to the BLS.

Are nurse anesthetists in demand?

Absolutely. Demand for CRNAs is higher than ever. The BLS projects employment rates for nurse anesthetists to grow by 13% from 2020-30, with all APRN jobs increasing by 45% in that period.

Learn More About Nurse Anesthetists

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Career Overview Best Nurse Anesthetist Programs in Ohio

How Much Do CRNAs Make? | (2024)


Can a CRNA make 300k? ›

Yes. Nurse anesthetists can make $300,000 a year, or close to that figure. In upstate New York, one of the top-paying nonmetropolitan areas for nurse anesthetists, CRNAs earn $261,730 annually.

Who is the highest paid CRNA? ›

For nurse anesthetists, Connecticut tops the list of highest-paying states with an average annual wage of $276,540.
Top 10 highest-paying states for nurse anesthetists.
Average CRNA Salary$276,540
Local EstimatesGet local estimate
9 more columns
Jan 4, 2023

Do CRNAs make 6 figures? ›

Among the different types of registered nurses, nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are among of the highest paid on average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists earn an average salary of $202,470 per year ($97.34 per hour).

Why are CRNAs paid so much? ›

The average CRNA salary is so high because the position requires very advanced knowledge and skills. While many nursing positions only require that you have a Bachelor's degree, or even an Associate's degree, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists need at least their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

Who makes more money CRNA or AA? ›

Rough estimates have anesthesiologists earning an average of $360,000. And that's contingent upon successfully completing a residency in anesthesiology. While CRNAs on the other hand(specialty nurses in anesthesiology) average about $170,000, which is more than some primary care doctors.

Can you get rich as a CRNA? ›

As a certified registered nurse anesthetist, you can expect to make an excellent living. The mean annual wage for a CRNA is around $189,000 a year. The top salary for this career path can be as high as $270,000 per year.

Which state pays CRNA the most? ›

Best-Paying States for Nurse Anesthetists

The states and districts that pay Nurse Anesthetists the highest mean salary are Connecticut ($276,540), New Jersey ($263,850), Illinois ($250,280), West Virginia ($247,650), and Washington ($244,730).

What is the biggest issue facing CRNAs? ›

Burnout. Perhaps the biggest challenge that CRNAs face is the mental and physical fatigue from the job.

What is the lowest paid nurse anesthetist? ›

According to the website, an entry-level nurse anesthetist will command an annual salary of $120,581, while a senior CRNA will earn $220,557.

Are CRNA salaries decreasing? ›

The average CRNA salary has grown by 23.43% in the past five years and is in line with the cost of living increases. Not all parts of the country see such dramatic increases as some hospitals, which are a large employer of CRNAs, often base their raises on the overall performance of the system.

Is a CRNA higher than a RN? ›

The pay also varies greatly between the two positions. Experience level, education, and geographic location also differ. CRNAs earn more than registered nurses, often well into six digits, practicing in many states without physician supervision.

How stressful is CRNA? ›

Stress expected: "Stressful and emergency situations are inherent to working in the field," the website continued. Brutal hours: CRNAs may be part of the upper echelon of nurses, but they can still work crummy schedules and spend lots of time on call.

What age do nurse anesthetists retire? ›

Since there is currently a shortage of CRNAs, many do not retire for many years past 65. At a recent meeting I attended (gave 4 lectures) a CRNA who is 75 came up to me and said he just stopped taking call, but otherwise does a full schedule five days a week.

Are CRNAs just as good as anesthesiologists? ›

According to the New York Times, two studies conducted in 2010, “... Concluded that there is no significant difference in the quality of care when the anesthetic is delivered by a certified registered nurse anesthetist or by an anesthesiologist.”

Why is CRNA so hard? ›

The most common reason why CRNA School is too hard is academics. Most students who fail out after they get their second “B”. In one popular program, there is a certain class where your final grade is made up of two exams. Do poorly on either exam and you're put on probation.

Is it harder to become a doctor or a CRNA? ›

While the CRNA degree is challenging, most health care professionals would agree that medical school for doctors is far more rigorous.

What is a good GPA for CRNA? ›

The average GPA of accepted students is 3.7. You are right where you need to be with this domain. Evidence of academic ability is extremely important. Graduate education in general and anesthesia education in particular are very demanding, academically.

Is being a CRNA worth it? ›

Yes, becoming a CRNA is worth it.

As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the mean annual average salary for nurse anesthetists in the United States was over $183,000 in a year. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are the highest paid of all nursing specialties.

What are the cons of being a nurse anesthetist? ›

Cons of being a CRNA
  • Significant responsibility. It's the CRNA's job to speak to each patient, assess them, gather a history and then support them throughout surgery and afterward in recovery. ...
  • Heavy workload. Depending on where you work, there may not be any going home at 5:00. ...
  • Long education, high cost.

How many hours do CRNAs work? ›

A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) typically works two 24-hour long shifts per week. There are some settings which a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) may work 8 or 12-hour shifts, but 24-hour shifts are also common.

What can an anesthesiologist do that a CRNA Cannot? ›

Anesthesiologists can practice independently and supervise CRNAs and anesthesia assistants anywhere they practice. CRNAs may only practice independently if their state allows full-practice authority and CRNA-only models. Otherwise, they practice under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

Can CRNAs practice in all 50 states? ›

Although 30 states, such as California, and the District of Columbia, allow CRNAs independent practice, many other states, including Florida and South Carolina, require physician supervision of CRNAs.

Is there a CRNA shortage? ›

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), some 2,400 CRNAs graduate each year, while the BLS projects that only 7,600 new CRNA positions will be needed by 2028.

What percent of nurses are CRNA? ›

There are over 40,679 certified registered nurse anesthetists currently employed in the United States. 59.6% of all certified registered nurse anesthetists are women, while 40.4% are men.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Gender By Year.
8 more rows
Sep 9, 2022

Are CRNAs happy? ›

Many CRNAs are satisfied with their jobs, according to a 2021 survey of nurse anesthetists. The survey reports that 89% of CRNAs report being satisfied, 48% indicating that they're satisfied and 41%responding that they're somewhat satisfied. Certified nurse anesthetists play a critical role in providing patient care.

Where are CRNAs needed most? ›

Rural America: CRNAs represent more than 80% of the anesthesia providers in rural counties. Many rural hospitals are critical access hospitals, which often rely on independently practicing CRNAs for anesthesia care.

What is the future for CRNAs? ›

“In today's healthcare climate, CRNAs are an integral part of the future of anesthesia care, as there is an increasing demand for highly qualified healthcare specialists who can ensure access to patient care that is both extremely safe and cost-effective.

What kind of nurses make 100k a year? ›

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP)

According to, the average salary* of a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner is about $100,000 per year or about $48 per hour.

What is the shortest CRNA program? ›

How Long is CRNA School? Most nurse anesthetist programs (80% or more) are 36 months. The shortest is 24 months. Once all nurse anesthesia schools have transitioned to the DNP, they will all be a minimum of 36 months.

Is nurse anesthetist hard to get into? ›

Nurse anesthetist programs are very competitive. This is no surprise, as there is a growing need for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) across the country. With high demand but limited spaces, it's crucial to deliver your best graduate school application.

Do travel CRNAs make more? ›

How much does a Traveling Crna make? The average Traveling Crna in the US makes $148,271. Traveling Crnas make the most in San Francisco, CA at $222,934, averaging total compensation 50% greater than the US average.

Do you call a CRNA doctor? ›

An anesthesiologist has a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, whereas a CRNA is a registered nurse who has a doctoral-level degree and has passed the National Certification Examination for Nurse Anesthetists.

Does a CRNA or NP make more? ›

Finally, note that nurse practitioners and CRNAs have significantly different salaries. According to data from the BLS, the median annual salary for nurse practitioners is $109,820; for CRNAs, the median annual salary is $174,790.

What personality type is CRNA? ›

You should be patient, compassionate, accurate, and responsible. The CRNA profession requires a “Type A” personality that is willing to work diligently and willing to continue their education after graduation to keep pace with changes in the field of anesthesia.

Is CRNA school as hard as they say? ›

Yes, CRNA school is hard with the reputation of being the most difficult advanced practice nursing program to complete. Students are held to a high standard, and it can be normal to struggle throughout the program. You will need to lean on family, friends, and your peers to help you along the way.

Do CRNAs make more than some doctors? ›

CRNA Annual Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual salary of a CRNA as $181,000. If a CRNA specializes in outpatient care, they could earn as much as $224,000 in the United States. While these numbers are lower than an anesthesiologist's salary, it is above the average pay of a primary care doctor.

How old is the youngest CRNA? ›

People can graduate from CRNA school or be in CRNA school at 25 or 24 years old. The youngest girl in my class was 24 years old. She was done when she was 26.

Do nurse anesthetists work 12 hour shifts? ›


You may be assigned to a combination of 8, 10, or 12 hours shifts, including evening, nights, weekends, and holidays totaling 40 hours per week as well as on call shifts.

Is 50 too old to become a CRNA? ›

Am I too OLD to go back for CRNA? It's a very common question asked inside our communities, and the decision can feel really overwhelming. The good news is, whether you're looking at a career change, or just getting a later start, CRNA is a total possibility for you!

Can a CRNA work without an anesthesiologist? ›

Practices that use this model do not hire anesthesiologists. CRNAs are responsible for the planning and providing of all anesthesia care. They practice independently and are paid independently. CRNA-only care can usually be found in outpatient care centers and physicians' offices.

Does CRNA require lots of math? ›

You should be good at math in order to perform biometric calculations on the spot while monitoring patients. You will also need to excel at multi-tasking and following complicated directions. A certified registered nurse anesthetist should always be on alert and ready to step in when needed.

How can a CRNA increase salary? ›

4 Ways to Increase Pay as a Nurse Anesthetist
  1. Consider pursuing hourly pay. A 2020 report from Medscape found that hourly paid CRNAs earned more than salaried CRNAs. ...
  2. Increase education level. ...
  3. Gain experience in administrative roles. ...
  4. Switch practice setting or location.

What ICU is best for CRNA school? ›

Essentially, the units that are the safest are any adult ICU. There can be many different types of adult ICUs out there. There's the SICU, MICU, the CVICU, the CCU, and the burn trauma unit.

Can anesthesiologist make millions? ›

But there are a few Anesthesiologists earning over a million per year. Of course, Chronic Pain docs can get close to 7 figures. Average salary Is more likely low 400s but I have seen Peds Anesthesiologists in certain areas earn high 6 figures; 7 figures after a year or two is not out of the realm of possibility.

Who are the highest paid nurses? ›

Highest Paid Nursing Jobs:
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $202,000.
  • Nursing Administrator – $120,000.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse – $120,000.
  • General Nurse Practitioner – $118,000.
  • Critical Care Nurse – $118,000.
  • Certified Nurse Midwife – $114,000.
  • Informatics Nurse – $102,000.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – $95,000.
Dec 5, 2022

What is the hardest CRNA school to get into? ›

CRNA Schools with the Lowest Acceptance Rates
  • Rutgers CRNA Acceptance Rate is 15%
  • National University CRNA Acceptance Rate is 15%
  • Quinnipiac CRNA Acceptance Rate 15%
  • Saint Marys CRNA Acceptance Rate 15%
  • Loma Linda CRNA Acceptance Rate is 15%
  • Drexel CRNA Acceptance Rate is 14%

What are the downsides of being a nurse anesthetist? ›

Cons of being a CRNA
  • Significant responsibility. It's the CRNA's job to speak to each patient, assess them, gather a history and then support them throughout surgery and afterward in recovery. ...
  • Heavy workload. Depending on where you work, there may not be any going home at 5:00. ...
  • Long education, high cost.

Why is there a shortage of CRNAs? ›

However, a variety of factors—including an ageing population and increase in patients with health insurance—have led to demand outstripping supply for CRNA talent, leaving healthcare administrators contending with this significant issue for the foreseeable future.

What is the biggest issue facing the CRNA profession? ›

Burnout. Perhaps the biggest challenge that CRNAs face is the mental and physical fatigue from the job.

What type of anesthesia pays the most? ›

The highest-paid anesthesiologist is an obstetric anesthesiologist. Obstetric anesthesia is the highest-paid anesthesiology subspecialty with an average annual salary range from $217,000 to $582,000 a year.

Which state pays anesthesiologists the most? ›

Geographic profile for Anesthesiologists:
StateEmployment (1)Hourly mean wage
New York2,860$ 147.88
California2,560$ 152.90
Florida1,650$ 174.79
Texas1,510$ 120.15
1 more row
Mar 31, 2022

Who makes more a doctor or anesthesiologist? ›

Anesthesiologists are highly paid medical professionals, with an average income that exceeds all others in the field. In fact, the average pay for anesthesiologists is about $1,175 more per month than the second-highest paid medical professionals - surgeons. However, anesthesiology is not for everyone.

What kind of nurse makes 100k a year? ›

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP)

According to, the average salary* of a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner is about $100,000 per year or about $48 per hour.

What type of nurse is most in demand? ›

Registered nurse (RN)

BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.

How to make 7 figures as a nurse? ›

  1. Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) ...
  2. Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) ...
  3. Become a Nurse Midwife. ...
  4. Advance in Nurse Leadership. ...
  5. Begin travel nursing assignment. ...
  6. Change Nursing specialties. ...
  7. Relocate to a higher paying state. ...
  8. Make sacrifices.

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