Are you being paid fairly? Or, if you’re thinking of becoming a nurse practitioner, how much can you expect to earn? It’s pretty hard to pin exact numbers down. Some online polls show salaries that lead to dreams of a McMansion and a new car in the garage (or maybe just paying for your kids’ college). Other online surveys indicate that you’re probably better off keeping your job as an RN rather than making the investment of going back to school. Given the wide variety of unofficial information out there about NP salaries, we feel it’s best to stick to official sources.

So, we’ve turned to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to see what Uncle Sam has to say about nurse practitioner salaries. According to government data, NPs on average earn an hourly wage of $51.68, or an average annual wage of $107,480. Not too shabby!

If you don’t fit in to the ‘average’ nurse practitioner category, it can be helpful to see where you fall by noting what percentage of NPs are compensated at a higher or lower rate than yourself. These stats can be useful in contract negotiations and when asking for a raise (hint, hint). The following table gives a breakdown for estimated NP income on an hourly and annual basis by percentile.

If you’ve changed specialties, or at least thought about making a career transition, you’re probably well aware that practice setting plays a major role in how much nurse practitioners are paid. NPs working in school health clinics, for example, earn significantly less than nurse practitioners working in interventional radiology to name one example. There isn’t a lot of specific data (at least official data) regarding compensation based on practice setting. But, in general, what does compensation for nurse practitioners look like across various practice settings? The following table gives a breakdown.

When you’re analyzing wage data and comparing your own salary or hourly rate, don’t forget to take your total compensation package into account. Benefits, retirement plans and other financial incentives can add up. NPs must also consider cost of living in the pay equation. Earning an average hourly rate may mean a significantly different lifestyle in one city versus another.

How does your nurse practitioner compensation compare to this data?


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