Great Opportunities in Unexpected Places
When you think of states with great, high-paying job opportunities, California, Texas, and New York probably come to mind. However, healthcare is different. Due to shortages, some unexpected states have high paying positions.
This data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides insights into the great variation in earnings across the country.
- Internists – Arkansas has the highest paid Internists. The annual mean wage of $265,360 is almost $69,000 more than the annual mean wage for Internists nationally. Georgia, South Dakota, Indiana, and Alabama round out the top five. All have annual mean wages for Internists of $250,000+.
- Family and General Practitioners – Alaska Family and General Practitioners earn the highest annual mean wage, $235,600. However, Alaska is a small population state, and there are few total positions. Iowa and Kansas, the second and third highest paying states, have far more family physicians in practice. Hawaii and Mississippi round out the top five highest paying states. The annual mean wage for every state in the top five is over $223,000 (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291062.htm).
- Psychiatrists – Psychiatrists in California make the most money: Golden State Psychiatrists are the only ones in the country with annual mean wages of over $250,000. However, the other top paying states for this profession are rather surprising. Wyoming, South Dakota, Indiana, and Alaska are the other high earning states for these healthcare professionals (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291066.htm).
- Physician Assistants – The Silver State shows Physician Assistants (PAs) the gold. PAs in Nevada earn an annual mean salary of $124,180, almost $25,000 more than the national annual mean wages. Rhode Island, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Connecticut are the other states that offer earnings of $110,000+ year on average (https://www.bls.gov/Oes/current/oes291071.htm).
- Nurse Anesthetists – The national annual mean wage for Nurse Anesthetists is $160,250, but Big Sky Country offers these professionals the best income. Their annual mean wage in Montana is $243,550. New Hampshire, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and California earn annual mean wages of more than $206,000 per year.
- Registered Nurses (RNs) – This occupation is one where the states that you suspect pay the most actually have the highest wages. California leads the way; it is the only state where the annual mean wage is six figures ($101,260). Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Oregon are the other top paying states. Registered Nurses in these four states earn an annual mean wage of over $83,000 per year (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm).
Due to the fact that most of these states are quite small, it is good to know the metropolitan areas with the best earnings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that Nurse Anesthetists in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL and San Diego metro areas have the highest annual mean wages at $255,610 and $241,900, respectively (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291151.htm).
Look in Unexpected Places
It may not have occurred to you that Internists in Arkansas or Physician Assistants in Nevada have earnings so much higher than their peers. With its shortages in some areas and regulations that differ from state to state, incomes for healthcare professionals can vary tremendously. If you do not have your heart set on one particular state, open your eyes and read the data. There are many great opportunities in unexpected places.