Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries by Specialty

Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries by State & Specialty

The average salary of a nurse practitioner (NP) is a key component when deciding what field you want to specialize in – or if becoming a nurse practitioner is right for you. Nurse practitioners are in high demand throughout the U.S., but some states pay higher salaries than others. Understanding how much money you can make as a nurse practitioner will help you with financial planning and give you an estimate of when you can expect to pay off your student loans. In this guide, we discuss the average salary of a nurse practitioner and which U.S. states pay their nurse practitioners the best.


FNP Certification Exam Prep Course

Preview our new on-demand FNP Review Course for free.


How much do nurse practitioners make per year?

The average annual nurse practitioner salary in 2022 was $124,680, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are many factors that contribute to salaries for NPs, including experience, education, and location. However, the 2022 salary range for nurse practitioners was between $87,340 (in the 10th percentile) and $165,24 (in the 90th percentile). Many nurse practitioner positions are also eligible for bonuses, which can be a substantial part of their overall compensation package.

Highest Earning States for Nurse Practitioners

Map of the highest paying states for Nurse Practitioners

Here are the 2022 top earning states ranked by income for nurse practitioners:

  1. California – $158,130
  2. New Jersey  – $143,250
  3. Massachusetts – $138,700
  4. Oregon – $136,250
  5. Nevada – $136,230
  6. Washington – $135,590
  7. Connecticut – $131,490
  8. District of Columbia – $131,270
  9. New Mexico – $129,560
  10. Hawaii – $128,310

*Data unavailable for New York.

Lowest Earning States for Nurse Practitioners

Map with the lowest earning states for Nurse Practitioners.

Here are the 2022 lowest earning states ranked by income for nurse practitioners:

  1. Tennessee – $99,330
  2. Alabama – $106,610
  3. West Virginia – $106,790
  4. Arkansas – $107,110
  5. South Carolina – $109,130
  6. Kentucky – $109,290
  7. Florida –  $110,310
  8. Kansas – $111, 670
  9. Missouri – $113,180
  10. Michigan – $113,780

How to Choose a Nurse Practitioner Specialty

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a nurse practitioner specialty, but two of the most important considerations are patient population and work setting. Some NP specialties only work with specific types of patient populations, such as neonatal nurse practitioners who work with high-risk infants. Work setting is also a key factor when choosing an NP specialty. For example, emergency nurse practitioners work in emergency departments or urgent care centers. Before deciding which NP specialty to pursue, do you research and remember to look into licensure requirements for the different specialties.

Nurse Practitioner Salaries by Specialty

Which nurse practitioner specialty you work in will also dictate your salary. Some of the specialties are known to be more lucrative than others. Generally speaking, some of the highest paying NP specialties include Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. When deciding which NP specialty to pursue, it’s important to do your research about the latest salary information. We recommend starting with general salary sites and looking specifically in your location to see the salary ranges for your NP specialty. You can also research by NP specialty to see what the most current salary ranges are – and which specialties are in the highest demand. 

Wondering which NP specialty is right for you? Take our short quiz to see which one you match with!

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a licensed nurse practitioner is a huge accomplishment that requires extensive training. The road to becoming an NP begins with completing a BSN program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to earn a nursing license. Prepare for the NGN by taking realistic practice questions and enrolling in comprehensive NCLEX prep.

You’ll need to continue your education by earning an accredited graduate degree (MSN or DNP). Licensing requirements for NPs vary by state, but generally require completing an NP program and obtaining national NP certification. If you’re specializing, you must earn an additional credential. Lastly, you’ll have to apply to be a certified NP in your state, which can take 4 to 12 weeks to process.

Salary Data: Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, <<Nurse Practitioners>>, <<www.https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm>>. Salary will vary based on geographic region, your level of licensing/training, and whether you work part-time or full-time.