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How Much Money Does a CRNA Make?

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You can find this information online pretty easily if you know where to look.  Keep in mind that as a new graduate you are often on the lower end of the salary range.  Just to give you an idea, my classmates and I graduated in May of 2014.  We all had jobs prior to graduation except for one person who wanted to wait to apply for jobs until after she took boards.  We didn’t all go around blabbing about our salaries (we do follow some etiquettes people!) but here is what I know…

Real World CRNA Salaries for New Grads

Three new grads found jobs in Boston for $150,000, one found a job in Texas for $150,000, several found jobs in North Carolina for around $120,000 and one in Florida for $120,000.  Some students received stipends during school to the tune of $20,000 paid out in monthly allowances of around $1,000.  Some received a stipend for $5,000 or $10,000 paid in a lump sum after graduation.  Stipends aren’t free, they are usually in exchange for a signed contract with a 2-3 year time commitment.

Keep in mind that after taxes, the payout becomes much smaller, for example- the $5,000 stipend quickly became $3,000 in the state of Illinois.  Most CRNAs are in the 28% tax bracket.  (There are financial strategies to minimize this impact, but that is beyond the scope of this article).

I’m not quoting research studies like some of the other websites around; this is current real world, first-hand information.

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W2 vs 1099 CRNA Salaries

There are two different means of employment for a CRNA.  You can be a W-2 employee or a 1099 employee, which is basically a self-employed individual.  W-2 salaries are typically lower because the hospital or group takes money away from you up front to subsidized your liability, health insurance, etc.  And a W-2 employee has taxes withheld from their pay and more rules and regulations limiting their retirement planning.  A 1099 self-employed individual does not get taxes withheld.  There are also some fringe deduction strategies that many 1099 self-employees use (like deducting travel expenses, anesthesia supplies, etc.)  But, a 1099 self-employed individual is responsible for their own malpractice and health insurances.  That’s just the basics, it’s a complicated topic you can look into more if you are interested.  This is just something to consider if you see job postings with high salaries, check to confirm whether it is a 1099 or W-2 position.

Where Can I Find CRNA Salary Information in My Area?

Here is one great resource for you.  Keep in mind cost of living, state taxes, federal income taxes, student loan debt, liability insurance, etc.

 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Under Subjects, scroll down to Wages by Area and Occupation.  You can find Nurse Anesthetist information under Healthcare and Practitioners and Technical Occupations under the category: National Wage Data for over 800 occupations.

Here is a screenshot of the average salary information:

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Scroll further down on the page here and you’ll find this map.  Now you can explore the salary in your desired areas.

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  • Tristan Thomas

    Fantastic post – BTW if others are looking for a URL – IRS W-2 , my family came across a template version here https://goo.gl/pah42F

  • BONITA BRANNON

    Good article, Thanks!

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