Nurse Practitioner Expected Salary

The expected salary of a nurse practitioner (NP) can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the NP’s education, experience, and area of specialization. In general, however, NPs can expect to earn a competitive salary that is higher than that of a registered nurse including travel nurses.

How Much Do Nurse Practitioners Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the median annual wage for nurse practitioners was $120,680 in 2021. The highest 10% of NPs earned more than $163,350 per year, while the lowest 10% earned less than $79,470. In my experience, this is pretty accurate in what I’m seeing in the western coastal market as of 2023.

However, these numbers are only averages and do not reflect the actual salary of each individual NP. There are many factors that can influence how much you make as an NP, such as your education, experience, specialization, and location. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

How Education and Experience Affect NP Salaries

One of the main factors that affect NP salaries is your level of education and experience. NPs who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, and who have several years of experience, can expect to earn higher salaries than a new grad NP. This is because higher education and experience demonstrate your competence and credibility as an NP, and also increase your chances of getting promoted or hired by reputable employers.

Additionally, NPs who specialize in certain areas, such as acute care or geriatrics, may earn higher salaries than NPs who provide general primary care. This is because specialized NPs have more advanced skills and knowledge that are in high demand and often require additional certification or training. For example, according to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for an acute care nurse practitioner in the US was $125,974 per year in 2021, while the average salary for a family nurse practitioner was $109,025 per year.

Also many NP contracts allow for bonus compensation and in my experience an NP can fairly easily, with extra time on the job of course, earn close to $200k in total compensation per year.

How Specialization and Location Affect NP Salaries

Another factor that affects NP salaries is your area of specialization and location. NPs who work in urban or metropolitan areas, where the cost of living is higher, may earn higher salaries than NPs who work in rural or suburban areas. This is because urban areas have more population density and more healthcare needs, which create more opportunities and competition for NPs.

NPs who work in hospitals or other inpatient settings may also earn higher salaries than those who work in clinics or other outpatient settings. This is because hospitals often have more complex and urgent cases that require more skills and responsibility from NPs.

Also NP salary varies state to state and region to region with the coastal regions seeming to pay much more for nurse practitioners. For example, according to Indeed, the average salary for a nurse practitioner in California was $139,977 per year in 2021, while the average salary for a nurse practitioner in Texas was $106,190 per year.


As a nurse practitioner, you can expect to earn a competitive salary that is usually much higher than that of a registered nurse or even a travel nurse. With the right education, experience time on the job, and specialization, NPs can earn a high salary that reflects their expertise providing high-quality healthcare. However, earning a high salary is not enough; you also need to manage your money wisely and plan for the future.

I hope this article was helpful for you. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me. I’m always happy to hear from my readers.