Chicago has the city-life and cultural diversity of New York with more affordable housing and cost of living. In addition, the State of Illinois that Chicago resides ranks #9 with the greatest number of CRNA jobs. It’s also #9 in terms of top CRNA salary in the US. As a newbie SRNA nurse in school, I’ve always been curious about the CRNA salary in different cities around the United States due to the fact that no official data available exists on this subject. In fact, many of the top job resources I found had incorrect information! Before graduating, I conducted my own research applying to CRNA jobs in different States I was considering relocating. Chicago was my second choice for where I was thinking of moving to. I’ll share my personal learnings on CRNA Salary Chicago that I discovered while searching and applying for a CRNA job in Illinois.
First, before we begin, here are some official reference points on Nurse Anesthetist Salary Chicago from official sources:
- Salary.com states the median CRNA Salary Chicago is US$198,082 and ranges from US$167,444 at the lowest 10% and US$232,482 at the highest 90% quartile.
- In the official AANA career survey of over 5,000 CRNAs, the median CRNA salary in Illinois is US$192,500 and the median CRNA total income is US$212,967.
- The US government Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average CRNA salary in Illinois is US$199,660.
My Study on CRNA Salary in Chicago
In my opinion, real world results always beat average statistical data hands down. What I found applying to CRNA jobs in Chicago is that the starting CRNA Salary Chicago is a standard package. All the CRNA job offers I received from hospitals in Chicago had starting salary CRNA Salary in the range of US$165,000 to US$170,000 and more leaning towards the lower side. I have listed out the Chicago CRNA Salary from each hospital job offer below. For confidentiality reasons, I have kept the hospitals anonymous.
- CRNA Offer #1: US$170,000 (Chicago)
- Nurse Anesthetist Job Offer #2: US$165,000 (Chicago)
- CRNA Offer #3: US$165,000 (Chicago)
Similar to CRNA jobs in other cities, benefits were quite standard from all the hospitals. They included standard malpractice, health insurance, life insurance, dental, disability, matching contribution to retirement plans.
Sign-on Bonus for CRNA Salary in Chicago
Signing bonuses, sometimes referred to as relocation bonuses, are sometimes offered by hospitals to attract new talent. In Chicago, I only received a signing bonus offer from two hospitals. They were both for US$10,000. This was considerably lower than the CRNA Salary in NYC.
Indirectly, these sign-on bonuses are retention bonuses because they can have strings attached. I’ve seen CRNA sign-on bonuses paid out prior to graduation in addition to ones paid out half and half. To clarify, the hospital paid half prior to graduation and the other half after 6 months of employment. To emphasize, sign on bonuses always have a commitment in terms of the numbers of years you need to continue working at that hospital. Remember – There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!
If you leave prior to the agreement, the hospital will ask for the entire signing bonus to be returned. As a side note, it’s important that you speak with other CRNAs to get feedback on the hospital’s reputation. The reason is because an unknown hospital may be mismanaged and offering high sign-on bonuses as the only way to attract staff. It’s always important to do your research before you join a hospital in Chicago because taking on a sign-on bonus is a significant commitment, like being in a long-term relationship!
One last thing to mention – don’t forget that the APRN credentialing process in Chicago and Illinois takes a long time. It’s one of the toughest states, alongside California. Be sure to properly budget time and plan for this.
Other Considerations for CRNA Salary Chicago
There are various factors to consider if you’re thinking about working in Chicago other than just purely the CRNA salary in Chicago.
I have spoken to many CRNAs working in Chicago and they tell me the same thing. Similar to a CRNA in NYC, there is very little or no autonomy working at large hospitals in the City. Opportunities to do Obstetrics, place blocks and central lines are rare.
Second, if your main purpose is money, you would be able to save more by working in other cities. Like New York City, the cost of living in Chicago is still quite expensive compared to the CRNA Salary Chicago. You would be able to earn the same CRNA salary in other States but have nearly one third the cost of living.
Nurse Anesthetist Salary Map
How does CRNA Salary in Chicago compare to other US cities? Check out the nurse anesthetist salary map below to learn more information and compare the results.
The darker the green color equivocates to a higher the average CRNA salary.
Tier 1 = Top 25% CRNA Salary in the US
2nd Tier = Top 50% CRNA Salary in the US
Tier 3 = Top 75% CRNA Salary in the US
Tier 4 = Bottom 25% CRNA Salary in the US
Data source: AANA Career Survey
Best CRNA Programs
We spent hundreds of hours studying all CRNA schools and interviewing over 125 nurse anesthetists to create our exclusive list of Best CRNA Schools. If you’re a nurse anesthetist researching CRNA Salary in Chicago, please visit the Best CRNA programs and let us know feedback and comments on your CRNA School program to help prospective nurse anesthetist students.
Other Illinois CRNA Information
In conclusion, the actual CRNA Salary Chicago that I discovered seemed lower than official estimates from other job websites. The realistic CRNA Salary Chicago range seems to be US$165,000 to US$170,000. What I’ve learned is the CRNA profession is different from other occupations, so the salary metric is difficult to generalize. Many CRNA’s work multiple jobs, some do a lot of call shifts, while others run their own practice. My purpose on this article on CRNA Salary Chicago is not to give one concrete final number but to give a range of figures for you to think about, to help negotiate your job offer or to help you decide on which city you want to live and work as a CRNA.
Do you work in Chicago as a CRNA? How do your job offers for CRNA salary compare to those that I received in Chicago? Please help share your salary information to help the community. We can all grow stronger by sharing together. Click on the image gallery below for more information on Nurse Anesthetist Salary in Chicago.