CRNA Starting Salary

CRNA Starting SalaryStarting salary for CRNA is one of the most difficult information to find because CRNA Schools do not openly publish the salaries for CRNA graduates.  Money is generally considered a taboo subject to openly speak about in the medical profession.  With that in mind, the best source of information to research CRNA Starting Salary is through actual real surveys from CRNAs who just graduated and started working.  The CRNA Career Survey from the AANA has over 5,000 responses from actual CRNAs.  Of all these five thousand responses, approximately three hundred were from CRNAs with one year or less experience.  We define this small group of respondents as considered recent SRNA graduates from CRNA school.  We analyze the data to reach the following conclusions on nurse anesthetist starting salary.

Average CRNA Starting Salary

Average CRNA Starting SalaryThis year, the average CRNA starting salary for CRNA graduates is US$139,377.  The median CRNA starting salary is US$150,300.  The 25th percentile is US$119,217 to the 75th percentile is US$173,400.  This is a range that a CRNA graduate can expect when receiving starting job offers. The biggest variable will be the location of the CRNA job.  For more information, check out CRNA Salary By State.

In addition, it is important to note that the nurse anesthetist starting salary figure is only the pure salary, exclusive of extras.  Standard working hours are 40 hour per week minimum.  Therefore, CRNAs can earn additional income through Call Pay, overtime (OT), bonus / incentives and part time/other income.

How much does a CRNA make starting out?

How much does a CRNA make starting out_As mentioned, the biggest factor that will determine your CRNA salary starting out from CRNA school is the location that you worked in.  When I graduated from nurse anesthetist school, I applied to several different States that I was interested in working at.  I found that the CRNA starting salary for NYC varies between US$160,000 to US$190,000.  The range of what a CRNA makes starting out in Chicago was between US$165,000 to US$170,000. 

Finally, this was also the same range I found in Houston.  Please note that these are actual real life job offers for CRNA starting salary, and your salary figures may vary higher or lower depending on your experience and the current job market when you are recruiting.  From talking with other nurse anesthetists in NYC, it seems the average CRNA starting salary has gone up about 10% from what graduates received 3-5 years ago.  This may be due to inflation, higher cost of living and also the increasing shortage of nurse anesthetists.

First Year Income for CRNA Graduates

First Year Income for CRNA GraduatesWhen considering total income including all these extra income streams, the average total yearly CRNA income for CRNA graduates is US$154,619.  The median total yearly CRNA income for CRNA graduates is US$165,000.  The 25th percentile is US$130,000 to the 75th percentile is US$190,000.  I personally know many CRNA graduates in their first year working additional hours and picking up extra shifts to make over US$200,000 per year.  It is not uncommon as CRNA graduates are trying to pay off their student loans.

Usually, CRNA students will be able to receive anywhere from five to ten offers before or immediately after graduation.  Hospitals are generally quite aggressive in terms of recruiting and many will offer a sign-on bonus in addition to the CRNA starting salary.  This year, the average CRNA Starting Salary Sign-on bonus is US$14,655.  The median CRNA Starting Salary Sign-on bonus is US$10,000.  Call Pay during the year will usually add anywhere from US$3,000 to US$22,000 depending on how many flexible the CRNA is with his or her schedule and is more available for rural locations.

Impact on Nurse Anesthetist Starting Salary from CRNA School

Impact on Nurse Anesthetist Starting Salary from CRNA SchoolStudents from the following programs have reported receiving higher nurse anesthetist starting salary compared to students from other schools.  In general, SRNAs from these CRNA schools may receive anywhere from 5-10% higher base salary than other university programs.  However, over the long-term, job performance will matter more in terms of salary, career advancement and opportunities.

Nurse Anesthetist Salary Map

Of course all those factors above will affect your CRNA starting salary.  Check out how the State you work in will also affect your nurse anesthetist starting salary as well.


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

best crna schoolsWe 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 or a SRNA researching CRNA Salary, please visit the Best CRNA programs and let us know feedback and comments on your CRNA School program to help prospective nurse anesthetist students.

Nurse Anesthetist Starting Salary Conclusion

In conclusion, the nurse anesthetist starting salary is incredibly competitive in today’s job market for CRNA graduates.  The information above is a framework for you to negotiate your salary.  Please take into consideration that many factors play a role in your CRNA salary including the job market, state you are working in, rural versus urban, previous nursing experience as well as the workplace that you are in.  If you’re interested in more information, check out our review & analysis on the AANA career survey on CRNA salary.


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