Nine highest paying states for travel nurses in 2020

Let’s dive into the list of top 9 highest paying states for travel nurses. But before that, it is important to know that travel nursing offers you various benefits. The high pay is one of them. But the essential thing is to decide the location that suits you the most as a travel nurse.

Many factors play a role in the states paying high salaries to travel nurses. In this article, you will read about nine states that offer the highest pay to travel nurses.

Besides the high pay, we will also factor in some other benefits like good weather, location, and delicious food.

If you’re a new grad thinking of beginning your career as a travel nurse, or a seasoned staff nurse attracted to the perks of travel nursing, this is the perfect guide for you.

Staff nurses Vs. travel nurses salary in highest paying states 

There is a big difference between the pay of a travel nurse and a staff nurse. Even the duty timings in travel nursing vary a lot.

Staff nurses receive a salary based on their qualifications. Their pay also depends upon their experience in the field. With time, their income gets higher when some increments and stipends start adding to their basic salary.

However, the criteria for paying a travel nurse differ a lot from the requirements for paying a staff nurse. And instead of a monthly contract, a travel nurse can work on an hourly basis and get paid for it.

The travel reimbursements, non-taxed per Diems, non-taxed housing stipends are some factors that determine or affect the salary of a travel nurse.

Nine high paying states for travel nurses 

Below are nine high paying states for those who are interested, or already working, in the travel nursing field. Along with state salaries, you will also read some extra information about every state.

Undoubtedly, all this information will be helpful to decide your favorite state for travel nursing. Make sure to read this section so that you can get a clear idea which state you should pick to earn the best income as a travel nurse.

1. California 

California for travel nurses | originnurses.com
California

When it comes to the healthcare department, California stands seventh in the list of states that pay the highest salaries to medical workers, including travel nurses.

 The UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and the UCSF Medical Center located in San Francisco are two of the best places for the travel nurses looking to work in the California state.

The best thing about California is the pleasant weather. A combo of beautiful scenery and weather is undoubtedly what most of us desire. So these are two factors other than the high pay that will make your time great if you consider working as a travel nurse in California. 

2. Texas

Texas for travel nurses | originnurses.com
Texas

Texas is another state that sits among the top nine states known for paying high salaries to travel nurses. Due to its massive size, combined with a variety of medical care centers, finding work as a travel nurse is a breeze.

While on your assignments, you can enjoy beautiful sceneries and eat scrumptious food at barbecues and grills Texas is famous for.

You must have heard “everything is bigger in Texas”, and this includes your travel nurse paycheck.

3. Florida

Florida for travel nursing | originnurses.com
Florida

Because of a large area and good population size, finding work in Florida is never a big deal. Sunny sandy beaches and exciting nightlife are the biggest attractions of Florida.

According to the BLS, Florida is fourth on the list of states with highest rate of recruiting nurses. So, if you are a travel nurse, Florida is a viable option for you.

Finding odd jobs in your off time is never an issue. There’s plenty of part-time work available for those looking to make some extra coin.

4. Massachusetts

Massachusetts for travel nursing | originnurses.com
Massachusetts

With various rural towns and beautiful ski resorts, Massachusetts is a great place to spend your time. And who will not love to work in such a pleasant environment?

The average per hour pay for a travel nurse in Massachusetts is around $45.

You can select from a wide array of hospitals to work in this state. Also, this state stands at the eight spots on the list of best places to live in.

5. Nevada

Nevada for travel nurses | originnurses.com
Nevada

Nevada is a place known for paying high salaries to its workers, and the living expenses are significantly less.

Registered nurses in Nevada earn nearly $ 84,980 per year, way higher than the national average. This state is full of beautiful cities that guarantee a pleasant stay for anyone.

If you love spending your nights full of fun and entertainment, this state is the best for you. You can pick from Reno, Carson, Las Vegas, or any other city for working in the travel nursing field.

6. Michigan

Michigan for travel nurses | originnurses.com
Michigan

If you have a great interest in discovering places rich in culture and tradition, Michigan has a lot to offer. You will also love this place if you are fond of discovering nature and its beauty.

The pleasant and mild weather in the summers is what people mostly love about this state. For travel nurses who want to pursue their love for discovering nature, spending quality time in silence, and having peace of mind, this is the place to be. It is a famous destination for travel nurses.

7. Colombia

Colombia | originnurses.com
Colombia

Travel nurses earn around $45 per hour in the state of Colombia. The medical system of Washington Dc is among the best health care systems present in the world. As a travel nurse, you can work in different hospitals and make good money with high state salaries.

Other than work, you can spend a lot of your time in various activities such as cycling or walks. You can also visit multiple museums present in the whole state to discover American heritage and learn history.

8. Oregon

Oregon | originnurses.com
Oregon

On average, the yearly income of travel nurses working in Oregon is around $91, 080. If you talk about the hourly pay of a travel nurse in Oregon, it is approximately $33, which is perfectly adequate for a comfortable lifestyle.

However, the state salaries vary from city to city and also depends on the type of hospital or health facility you are working in.

In Oregon, you will fall in love with the beautiful beaches, rivers, and lakes. Oregon is another place for the nature lovers. If you are one, you should definitely choose Oregon for work. 

9. Minnesota

Minnesota | originnurses.com
Minnesota

According to the Wallet hub study from the year 2017, Minnesota was declared the happiest state in the entire United States. This state would suit those who love spending time at lakes and beaches discovering nature much closely.

Minnesota pays an excellent income to the travel nurses. However, if the blistering cold winters of the region are not your cup of tea, you best stick to the warmer states.

Factors that determine how high paying states affect travel nurses

Various factors determine your salary as a travel nurse. Here we are going to discuss three critical elements.

Location of the travel nursing job in high paying states

Location is an essential factor that influences your pay if you are working in the travel nursing field. The central part is your living expenditures, like commute and lodging. This gets reimbursed in your total salary. So, if you live at a place where the living expenditures are high, you will get paid more. For example, in Massachusetts, Texas, and California, you will find various travel nurse agencies that pay well.

However, if you are working in the southern states, you will be paid less because of less expensive living costs.

Travel Nurses specialization in high paying states

Another thing that matters very much is your qualification and experience. If you are just a primary travel nurse, you will be getting a basic salary. But if you have additional skills with specialization in your field, your get paid more with extra benefits.

So, if you want to earn more as a travel nurse, you need to be a specialty nurse.

Job timings for travel nurses in high paying states

You can work on a shift basis as a nurse. You have different choices, including the morning and night shifts. Most of the time, the decision of your job shift is made by the hospital management, but you can indeed request a different one if you have any issues.

The night shift is usually unwanted, and as a travel nurse you will most likely be asked to work nights. However, night workers receive more money than those who work day shifts.

Night shifts can take a toll on your health. If you’re not a habitual night-owl, you may have trouble coping up with the job. Choose the timings in which you can work comfortably to perform your duty in the best possible manner.

Seven tips for travel nurses to make more money in high paying states

Are you interested in seeking some tricks that can help you make more money as a travel nurse? Here are some tips that can help you if you want to earn high paying jobs as a travel nurse.

  1. The most important thing is your comfort zone. But if you focus on money, you will have to leave your comfort zone and work on weekends or night shifts in less than ideal locations.
  2. One thing is to always work with an agency that is trusted for its high salary structure. You may have to suffer many difficulties, and you might also require special skills, but you can get more money from such agencies.
  3. Management and organization is the key to a happy and stable life. So the best thing is to stick to your schedule and prioritize your everyday tasks.
  4. If you work as a travel nurse on an hourly basis, and you have an option that will help you make more money. You can go for more than one agency to get extra income, but you will have to be extra organized this way.
  5. If you want to stay happy and comfortable, and you can go for your housing. The best option is to get the housing stipend from your agency and choose a house at your favorite location.
  6. An excellent tip to make more money as a travel nurse is to start working with agencies that allow you to work per diem or per day. Agencies that will enable you to do multiple shifts are also useful for making extra money.
  7. A task that requires no hard work is referring your known travel nurse to your agency. This thing can help you achieve a referral bonus. However, the price that you will get varies according to your state salaries.

Highest paying states for travel nurses – Final words

Now that you have read about nine states that pay high to the travel nurse, you are ready to pick your destination as a travel nurse. Every state has its positives and negatives. You need to see what suits you on a personal level.

Another essential thing when talking about travel nursing is to look at the secondary factors that include the weather, culture, location, and living costs. So, don’t hurry at all. As you are going to make a big decision that will affect your career, take your time and calculate your expenditures from all the state salaries you will get. Then you will be able to make the most beneficial and useful decision.

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