How Much Does A Flight Nurse Make – Flight Nurse Salary Facts

Flight nurse salary

Being a flight nurse requires proper education and skills in order to perform this rewarding and responsible health call. When it comes to flight nurse salaries, there are many factors affecting the final flight nurse pay, such as experience, location, education and also the employer, whether it is a hospital or a private air-medical transport company.

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Flight nurse average salary

So, how much does a flight nurse make? The answer to this question is quite wide in numbers, since the average U.S. flight nurse salary ranges anywhere from $56,000 to $85,000 per year. The median salary for this career path is $72,000 per year, which is slightly above the median salary of nurses who work on the ground.

Their usual work consists of 24-hour shifts two times per week, so it makes enough time for flight nurses to have an additional, second job, usually as nurses in intensive care units or emergency rooms in the hospitals.

Comparison of U.S. annual median salaries for other nursing jobs:

Job TitleAnnual Median Salary
Data as of 2014. Source: http://www.salary.com/
Registered Nurse$68,881
RN - Critical Care Unit$67,875
RN - Emergency Room$67,661
RN - Geriatric$62,452
RN - Intensive Care Unit$68,527
RN - Occupational Health$75,268
RN - Oncology$67,259
RN - Operating Room$69,897
RN - Psychiatric Unit$68,688

Same as many other professions, flight nurses who are more experienced earn more money. It is common that flight nurse salary for those who have experience between 1 and 4 years belongs to a range of $45,000 to $60,000, while for those who have from 5 to 9 years of experience, the average salary goes between $58,000 and $82,000 each year.

The flight nurses who are even more experienced could be paid over $100,000 per year, which is double when compared to their inexperienced colleagues. However, the experience carries additional responsibilities, such as scheduling, managing and administration.

As for the employers, the flight nurses who work in clinics or hospitals, earn less than flight nurses who work for the private medical companies.

The difference between these salaries is sometimes huge and it was recorded that hospital flight nurses have wages between $49,000 and $60,000 each year, while the same position in private companies goes between $72,000 and $83,000 per year.

The experience criteria is not that strictly enforced in the military when compared to the civilian jobs, given that the army educates the potential candidates for this position. The rank and the experience in the military determine the flight nurse salary, which can go as high as $120,000 a year.

In the table below you’ll find median average salaries for the largest city in each state.

StateCityMedian Annual Salary
DATA AS OF 2014. Source: http://www.salary.com/
 AlabamaBirmingham$67,201
AlaskaAnchorage$81,353
ArizonaPhoenix$70,472
ArkansasLittle Rock$64,491
CaliforniaLos Angeles$79,004
ColoradoDenver$72,829
ConnecticutBridgeport$79,969
DelawareWilmington$78,132
FloridaJacksonville$67,338
GeorgiaAtlanta$72,670
HawaiiHonolulu$78,218
IdahoBoise$69,586
IllinoisChicago$75,776
IndianaIndianapolis$69,305
IowaDes Moines$69,082
KansasWichita$69,586
KentuckyLouisville$68,930
LouisianaNew Orleans$72,562
MainePortland$74,255
MarylandBaltimore$74,017
MassachusettsBoston$77,822
MichiganDetroit$71,856
MinnesotaMinneapolis$75,408
MississippiJackson$60,110
MissouriKansas City$70,919
MontanaBillings$65,154
NebraskaOmaha$68,145
NevadaLas Vegas$71,841
New HampshireManchester$76,093
New JerseyNewark$84,963
New MexicoAlbuquerque$66,379
New YorkNew York$84,965
North CarolinaCharlotte$71,899
North DakotaFargo$68,202
OhioColumbus$70,760
OklahomaOklahoma City$67,712
OregonPortland$74,363
PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia$75,855
Rhode IslandProvidence$75,689
South CarolinaColumbia$67,496
South DakotaSioux Falls$56,169
TennesseeMemphis$68,419
TexasHouston$72,490
UtahSalt Lake City$68,505
VermontBurlington$67,122
VirginiaVirginia Beach$66,538
WashingtonSeattle$77,022
West VirginiaCharleston$63,259
WisconsinMilwaukee$67,612
WyomingCheyenne$65,097

Surely the best way to get a better information of flight nursing salaries in your area is to contact your local hospital or nursing school.

Insurance and other benefits

Along with decent salaries, flight nurses are receiving other benefits. The most rewarding benefit is the insurance, it usually includes health, dental, and life insurance for themselves and their families. The employers can cover a large percentage of insurance premiums, meaning that flight nurses do not have to pay a lot of money for the coverage of these costs.

Working two days per week is also one of the main benefits, which leaves flight nurses with lots of spare time to perform a second job, or even continue their education. In addition, employers sometimes pay for further education in the nursing field.

Flight nurses usually receive very generous benefits packages. These include employer-matching 401k accounts, insurance benefits mentioned above, and two weeks or more vacation pay. Flight nurses with over 10 years experience can receive as much as 4 weeks vacation time. Those who worked in the military are able to retire after 20 years of service. That’s great.

Private Companies vs. Public Companies

Working for private companies is not only beneficial when it comes to high salaries, but also for many attractive benefits. Flight nurses who work for private individuals can receive free travels, as well as allowances for meals and lodging.

These nurses usually work for airlines or patient transportation companies. They transport patients that have specific medical needs. They are able to have access to the patient’s history, medical supplies, other medical staff if necessary. This allows for a lot more people to travel via aircraft that would be able to otherwise. This is how flight nurses fulfill a need in a market other than emergency calls.

Working for private companies also comes with a few perks. Flight nurses receive free meals, transportation, and hotel whenever they transport for a private company or individual. Sometimes private companies include reimbursement for further education. Public companies might do this too. There are a lot of advantages to being a flight nurse.

Career advancement opportunities

If an individual wishes to advance in the ranks of flight nurses, then there is good news in this field. Plenty of opportunities regarding the rank advance are available and those who have an extensive experience might even be placed as a supervisor of other flight nurses.

Those who are promoted might receive an adequate pay raise, so the salary could even go up to six figures annually. In the military conditions, flight nurses who are promoted in the ranks receive much higher salaries, so commitment and ongoing professional development are essential when working for these goals.

According to the required education and experience, salaries for flight nurses could be considered as one of the best among the health professionals. Surely, this career path seeks many responsibilities and skills and not everyone is capable of completing the tasks which flight nurses need to perform.

Constant education is essential, so achieving the certificates for the health skills is somewhat important for each flight nurse in order to cope with the job requirements.

Depending on the location, the flight nurse salary might vary, so for the locations where natural disasters are more common, the flight nurses are paid adequate to the situation. In those states, flight nurses are in constant demand because appropriate health care must be provided to the patients.

This rewarding career call is a challenge for health professionals for both the benefits and experience that could be received. Maybe the most significant aspect of a flight nursing career is the other benefits that cannot be expressed on the monthly check.

That is a sense of pride for the important work these courageous individuals do. That is also the respect by their communities and admiration for the act of saving lives. If you are up for this type of challenge, then a flight nursing career is the right choice for you.

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