What Is The Average Flight Nurse Salary?
This profession requires the right amount of professional education, a couple years of traditional nursing experience, and a certain set of skills to be effective on the job. A flight nurse salary is not as black and white. There a couple factors that need to be taken into account in order to probably properly assess how much a flight nurse has the potential to make in term of yearly pay.
There are many factors that could affect the pay of a flight nurse. These factors include (but are not limited to):
- The location of the job,
- Type of employer
- Education and certifications earned, and
- Experience as registered and flight nurse.
- Level of risk involved in the job
- Inactive Pay vs. Active Pay (time on rescue missions vs time on call).
- Likelihood of a natural disaster.
Flight nurses will be paid more wherever natural disasters or any type of accidents are more likely to take place. This is to compensate for the risk of taking on during the job. In those states, flight nurses will always be in high demand.
The median salary for flight nurses is just over $70,000 per year, according to salary.com. This is only slightly higher than traditional registered nurses who work in hospitals. The range in what flight nurses can make is pretty large though. They can make anywhere from $55,000 to $85,000 per year.
Their shift usually consist of two to three 24 hour shifts per week. They usually work 6 to 10 shifts per month. Ten shifts per month is extreme but it does happen. Many of these nurses have secondary jobs as a nurse in intensive care units of emergency rooms.
Registered nurses in that work in the hospital make between $67,000 and $69,000 on average, according to salary.com.
Obviously, the more experienced you are then the more you will get paid as a flight nurse. Flight nurses with under four years of experience can expect to get paid between $50,000 and $60,000 per year. Flight Nurses with five to nine years of experience can expect to paid between $60,000 and $80,000 per year. Flight nurses with over ten years worth of experience can earn over $100,000 per year.
The median salaries are highest in New York, New Jersey, and Alaska. In these states, the median salaries for flight nurses are all north of $80,000 per year. The lowest median salary is in South Dakota. It is just under $57,000 per year for flight nurses.
Now work experience will earn you more more money but it comes with additional responsibilities such as administrative duties and management. These administrative tasks can consist of scheduling and reporting.
Who you work for also matters a lot in terms of pay. Flight nurses that work for private companies get paid a lot more than flight nurses that work for clinics and hospitals. Positions that pay between $48,000 and $56,000 per year at hospitals; pay $75,000 to $85,000 per year at private companies.
However, in the military the experience is not as important. They will train you in your occupation. It is more the rank and length of time in service that will determine your salary. That salary can be over $100,000 per year.
Insurance And Other Benefits
Flight nursing has many other benefits than just good salaries. Flight nurses also receive a full benefits that usually covers dental, health, and life insurance. Employers can usually cover a large portion of the insurance premiums as well. This makes the cost of coverage pretty cheap compared to other coverage plans given in other professions.
Private companies offer special benefits as well. They can also accommodate flight nurses with travel costs. As well as stipends or allowances for housing and meals if need be.
Because flight nurses have favorable schedules, they have a lot of free time to pursue other things. They could use their spare time to pursue advancing their education. Employers might even provide financial assistance for RN to BSN programs or advanced certifications as long as it is related to nursing.
Employers of flight nurses often receive generous retirement packages. Many involve employers matching a nice percentage of money put into 401K accounts. Government and military workers may be eligible to retire after twenty years of work.
Vacation time can be as much as 4 weeks if they have a decent amount of experience. With not much experience, 2 weeks should be more the expectation.
There are plenty of opportunities to advance your career as a flight nurse. As mentioned earlier, experienced flight nurses can be placed into supervision and/or management roles. These roles come with increased salaries.
Flight nurses that promoted to management positions might receive adequate pay raises if they work for hospitals in clinics. They will receive much higher pay raises if they work for private companies or the military. This is so the nurses continue to work on their professional development and advance their education. This will also help nurses keep up and cope with the job requirements.
This is what flight nurses should expect in terms of salary. There are plenty of factors that go into this though, as explained above. If you are registered nurse that works in a hospital and you are thinking diving into flight nursing, do not expect to earn as much as someone who has been flight nursing for a couple years. Hospitals and private companies seem to favor those with experience. However, you need to start somewhere. There are plenty of opportunities here to get paid and earn great experience. Find them and move forward.