15 Highest Paid Nurse Specialty in California| 2022

Do you want to study nursing? Do you want to know about the highest paid nurse specialty in California? Or have you decided to work in the medical field as a nurse? Congratulations!

 The nursing field is an honorable one that offers many intangible and monetary rewards to those who choose to pursue it.

 Suppose you want to ensure that you are compensated adequately for your work in the healthcare field. In that case, you should think about pursuing a nursing specialty connected with profitable pay.

 In this piece, we will look at the 15 highest paid nursing specialties in terms of salary potential at present. 

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What Is The Highest Paid Nurse Specialty In California? 

Let us now look at in detail the highest paid nurse specialty in California at the moment:

#1. Nurse Anesthetist

The top spot on our ranking of the nursing specializations with the highest average salaries goes to nurse anesthetists.

 They administer anesthesia to patients in various clinical settings, such as those related to surgery, dental procedures, diagnostic procedures, or labor and delivery.

According to PayScale, the annual compensation for a nurse anesthetist is approximately 150 000 USD on average. 

However, your specific compensation will be determined by various criteria, such as the location of your place of employment and the amount of experience you have. 

You might start making around $100,000 per year and then work your way up to making twice that amount. 

It is on the list of the highest paid nurse specialty in California. 

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#2. Psychiatric Nursing

When considering the nursing specializations that offer the best salaries, psychiatric nursing is another avenue that should be considered. 

Psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioners, often known as ARNPs, are highly trained healthcare professionals who provide services to patients who require treatment for mental illness or psychiatric conditions. 

Psychiatric ARNPs have the option of working either inpatient or outpatient shifts.

 Their responsibilities will vary depending on the exact role that they play. Still, some job-related responsibilities include the administration of mental health assessments and the maintenance of patient records.

According to data provided by PayScale, the median compensation for psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioners is just a little more than $106,000. 

However, the specifics of your employment agreement and the number of years you’ve spent working in the field of psychiatric nursing will determine how much money you can anticipate making. 

The highest-earning psychiatric ARNPs can bring in an annual salary of more than $140,000.

 It is also another one of the highest paid nurse specialty in California. 

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#3. Family Nurse Practitioner

An advanced registered nurse practitioner who has chosen to specialize in the care of families, including both children and adults, is known as a family nurse practitioner, also abbreviated as FNP. 

This type of nurse practitioner is sometimes referred to as an FNP. FNPs will occasionally treat patients for preexisting diseases, but the primary focus of their work is on patient prevention.

 These medical professionals can work under the close direction of a physician, but more and more often, family nurse practitioners operate independently within clinical settings.

PayScale reports that the annual salary for a family nurse practitioner is a little under $95,000 on average.

 However, a variety of elements can either positively or negatively affect the amount of money you make.

 The place you work and the length of time you’ve been in the role are two examples of these considerations.

 If you work as a family nurse practitioner, you can anticipate earning a minimum of $79,000 per year, with the highest-paid FNPs earning over $115,000 per year. 

This specialty is one of the best paid nurse specialties right now in California. 

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#4. Nurse-Midwifery

Nurse midwifery is another best paid nurse specialty in California.

 Certified nurse midwives, also known as CNMs, are a subspecialty of nursing among the highest paying nursing specialties.

 This subspecialty also caters to nurses who have an interest in the health of women. 

These doctors and other healthcare workers offer various healthcare services to female patients, such as gynecological and obstetric care and reproductive health therapy. 

Under typical conditions, nurse-midwives are qualified to perform births (either in a medical facility or at the client’s house) and to offer care for newborns.

According to PayScale.com, the annual salary for nurse-midwives is typically about $94,000.

 You might earn as little as $78,000 or as much as $113,000 a year, depending on the company you work for, region you live, and the number of years of experience you have.

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#5. Gerontology

Gerontology is the scientific study of aging in humans. 

Therefore, nurses specializing in gerontological care are concerned about the overall health of the community of people aged 65 and older. 

They frequently work in adult-geriatric nursing as nurse practitioners (AGNPs). 

Adults, particularly older folks, can benefit from both preventative and curative medical care that AGNPs provide. 

Even though many of them work under the direction of a doctor, AGNPs are increasingly gaining autonomy in the field and practicing geriatric medicine independently. 

This is happening, although many of them work under the direction of a doctor.

PayScale estimates that the average yearly salary for Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners (AGNPs) is just under $90,000.

 However, your specific income might be affected by various circumstances, such as the company you work for and the number of years of experience you have working in gerontology. 

Your annual salary may range anywhere from $73,000 to $111,000. It is also another best paid nurse specialty in California. 

#6. Utilization Management

Utilization management nursing is one of the more recent additions to the list of nursing subspecialties that command the highest salaries. 

They are primarily concerned with the effectiveness of medical services. 

Utilization management nurses are responsible for performing behind-the-scenes tasks, such as reviewing patient files to determine whether the offered medical services are both essential and suitable. 

They may participate in the observation of the work performed by other healthcare professionals, maintain comprehensive records, and carry out routine audits.

According to PayScale, the annual median compensation for nurses specializing in utilization management is just a little more than $73,000.

 However, the amount you get paid could be variable based on many criteria, particularly the amount of experience you have working in the utilization management industry. 

You should reasonably expect your yearly salary to fall between $60,000 and $92,000. 

It is also one of the best paid nurse specialty in California. 

#7. Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational Nursing is another highest paid nurse specialty in California. 

Ensuring that working environments are free of hazards for employees falls under the purview of an occupational health nurse.

 In this role, one of the responsibilities is to detect potential occupational hazards that could lead to injuries during work.

 It may also include the development of safety measures and the education of an organization’s workers on various health and wellness themes, such as the management of stress, the loss of weight, or the cessation of smoking. 

Nurses who specialize in occupational health provide medical care to employees who have been hurt on the job or who have been unwell while at work.

According to PayScale, the median annual compensation for occupational health nurses is just slightly more than $71,000. 

Occupational health nurses still do not all make the same amount of money.

 Some may have an annual income of less than $55,000, while others may have an annual income of more than $90,000.

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#8. Critical Care Nursing

Critical Nursing is the highest paid nurse specialty in California. The nurses who work in critical care typically receive a good salary, and this is for a valid reason. 

These registered nurses typically operate in intensive care units, providing medical attention to patients suffering from the gravest of illnesses.

 It has been stated by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) that one of the responsibilities of critical care nurses is to advocate on behalf of their patients. 

During their time in the hospital, these medical professionals have the responsibility of advocating for their patient’s rights and wishes and ensuring that they receive the highest possible quality of care.

The average annual salary for critical care nurses with less than five years of experience is a little over $40,000; but, as these nurses gain more experience, their pay will naturally grow.

 An annual salary of $98,000 is possible for exceptionally successful critical care nurses. 

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#9. Neonatal Nursing

The care of newborns and infants until the age of two is the focus of the neonatal nursing, which was established in the 1970s.

 Some of these nurses find employment in neonatal critical care units, while others find employment in hospitals or clinics. 

When you are training to become a neonatal nurse, you will have the opportunity to decide whether you want to specialize in providing care for healthy infants.

PayScale estimates that the median compensation for nurses is exactly about $65,000, however, the salaries of neonatal nurses can vary.

Some neonatal nurses start at an entry level and make just $45,000 per year, while those at the top of the sector might make well over six figures.

 The amount of money an employee makes typically depends on various factors, including the region where they work, their company, and their level of expertise. 

It is another best paid nurse specialty in California. 

#10. Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric nursing is a subspecialty ideal for registered nurses interested in working with children in some capacity. 

They are registered nurses who specialize in providing medical care to children aged 0 to 18. 

In addition to administering various treatments and therapies designed specifically for children, pediatric nurses are also expected to exhibit outstanding bedside manners when caring for young patients.

As is the case with most nursing specializations, the pay range for pediatric nurses can be rather broad.

 These nurses’ pay rates are affected by some factors, including the location of their place of employment and the amount of relevant work experience they have. 

According to PayScale, the median salary for pediatric nurses is just over 60,000 dollars per year. 

However, actual earnings can range anywhere from $31,000 per year up to over $85,000 per year.

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#11. Cardiac Nurse Practitioner

Cardiac Nurse Practitioners are medical professionals working in the field of cardiology to diagnose and treat patients afflicted with conditions that affect the heart and circulatory system. 

Their responsibilities include everything from evaluating patients and making diagnoses to giving treatment and writing prescriptions for drugs. 

It is also a crucial aspect of their duty to educate their patients on issues about the health of their cardiovascular systems.

 The aspiring nurse must complete significant study and training to become certified as a cardiac nurse practitioner (NP). 

One of the most important requirements for becoming a Nurse Practitioner is a Master’s degree in nursing, just like any other Nurse Practitioner function. 

Before beginning employment as a clinical nurse practitioner (CNP), one must accrue several years’ worth of clinical experience, preferably in a cardiac unit. 

The field of cardiac nurse practitioners is consistently ranked as one of the highest paying subspecialties within the nursing profession. 

Their annual salaries are approximately $136,846, which is almost $57,000 more than the typical income that Registered Nurses earn. 

It is another best paid nurse specialty in California. 

#12. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Patients afflicted with a variety of psychiatric disorders and illnesses are treated by specialists who operate in the field of psychiatric mental health. 

This is a particularly difficult post, even though the pay is excellent.

 A Psychiatric Mental Health NP’s day-to-day responsibilities include treating patients suffering from anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and various other mental illnesses and diseases.

 They diagnose patients, psychotherapy is provided to them, their health is monitored, medication is administered to them, and in some places, they are even allowed to prescribe medication. 

The typical yearly salary for nurse practitioners specializing in psychiatric and mental health is $134,702. 

This amount is roughly in line with the wages that were listed in a 2019 survey that was conducted by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). 

The AANP survey found that Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners have the highest median base salary of all Nurse Practitioners, coming in at $125,000. 

#13. Nurse Manager

The tasks and responsibilities that come with the role of Nurse Manager are vast.

 In a healthcare facility, they are tasked with providing supervision, direction, and leadership to the nursing staff. 

Nothing is outside the purview of a Nurse Manager’s authority, from setting work schedules and managing budgets to mediating workplace disagreements and settling disputes. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for Medical and Health Services Managers, which includes Nurse Managers, is $118,800. 

This statistic indicates that this administrative role is among the highest paying in nursing. 

The median annual salary in the District of Columbia is an even more impressive $157,590.

 In close pursuit are the states of New York, Hawaii, and California, which respectively offer nurse manager salaries that average $156,140, $139,650, and $138,030, respectively. 

It is also on the list of best paid nurse specialties in California. 

#14. Pain Management Nurse

Pain Management Nurse is another best paid nurse specialty. 

The American Nurses Association only recognized pain management nursing as a specialty in 2005, making it a relatively new area.

 This in no way lessens its significance—nurses specializing in pain management care for patients afflicted with long-term, debilitating pain. 

They play a critical function in assisting patients in reducing or managing their discomfort.

 Pain Management Nurses examine physical examinations, medical histories, and test results.

 Their responsibilities include administering painkillers and teaching patients how to use them safely.

 Addiction to painkillers, on the other hand, is a real possibility. As a result, Pain Management Nurses strive to provide their patients pain-relieving treatments such as acupuncture, massage, and other modalities. 

Pain Management Nurses make an average annual salary of approximately $109,000.

#15. Clinical Nurse Specialist

As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, you’ll be an expert clinician, an educator, a consultant, a researcher, and leader. 

Many tasks go along with being a nurse practitioner. These include: providing direct patient care, consulting with and teaching other nurses, directing evidence-based practice projects, and contributing to research. 

Clinical Nurse Specialists are compensated rather highly for performing the position of a specialist in the field of nursing. 

The estimate is approximately $106,400 per year.


There you have it! The highest paid nurse specialty in California. Keep in mind your income potential when choosing a certain nursing specialization. 

However, do yourself a favor and spend some time thinking about how the specialty fits your hobbies, personality, and long-term professional aspirations. 

Your next consideration will be the type of healthcare degree required to work in the specialty and how long it will take to complete these qualifications.

 Again, think about the price of your nursing education and the salary throughout your career. 

This is one method of calculating the return on your investment in nursing education.

 Finally, remember that money is an important consideration while deciding on a professional path (whether it’s in nursing or not), but it shouldn’t be the only one.

We hope this article highest paid nurse specialty in California was helpful to you! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do the best paid nurse specialty work every day? 

Yes. Most of the highest paid nurse specialty do work daily while some don’t. 

As a nurse, can I become the highest paid nurse specialty in my area of concentration? 

Yes. But it takes some years before one becomes the best paid nurse specialty in California. 

How many years does it take to study nursing? 

A minimum of 5 years is required to study nursing. 

Do the schools in California offer nursing as a course? 

Yes. Most Universities in California offer nursing as a program.


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