Nurse Anesthetists on the Road - How Much Does a Travel CRNA Make? 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

Are you a nurse anesthetist and curious about what a travel nurse anesthetist’s salary looks like? 

Maybe you’ve been in the field for a while and are looking for a change of scenery but aren’t sure if it’s worth it. How much do travel CRNAs make?

We understand that although enjoying your job is a significant concern, so is your salary — and searching the internet for the information you need can feel redundant and time-consuming. 

In this article, you’ll find everything from:

  • Information about how to negotiate your salary
  • Factors that may affect your paycheck; and 
  • Where nurse anesthetists make the highest salary

Once you’re armed with these facts, you’ll be able to search for the best possible travel nursing positions and hit the road for the adventure of a lifetime.



Table of Contents


travel nurse anesthetist salary


CRNA Travel Nurse Salary: Do Travel CRNAs Make More Than Staff CRNAs?

Nurse anesthetists often make some of the highest wages in the industry — averaging six figures per year for an entry-level position — due to the specialized nature of the job and the specialized education required. But travel Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) can make even more than an average staff CRNA since they: 

  • Are used in high-demand situations
  • Cover short-staffed shifts; and
  • Are utilized during busy seasons

Because CRNAs are in such high demand throughout the country, you may be able to have more flexibility and negotiate your contract and salary as a traveling CRNA. 


Negotiating Your CRNA Travel Nurse Salary

Did you know that failing to negotiate your salary could cost you up to $750,000 over the course of your career? 

Many CRNAs don’t realize, especially starting out as a travel nurse, that they can negotiate the pay they receive with the hospital or organization they will be with. 

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we pride ourselves on providing our nurses with the highest wages in the industry — and it’s because our team knows the ins and outs of negotiating salaries. 

But what should be taken into consideration when negotiating wages? 

In the following sections, we’ll look at a few vital considerations that each of our staff members use to help boost your travel nurse wages.




Know Your Value

Negotiating your salary starts with knowing your value as a CRNA and as an employee

When working with one of our experienced recruiters, you’ll be asked about your: 

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Certifications 
  • Etc.

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, our recruiters want to help you make sure your resume is properly set up so that what you have to offer is put on display during interviews, including your:

  • Qualifications
  • Skills; and
  • Worth 


Cover Your Real Travel Expenses

Oftentimes, agencies have a maximum amount they can spend to help cover your travel expenses — but they may not be offering that maximum amount.

Do your research and don’t be afraid to come to your agency with an explanation of how much you’ll be paying to take on the contracted position. 

When determining your travel costs, don’t forget to consider: 

  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Fuel
  • Groceries
  • And more

If you know your travel will cost more out-of-pocket than that maximum number, you can try to negotiate for more so you’re not paying out of pocket to take a job. 

A quality travel nursing agency like Trusted Nurse Staffing will provide you with a multitude of stipends to help cover these costs. 

We’ll touch on these stipends later, but it’s important to know that these do exist when looking into how much traveling nurse anesthetists make. 


How Much Does a Travel CRNA Make?

A travel CRNA in the United States makes an average of $203,090 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics  — but the average travel CRNA pay varies greatly. 

This variation in pay could be due to several things, including: 

  • Skill level
  • Location
  • Years of experience 
  • Stipends
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • And more


What Is the Highest Pay for a Travel CRNA?

According to ZipRecruiter, the highest-paid travel CRNAs currently make around $399,000 per year. You can assume these salaries go to individuals with the highest education levels and most experience in the field.

Remember that travel nursing also involves stipends, bonuses, and loyalty programs — so you could end up earning even more than your reported salary when you take a travel CRNA job.


Does Experience Affect a Travel Nurse Anesthetist’s Salary?

Yes, experience does play a role in a CRNA travel nurse’s salary. 

This may fall under both educational and professional experience. 

If you are new to the field and looking for professional experience, you may be able to see a salary increase by gaining experience in an anesthesia department and taking on an administrative role. 

Education plays a major part not only in the job offers you receive but in your salary, too.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists recently changed the degree requirements for this job from a master’s degree to a doctorate. 

This means that by 2025, to practice in healthcare systems, nurse anesthetists must hold a:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD); or
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

But that’s good news for CRNAs looking for a pay increase!  

CRNAs (and other advanced practice nurses) who already hold a doctorate can earn up to $10,000 more annually than those with a master’s degree.


Stipends That Can Increase Your CRNA Travel Nurse Salary

Stipends are considered reimbursements, not income.

This means they are not taxable income and must be used toward your: 

  • Meals 
  • Travel
  • Housing; and 
  • Incidentals 

Stipends are something that CRNAs should keep in mind when looking at the salary they may receive since they play a large role in how comfortably you’ll be able to live during your contract. 

Often tied together as “travel stipends,” these include two major things: 

  • Meal and Incidental Stipends

Travel CRNAs working for an agency may be paid a set amount for meals every day as well as incidental costs (i.e. baggage fees, rideshare/taxi fares, etc.).

  • Housing Stipends

There are typically two ways travel nurses pay for housing:

    1. Agency-provided housing – This is where the agency will find short-term accommodations or long-term leases for you. 
    2. Housing stipends – You receive a specific amount of money to pay for housing based on your contract but are responsible for finding your own lodging. 

crna travel nurse salary


5 Factors That Can Affect Travel Nurse Anesthetist Salaries


#1: Location

Location plays a major role in a travel nurse anesthetist’s salary — where there is more demand, there tends to be more money. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the following states have the highest average travel nurse anesthetist salaries:

  1. Washington – $299,404
  2. Colorado – $298,597
  3. Delaware – $279,208
  4. Virginia – $274,564
  5. New York – $272,487
  6. Maryland – $270, 254
  7. Vermont – $266,696
  8. Nebraska – $264,051
  9. Missouri – $263,560
  10. South Carolina – $261,519

Just keep in mind that although the salary may be high, the location may not be the best travel nursing assignment for your specific wants or needs. Or the cost of living may be more than you’re used to in a particular area.

Do your research and find the best balance of high pay and overall amenities to earn the CRNA travel nurse salary you’re looking for. 


#2: Type of Shift

Generally, CRNAs who choose a shift that may be considered inconvenient may see higher salariesthese inconvenient shifts usually involve nights, weekends, or holidays. 

Nurses who are willing to work overtime, holidays, or when a facility is short-staffed may even receive incentive pay from their employer on top of overtime and their hourly rate.


#3: Crisis Assignments

Crisis assignments are known to increase CRNA travel nurse salaries because of the nature of the contracted assignment. 

Typically, if an agency is looking for a crisis CRNA, the pay will be higher due to: 

  • Quick arrival
  • Little to no training at the new facility
  • No choice in location; and 
  • Shorter contract lengths 

If you are offered a travel CRNA crisis position, be sure to talk with your recruiter about how the job will affect your salary and what stipends will be available. 


#4: Continuing Education

As we mentioned earlier, education can play a very large role in the salary you receive. Aside from minimum education requirements, additional certifications and licenses may help you increase your salary as a CRNA. 

Oftentimes, CRNAs who have training in certain sub-specialties are more likely to see an increase in their annual salary. These include:

  • Pediatrics
  • Plastic surgery
  • Obstetrics
  • Cardiovascular; and
  • Neurosurgical anesthesia

Generally speaking, the more qualifications and education you have as a traveling CRNA, the more desirable you are to medical facilities. 


#5: Workplace

When you begin your travel CRNA job search, if your CRNA travel nurse salary is a top concern, be sure to carefully consider the types of workplaces you’re willing to work for. 

The kind of facility you choose can greatly affect your salary. For instance, the following types of facilities tend to have the highest potential salaries for travel CRNAs:

  • Outpatient care facilities
  • Home health care services
  • Government-contracted CRNA workplaces; and 
  • Medical-surgical hospitals 


crna travel nurse salary


Interested In a Traveling CRNA Position? Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Place You in an Amazing Assignment

Searching for the perfect travel CRNA position? 

Unsure of how to negotiate a contract, or what steps to take after you’ve applied to a position?

The steps to finding the position you want most can be overwhelming and exhausting. This is why Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to help. 

Our experienced recruiters will do all the hard work for you — so you can keep doing what you were born to do: helping your patients. 

Trusted Nurse Staffing makes it easy to find CRNA travel nursing jobs wherever you want to go with our Pronto job search. You’ll be able to upload your credentials, set your preferred job filters, and start applying for jobs all in one place!

When you create a profile on Pronto, our team will be able to help by: 

  • Analyzing your education and experience to help you create a resume that is tailored specifically to the position you want 
  • Connecting you with your top facility choices  
  • Arranging interviews
  • Consulting with you on all offer details, so you understand exactly what you are signing up for
  • Negotiating contracts and assignments
  • Helping choose and plan your next adventure — or assisting in extending your current assignment
  • Becoming your go-to 24/7 team for any questions or concerns you have during every contract — even if you just need some moral support
  • And more

But the benefits don’t stop there. 

Our travel nurses receive: 

  • The highest pay rates in the industry
  • Stellar 401(k) plans
  • Flexible contracts 
  • Overtime/Double time 
  • Weekly pay
  • License, Certifications, and CEU reimbursements
  • Customized benefits packages 
  • Sign-on and completion bonuses
  • And more 

Are you ready to start your journey while earning a top CRNA travel nurse salary? 

Contact Trusted Nurse Staffing today!