If you will be looking for work as an LPN in 2021, you would probably like to command the highest pay possible. Did you know that the average rate of pay for LPNs across all levels of experience varies significantly from one job setting to the next? With this in mind, if your top concern is getting very competitive compensation, it pays to know where to look. Pick up some useful information about high-paying job settings for licensed practical nurses by reading on below.
Average Pay for LPNs in the U.S.
To more effectively compare and contrast the highest paying settings for LPNs in 2021, it helps to know how much these professionals are paid in general. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median hourly rate for an LPN in the U.S. in 2020 was $23.47. This is equivalent to an annual salary of $48,820. Because these are the median rates, roughly half of LPNs earn more than this and roughly half earn less.
Five Highest Paying Job Settings for LPNs in 2021
As with so many professions, the more experience that you have as an LPN, the easier it will be to command competitive pay. However, that isn't the only factor that affects how much you can expect to be paid. LPN average pay rates vary considerably from one part of the country to another, for example. However, relocating isn't a viable option for most people. To find the highest paying LPN opportunities in your area, focus on these five job settings. Chances are that you will be able to snag a job that meets and even exceeds your salary requirements in no time.
- Doctor's Offices - Thirteen percent of the more than 721,700 LPNs who worked in the United States in 2019 were employed in doctors' offices. This means demand for LPNs in doctors' offices isn't terribly high, and which means it is not the most lucrative option. The median annual salary for an LPN who was employed at a doctor's office was $44,830 in 2020. This is below the national median salary for LPNs, so you might want to check out opportunities elsewhere first. Please note, however, that pay rates vary from one office to the next, so it's still worth it to look.
- Hospitals - A fairly significant percentage of LPNs work in hospitals, where they enjoy an average annual salary of $46,560, according to the 2020 BLS data. This, of course, is still below the national median annual salary. However, private hospitals may offer more competitive pay rates, so be sure to look there too. An advantage of working at a hospital is that there are more shifts to choose from, so it may be easier to work the hours that you want. Many times, however, overtime pay is par for the course, as many LPNs in hospitals work more than 40 hours per week.
- Home Health Care - Thirteen percent of all LPNs were employed by home health care services in 2019. This is a significantly higher percentage compared to previous years, as the baby boomer population entered its golden years. The median annual salary for LPNs who work for home health care agencies was $49,430 in 2020. This is slightly higher than the national average. What's more, home health care LPNs tend to enjoy a lot of flexibility. If you would rather move from place to place rather than work at the same place every day, working in home health care as an LPN may be right for you.
- Nursing Care - Not surprisingly, the majority of LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities. This includes nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and assisted living facilities. Demand for LPNs in nursing care has been astronomical for some time, and it is only expected to increase in the years to come. With a median annual salary of $50,100 in 2020, this job, too, pays higher than the national average. This isn't surprising since the majority of LPNs work in this setting. Indeed, 38 percent were employed in nursing care of some kind in 2019, and demand is high all across the country.
- Government - Finally, if you really want the most bang for your buck as an LPN, consider working with the government. The median annual salary for LPNs who work with the government was $51,700 in 2020, so you will have even better earning potential.
Top Paying Industries for LPNs at a Glance
The top paying industries for LPNs are:
- Nursing and residential care facilities
- Home health care services
- Hospitals - state, local and private
- Doctors' offices
Another thing to keep in mind when seeking high-paying LPN jobs is that a small percentage of LPNs work outside of healthcare and often rake in really good pay. For example, LPNs who worked for insurance carriers earned a median annual salary of $54,780 as late as May 29 of 2019. The highest-paying non-traditional industry for LPNs was junior colleges, where they earned an annual mean wage of $62,050 as late as May 2019. If you can't seem to find competitively paying LPN jobs where you are, try thinking outside the box and look in other industries.
As an LPN, there are no guarantees when it comes to pay. However, some job settings and industries afford more lucrative options for these professionals than others. Make the most of the investment that you put into your LPN training by checking out positions in these high paying and competitive settings and industries first.