Flight Nurse Salary | How Much Do They Make

According to Salary.com, The median flight nurse salary in the United States is approximately $91,410 (est. Jan 25, 2023).

It comes to roughly $1,655/week or $7,172/month for flight nurses in the U.S.

Nevertheless, a flight nurse’s salary varies dramatically among the bottom 10% and top 10% of earners.

The lower 10% of flight nurses earn about $70,575. Comparatively, the top 10% of flight nurses make about $111,020.

These medical professionals get paid very well for their hard work and dedication.

However, the average salary is comparable to some nurses in emergency care.

Factors That Affect a Flight Nurse’s Salary

Numerous factors determine how much money flight nurses earn annually.

It includes their work location, education, career experience, employer agreements, demand, and medical emergencies.

The following section covers the aspects impacting a flight nurse’s salary to understand why they earn what they earn.

Flight Nurse Salary Factors:

  • Operating location
  • Education
  • Career experience
  • Employer agreements
  • Local demand
  • Medical emergencies

Job Location

A flight nurse’s work location dramatically impacts their annual salary.

For instance, flight nurses in New York earn roughly $104,087 annually based on ZipRecruiter’s estimates.

Comparatively, flight nurses in North Carolina make approximately $66,879 yearly.

There is also a reasonable difference in earnings for nurses operating in rural areas vs. large cities.

Typically nurses who work in busy metropolitan locations earn more than those in rural places.

Nevertheless, a flight nurse’s salary doesn’t always translate into higher earnings after state taxes and living costs.

Nurses in areas with high living costs and expensive taxes may have less spendable income than those in less expensive locations.

As a result, it’s vital to determine if the salary offsets an area’s taxes and cost of living before deciding where to work.


Education is essential in the nursing profession.

It enables nurses to provide top-level medical care and respond to emergencies quickly and effectively.

As a result, nurses who receive further education and training earn more money due to their broader scope of practice and expertise.

Many healthcare facilities also offer nurses a pay differential for holding an advanced degree.

One method nurses use to improve their income is to become certified in specific areas.

It allows them to broaden their responsibility, enter particular fields/domains, and further develop their work experience.

It also helps them earn more money because their skills become more valuable and diverse.

Career Experience

As with most jobs, nurses obtain pay raises for maintaining their careers and developing work experience.

In addition, numerous states mandate nurses receive a minimum percentage increase in salary annually to offset inflation.

The more experience, knowledge, and expertise a nurse has, the more valuable they are to healthcare facilities.

As a result, healthcare facilities will offer competitive pay and compensation to keep them employed.

Hospitals that don’t offer competitive pay may lose flight nurses to other facilities offering better financial incentives.

Employer Agreements

Employers may make special agreements based on performance, position, responsibilities, and other arrangements.

For instance, flight nurses who commit to working every weekend may earn more than those with a more flexible schedule.

They may also make more money by accepting specific positions a hospital or emergency facility desperately needs.

Local Demand

As previously mentioned, where a flight nurse works dramatically impacts their annual income.

However, facilities in high-demand areas may pay flight nurses higher salaries to incentivize them to stay or join the team.

The higher the demand for nurses and the lower the supply, the more chances there are to negotiate an excellent salary.

It also means flight nurses in some rural areas may earn comparable pay to cities if the demand is high enough.

Medical Emergencies

Flight nurses respond to various emergencies to provide timely medical care.

Depending on the type of emergencies they typically respond to, they may earn more or less money.

For instance, flight nurses in high-risk emergency settings may earn more than those in less demanding environments.

Private vs. Public vs. Government Employers

It’s important to mention that healthcare professionals earn different incomes based on their employers.

For example, U.S. Air Force flight nurses may earn less than those operating for private organizations.

Privately run facilities allocate their financial resources differently than other organizations.

It allows them to pay top dollar for talent and hire healthcare professionals from other companies.

The air force may offer free education and training to enable students to become flight nurses.

They may also provide alternative compensations, health benefits, and retirement plans to incentivize students to join.

Flight Nurse Career Summary and Demand

Flight nurses are vital in ensuring patients receive adequate, timely care in emergencies.

These professionals help hospitals quickly transport patients from their locations to emergency departments.

They also deliver on-site pre-hospital trauma care to keep patients stable and safe during transportation.

According to BLS.gov, the employment projections data for registered nurses is 9% over the next decade.

As a result, nursing will see more significant employment growth compared to other occupations.

It means more career opportunities, job stability, and higher pay for those for nurses as a whole.

Registered nursing comprises over 100 specializations, and flight nurses make up part of that domain.

Therefore, they will likely see increased employment and pay from private, public, and air force medical divisions.

Career Stability and Recession-Proof

As previously mentioned, careers in registered nursing typically have high job stability.

As a result, experienced nurses can find employment and change careers if needed.

Flight nurses can apply to various healthcare facilities to find employment.

Alternatively, they can accept emergency department or urgent care positions if flight nursing jobs are unavailable.

Travel nurse companies also hire registered nurses by offering generous pay, travel stipends, benefits, and incentives.

It allows these companies to fill hospital positions requiring additional medical support temporarily.

It also enables registered nurses to work based on their schedules, earn excellent pay, and find employment continually.

Healthcare workers are also relatively recession-proof due to the never-ending demand for medical professionals.

As older nurses retire and the population ages, facilities must hire new registered nurses to accommodate patient needs.

Nevertheless, every healthcare facility is uniquely run, and budgets vary depending on their resources and patient demand.