How Much Does a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Make?

In Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, Salary
May 2, 2017

Licensed Practical Nurse - Entry Level Medical Jobs That Don't Require A Degree

If you’ve found yourself on a page about how much do licensed practical nurses (LPNs) make, you may be entertaining the thought of becoming one in the future. This article takes an in-depth look at what job growth and salaries of these healthcare professionals will look like for the coming years.

Licensed practical nurses play a fundamental role in providing high-quality healthcare. They are responsible for taking vital signs, providing treatment for bedsores, preparing and administering medications, applying dressings, alcohol rubs, monitoring catheters, feeding patients, and many other tasks needed to ensure patients receive the care they require.

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, nursing can be a very attractive option due to the above-average salaries and growth rates over the coming decade.

How Much Do Licensed Practical Nurses Make?

How much an licensed practical nurses can make via salary can vary depending on the location of the job, corporate vs. private practice, experience of the individual, and demand for nursing, which is expected to rise due to the impending nursing shortage.

Use the table at the end of this article to find out whether your state, or the state you eventually want to work in, pays its LPNs above or below the national average.

As represented in the graph below, licensed practical nurses can expect to earn a median hourly wage of $21.39, or $44,488 per year:

Licensed Practical Nurse Salary

Return on Investment

Becoming a licensed practical nurse requires that you complete the required training offered by a community college, technical, or vocational school, and pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

Due to the low bar-of-entry to becoming a LPN, it is often a desirable career path for those that want to avoid unnecessary education debts and get a start on their career as fast as possible. Becoming a LPN can be a great position to start from while building your career and acquiring additional training further down the line.

Best States for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Salaries

A major factor in determining what your salary may look like is the location in which you plan to work. However, this principle applies to nearly all occupations largely due to the varying cost-of-living rates across the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects salary and employment data for nearly all positions, nationwide. The following table includes all data compiled from the BLS from each state including total number of jobs and wages as of May 2016.

Search or sort the table to find out what you can expect to make if becoming a licensed practical nurse is in your future:

*Location quotients serve as a statistical representation of the concentration of a resource, like jobs, with a broader base area.

StateEmploymentEmployment per 1000 jobsLocation quotientHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama13,0306.811.36$17.45$36,300
Alaska5001.540.31$25.85$53,760
Arizona6,1002.300.46$24.84$51,670
Arkansas12,10010.162.03$17.69$36,800
California68,1104.270.85$45.84$52,670
Colorado5,0102.000.40$25.32$48,690
Connecticut7,7804.670.93$26.79$55,720
Delaware2,1204.820.96$24.20$50,330
Florida44,8205.451.09$20.65$42,960
Georgia26,5106.291.26$19.34$40,250
Hawaii1,2802.030.41$23.55$48,980
Idaho2,3903.610.72$19.56$40,680
Illinois20,1403.410.68$23.11$48,070
Indiana16,0905.381.08$19.97$41,540
Iowa6,3404.130.83$19.57$40,710
Kansas7,3805.371.07$19.65$40,880
Kentucky10,5205.361.12$18.97$39,460
Louisiana20,58010.712.14$18.31$38,070
Maine1,2502.090.42$21.00$43,680
Maryland11,6404.410.88$24.99$51,980
Massachusetts15,8904.590.92$26.53$55,190
Michigan14,9803.560.71$22.43$46,660
Minnesota17,0706.081.21$20.97$43,620
Mississippi8,9908.051.61$17.71$36,840
Missouri15,8105.731.15$19.04$39,600
Montana2,4905.471.09$19.68$40,920
Nebraska5,1005.271.05$19.54$40,630
Nevada2,5702.020.40$25.72$53,500
New Hampshire2,2903.350.71$23.58$49,040
New Jersey16,3604.140.83$25.84$53,740
New Mexico2,1002.610.52$22.97$47,770
New York46,9905.171.13$22.68$47,170
North Carolina17,9304.240.85$20.44$42,510
North Dakota2,6706.281.25$20.77$43,200
Ohio39,9207.480.49$19.87$41,320
Oklahoma11,5807.301.46$18.89$39,290
Oregon2,7801.550.31$24.11$50,160
Pennsylvania38,0206.621.32$22.03$45,810
Rhode Island1,0602.220.44$26.64$55,410
South Carolina9,4404.770.95$19.28$40,090
South Dakota1,8204.350.87$17.84$37,100
Tennessee23,6208.161.63$18.23$37,920
Texas70,8106.031.21$22.17$46,110
Utah1,9101.390.28$20.54$42,720
Vermont1,3504.420.88$22.50$46,790
Virginia21,4105.691.14$19.93$41,450
Washington7,2502.360.47$24.39$50,740
West Virginia6,0908.731.75$17.33$36,050
Wisconsin7,9902.850.57$21.07$43,820
Wyoming6802.450.49$21.92$45,590
DC1,7202.450.49$26.54$55,200

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