Ranking: Top 10 Best Paying States for LPNs

picture of seaside mountain scape
Written by
Laila Ighani
Reviewed by
Miranda Kay, RN
March 13, 2023

Are you a licensed practical nurse (LPN) looking for the states that can offer you the highest pay? You are exactly where you need to be: In this post, we will cover the top ten highest-paying states for LPNs, including the average hourly, weekly, monthly, and annual LPN wages in each state, the entry-level and highest LPN income in each state, and how this pay relates to each state’s cost of living.

For additional information about LPN salaries, including LPN salary by state in 2023 and the answers to all your questions about LPN pay, such as “Will LPN pay increase in 2023?” read The Ultimate Guide to LPN Pay [Updated 2023].

1. California

california
Nurses enjoy high-paying jobs in sunny California.

No surprise here: California is also the highest-paying state for registered nurses (RNs) and among the highest-paying states for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Likewise, California tops our list of the highest-paying states for LPNs, with an average annual salary of $65,140.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in California?

Eager to learn the specifics? Here are the average hourly, weekly, monthly, and annual wages for LPNs in California:

  • Average hourly rate: $31.32
  • Average weekly rate: $1,252.80
  • Average monthly rate: $5,428.33
  • Average annual rate: $65,140

To put LPN income in perspective, the living wage in California for a single adult is $21.24 per hour—this is the amount a person must make in California per hour to cover living expenses in that state. Therefore, single nurses—or those sharing living expenses—can comfortably live off an LPN salary in California.

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in California

Although incredibly useful, the average LPN salary doesn’t tell us the whole story: How much is LPN minimum wage in California? How much do the highest-earning LPNs make?

With this in mind, here are the different salary tiers for LPNs in California:

  • 10th percentile: $47,750
  • 25th percentile: $58,340
  • 50th percentile: $61,600
  • 75th percentile: $75,380
  • 90th percentile: $79,380

This wide range of LPN salaries offers some important insights. First of all, even the lowest-paid LPNs in California make a living wage for that state. Furthermore, the highest-paid LPNs make more than many RNs in other states! There is no doubt that California is a great place to maximize your earning potential as a nurse.

2. Alaska

Alaska is another state that makes the top ten highest-paying states for CNAs, LPNs, and RNs. When it comes to LPN pay, Alaska comes in at number two with an average annual salary of $63,650.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in Alaska?

Not sure how LPN salary in Alaska compares to other job opportunities? Here are the average hourly, weekly, monthly, and annual wages for LPNs in our northernmost state:

  • Average hourly rate: $30.60
  • Average weekly rate: $1,224.00
  • Average monthly rate: $5,304.17
  • Average annual rate: $63,650

Considering that the living wage in Alaska is only $17.15 per hour, an LPN salary stretches even further in this state than it does in California.

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in Alaska

Now, let’s take a look at the lowest and highest LPN salaries in Alaska and everything in between:

  • 10th percentile: $46,520
  • 25th percentile: $58,050
  • 50th percentile: $61,680
  • 75th percentile: $75,340
  • 90th percentile: $79,380

Once again, even the lowest LPN salary in Alaska is higher than the living wage. Additionally, the highest-paid LPNs make salaries comparable to RN salaries in states such as Texas, New Hampshire, and Illinois.

3. Washington

Washington
Washington state is a beautiful place for nurses to pick up per diem jobs.

Washington is also one of the top ten highest-paying states for CNAs, LPNs, and RNs. However, whereas it is the seventh-best state for RNs and the sixth-best for CNAs, it is the third-best state for LPNs, with an average salary of $63,250 per year.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in Washington?

In fact, LPNs in Washington make only cents less per hour than LPNs in Alaska. Here is the complete breakdown of the average LPN salary in Washington:

  • Average hourly rate: $30.41
  • Average weekly rate: $1,216.40
  • Average monthly rate: $5,270.83
  • Average annual rate: $63,250

As with the previous two states, LPNs in Washington are certain to cover their basic living expenses since the living wage in this state is $19.58 per hour.

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in Washington

Interestingly, although farther down on the list, Washington offers entry-level LPNs higher wages than both Alaska and California. Therefore, Washington may be a better state for newly-graduated LPNs to start their careers. Furthermore, as can be expected, even the lowest-earning LPNs make more than the living wage in this state. Without further ado, here are the LPN salary tiers in Washington:

  • 10th percentile: $47,940
  • 25th percentile: $58,750
  • 50th percentile: $61,160
  • 75th percentile: $72,960
  • 90th percentile: $77,290

4. Massachusetts

With an average annual salary of $61,820, Massachusetts makes number four on our list of the states with the best salaries for LPNs.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in Massachusetts?

LPNs in Massachusetts make slightly less than LPNs in Washington; plus, the living wage in Massachusetts ($21.35 per hour) is even higher than in the previous state—both of which explain why this state is farther down on the list. That said, LPNs in Massachusetts still make an excellent income—and more than enough to cover living expenses in this state. Here are the average hourly, weekly, monthly, and annual wages for LPNs in Massachusetts:

  • Average hourly rate: $29.72
  • Average weekly rate: $1,188.80
  • Average monthly rate: $5,151.67
  • Average annual rate: $61,820

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in Massachusetts

Once again, although the average LPN salary is lower in Massachusetts than in the previous states, this state has a significant ace up its sleeve: The lowest-paid ten percent of LPNs make more in Massachusetts than in both California and Alaska. Therefore, this is a great state for entry-level LPNs to maximize their income. The following are the LPN salary percentiles in Massachusetts: 

  • 10th percentile: $47,940
  • 25th percentile: $59,030
  • 50th percentile: $60,190
  • 75th percentile: $62,680
  • 90th percentile: $76,650

5. Nevada

Nevada comes in close behind Massachusetts with an average annual LPN salary of $60,490.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in Nevada?

An important aspect to consider about working in Nevada as an LPN is that it offers the lowest living wage ($17.02 per hour) so far on this list. In fact, one LPN salary can support two adults in this state. The following are the average LPN rates in the state of Nevada:

  • Average hourly rate: $29.08
  • Average weekly rate: $1,163.20
  • Average monthly rate: $5,040.83
  • Average annual rate: $60,490

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in Nevada

Now, the lowest-paid LPNs might not be able to support another adult single-handedly, but they can still comfortably cover their own living expenses in this state. Furthermore, the highest-paid LPNs in Nevada make more on average than the highest-paid LPNs in Washington—another reason to choose this state. Here are the LPN salary tiers in Nevada:

  • 10th percentile: $46,640
  • 25th percentile: $47,260
  • 50th percentile: $59,850
  • 75th percentile: $73,110
  • 90th percentile: $76,980

6. Oregon

Oregon
Nurses in Oregon enjoy nature scenes and high-paying PRN jobs.

Just $400 per year behind Nevada comes Oregon, with an average annual LPN salary of $60,090.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in Oregon?

Cents behind Nevada’s hourly wage but dollars above its living wage, Oregon is the sixth-best state for LPNs. Oregon still offers LPNs more than enough to cover their living expenses ($19.38 per hour). Here are the average hourly, weekly, monthly, and annual LPN wages in Oregon: 

  • Average hourly rate: $28.89
  • Average weekly rate: $1,155.60
  • Average monthly rate: $5,007.50
  • Average annual rate: $60,090

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in Oregon

Although further down on the list of the highest-paying states, LPN minimum wage in Oregon is higher than in Nevada and Alaska, making this state an excellent option for newly-graduated LPNs. The following are the LPN salary percentiles in Oregon:

  • 10th percentile: $47,670
  • 25th percentile: $57,350
  • 50th percentile: $60,240
  • 75th percentile: $63,040
  • 90th percentile: $73,680

7. Rhode Island

Rhode Island stands out as one of the highest-paying states for LPNs, with an average annual LPN salary of $59,800—although it doesn’t make the lists of the highest-paying states for CNAs or RNs.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island’s average LPN hourly wage is a mere fourteen cents behind that of Oregon. Furthermore, it has one of the lowest living wages ($17.52 per hour) on this list. In fact, as is the case with Nevada, one LPN salary is enough to cover the living expenses of two adults in this state. Here is the breakdown of LPN wages in Rhode Island: 

  • Average hourly rate: $28.75
  • Average weekly rate: $1,150.00
  • Average monthly rate: $4,983.33
  • Average annual rate: $59,800

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in Rhode Island

As can be expected, even the lowest-earning ten percent of LPNs in Rhode Island can comfortably cover their living expenses. Furthermore, the highest-paid LPNs in Rhode Island make even more than LPNs in Oregon and only slightly less than LPNs in Nevada and Massachusetts, making this a great state to work in throughout an entire career. Here are the salary tiers for LPNs in Rhode Island.

  • 10th percentile: $47,250
  • 25th percentile: $58,390
  • 50th percentile: $60,240
  • 75th percentile: $60,830
  • 90th percentile: $76,550

8. Connecticut

Whereas Connecticut just barely missed our list of the top ten highest-paying states for RNs and fell at number nine for the best-paying states for CNAs, it makes number eight for the best-paying states for LPNs.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in Connecticut?

Once again, just cents behind Rhode Island’s average hourly wage, Connecticut is one of the best states for LPNs to make a high income—especially considering its low living wage ($17.76 per hour). Here are the average hourly, weekly, monthly, and annual wages for LPNs in Connecticut:

  • Average hourly rate: $28.58
  • Average weekly rate: $1,143.20
  • Average monthly rate: $4,953.33
  • Average annual rate: $59,440

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in Connecticut

Connecticut is another state that pays even entry-level LPNs enough to live comfortably. Furthermore, an average LPN salary is enough to cover the living expenses of two adults—as is the case with Rhode Island and Nevada. Here are the salary percentiles for LPNs in Connecticut:

  • 10th percentile: $47,260
  • 25th percentile: $58,340
  • 50th percentile: $60,120
  • 75th percentile: $61,390
  • 90th percentile: $65,460

9. New Hampshire

New Hampshire
RNs in New Hampshire like working per diem shifts for high pay.

New Hampshire is one of the best-paying states for CNAs as well as for LPNs. Therefore, this state is a great option for those interested in starting to work in healthcare before graduating from a nursing program.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in New Hampshire?

This race is so close! In New Hampshire, LPNs earn, on average, only fifteen cents less than in Connecticut per hour. Annually, this difference translates to $300. Additionally, the living wage in New Hamshire is even lower than in Connecticut ($17.23 per hour), which means that LPNs in New Hampshire could potentially spend $1,102.40 less annually on living expenses than LPNs in Connecticut. Here are the average LPN wages in New Hampshire:

  • Average hourly rate: $28.43
  • Average weekly rate: $1,137.20
  • Average monthly rate: $4,928.33
  • Average annual rate: $59,140

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in New Hampshire

Additionally, the lowest-earning LPNs in New Hampshire make more than their counterparts in Nevada and Alaska, making this state a great option for entry-level LPNs. The following are the salary percentiles for LPNs in New Hampshire:

  • 10th percentile: $46,950
  • 25th percentile: $48,070
  • 50th percentile: $59,380
  • 75th percentile: $61,360
  • 90th percentile: $74,250

10. New Jersey

Also one of the highest-paying states for RNs, New Jersey completes our list of the top ten best-paying states for LPNs with an average annual salary of $58,590. With this in mind, LPNs in New Jersey may want to consider completing a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) to become licensed RNs, since the higher degree could help them earn over $30,000 more per year. Furthermore, a 2016 study showed that RNs with previous LPN work experience earn between $3,400 and $7,700 more per year than their less experienced counterparts.

How Much Do LPNs Make an Hour, a Week, Monthly, and Annually in New Jersey?

Although New Jersey has a higher cost of living than many of the previous states ($18.71 per hour), LPNs in this state still earn more than enough to cover their living expenses. Here are average LPN wages in New Jersey:

  • Average hourly rate: $28.17
  • Average weekly rate: $1,126.80
  • Average monthly rate: $4,882.50
  • Average annual rate: $58,590

RN Entry-Level Salary and the Highest-Paid LPNs in New Jersey

Interestingly, although New Jersey is last on the list of the highest-paying states for LPNs, it pays the lowest-earning LPNs more than many other states higher up on the list, including Nevada, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Alaska. In other words, New Jersey is an excellent option for newly graduated LPNs to find high-paying entry-level nursing jobs. Here are the salary percentiles for LPNs in New Jersey: 

  • 10th percentile: $47,270
  • 25th percentile: $52,830
  • 50th percentile: $60,070
  • 75th percentile: $61,160
  • 90th percentile: $70,680

Do LPNs Make Good Money?

Whether or not LPNs make good money is relative. The median LPN hourly wage in the United States is $23.11, whereas the median hourly wage for all full-time wage and salary workers nationwide is $27.13. That said, LPNs have nearly limitless opportunities for career growth: they can continue their studies to become RNs, increasing their median hourly wage to $37.31; they can pursue master’s or doctoral degrees to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), thereby increasing their median hourly wage to $59.51 per hour. Additionally, there are many different nursing specialties and specialized nursing certifications to choose from, which can also significantly increase a nurse’s income.

Blog published on:
March 13, 2023

Laila is a contributing copywriter and editor at Nursa who specializes in writing compelling long-form content about nursing finances, per diem job locations, areas of specialization, guides, and resources that help nurses navigate their career paths.

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