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Exploring RN Salary in Utah: A Resource for Nurses

RNs dedicate their lives to caring for the sick and frail and helping them recover their health and well-being. Nurses are also human beings who need to earn a decent income to support themselves and their families.

This resource provides publicly available information about average RN salaries in Utah. While Nursa currently offers independent contractor RNs in Utah the opportunity to access per diem jobs that pay on an hourly basis rather than access to salaried or wage-based employment opportunities, this information may be a helpful frame of reference for you as you assess the market landscape both in regard to per diem jobs and employment opportunities.

RNs can explore Utah carefree on their days off work, as they earn a good annual income or salary.

What’s the Average RN Annual Income in Utah?

The annual mean wage for RN jobs in Utah is $76,400, ranging from over $98,000 to under $61,850. This average income is respectable but significantly lower than the national mean of $89,010. 

These percentile wage estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide a clear breakdown of the typical RN pay range in Utah.

  • 90th percentile: $98,000
  • 75th percentile: $83,340
  • 50th percentile: $77,240
  • 25th percentile: $64,570
  • 10th percentile: $61,850

Understanding mean wage percentiles helps you evaluate your potential income compared to other RNs in Utah and plan for your financial future. These percentiles represent the RNs earning up to a certain amount. For example, the lowest percentile indicates that 10 percent of RNs in Utah earn less than the given amount, while 90 percent earn more. The highest percentile specifies that 90 percent earn up to that amount, and only 10 percent earn more.

How Much Do Nurses Make in Utah?

Utah's mean registered nurse pay is $12,710 lower than the national mean wage. The table below compares the RN wage in Utah with compensation in surrounding states.

Table 1: Mean RN Wages and Difference with Utah

State Mean RN Wage Difference with Wage in Utah
Nevada $96,310 +$19,910
Arizona $86,740 +$10,340
Colorado $86,590 +$10,190
New Mexico $85,580 +$9,180
Wyoming $81,010 +$4610
Idaho $78,610 +$2210

Source: Chart based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Most recent information as of November 2023) 

However, in Utah, just as in other states, per diem jobs pay significantly more per hour than staff positions, and this work option is open to RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) through platforms such as Nursa.

What are the Cost of Living Considerations in Utah?

Along with wages, to calculate your financial status, you might also consider the cost of living here in the Beehive State—around $36,200 annually for one single adult—and going up to over double for a single adult with one child.

Compare the cost of living to an RN's yearly mean income to see approximately how much you could have at your disposal after covering basic expenses. Please note that this table only shows the costs for a single adult with no children or other dependents.

Table 2: Cost of Living in Utah and Surrounding State

State RN Annual Mean Wage Average Annual Living Wage for a Solo Adult Amount at Your Disposal after Covering Cost of Living
Utah $76,400 $36,233 $40,167
Arizona $86,740 $36,982 $49,758
Colorado $86,590 $39,977 $46,613
Idaho $78,610 $33,425 $45,185
New Mexico $85,580 $33,425 $52,155
Nevada $96,310 $35,401 $60,909
Wyoming $81,010 $32,531 $48,479

Source: Chart based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the MIT Living Wage Calculator (Most recent information as of November 2023)

As you see in the table, you have more left at your disposal in any of the surrounding states than in Utah. Nevertheless, according to the U.S. News and World Report, Utah is the number one overall best state for several reasons:

  • Number one in economy
  • Number one in fiscal stability
  • Number five in education

How Much Do RNs Make per Hour in Utah?

Having an idea of how much you earn hourly—as well as annually—is essential because many nursing jobs, such as per diem independent contractor jobs, are often paid by the hour.

Detailing data on the hourly pay for areas within each state, BLS gives you information on pay level by location, a key factor to consider regarding financial compensation.

Table 3: Areas, Cities and Towns, Hourly Mean Wage

Areas Cities and Towns Hourly Mean Wage
Salt Lake City Salt Lake City, Midvale, Sandy, Draper, Murray, Holladay, Riverton, West Jordan, Tooele $38.16
Central Utah Salina $36.03
Ogden-Clearfield South Ogden, Layton, Ogden, Clearfield, Bountiful, Farmington $36.16
Logan Logan $34.97
Provo-Orem Orem, Provo, Highland, Lehi, Payson, Nephi $34.96
St. George St. George $34.89
Eastern Utah Heber City $34.60

Source: Based on information from BLS (Most recent information as of November 2023)

We can see that the highest-paying cities in Utah for RNs are those in the Salt Lake City area, including Salt Lake City itself, Midvale, Sandy, Draper, Murray, Holladay, Riverton, West Jordan, and Tooele. 

Remember that per diem jobs typically pay much higher hourly than staff positions. Whether you prefer cities or small towns, browse per diem jobs in these Utah locations:

These places often need per diem nurses and are willing to pay higher hourly wages to fill the vacancies that come up all year round, especially in peak times such as the flu season or holidays.

Based on BLS data, the location within Utah where an RN works can typically make a difference in their income of up to three dollars hourly or over $7,000 yearly. Moving from one state to another can make a much more significant difference, so if your nursing license allows you to, consider picking up per diem shifts in surrounding states as well.

How Many RNs Work in Utah?

Knowing how much you can earn in Utah may help you choose the best option when considering independent contractor work or applying for salaried or wage-based employment. In addition, you may want to know which areas within the state employ more RNs.

Table 4: Number of RNs and Location Quotient by Area

Statistical Areas in Utah Number of RNs Employed Location Quotient
Salt Lake City 12,240 0.75
Ogden-Clearfield 3,940 0.68
Provo-Orem 2,910 0.49
St. George 1,480 0.89
Eastern Utah 980 0.36
Logan 700 0.51
Central Utah 660 0.57

Source: Based on information from BLS (Most recent information as of November 2023)

Close to 23,000 RNs currently work in Utah—approximately 14 RNs per 1000 jobs in any field— and the state has a location quotient of 0.68. 

What Is Location Quotient? 

The BLS calculates the concentration of professionals (location quotient) in each state. One represents the national average; therefore, a location quotient under one is lower than the nationwide average, and an LQ over one is higher. Utah’s location quotient of 0.68 indicates a low concentration of RNs in comparison to the national average—the lowest in the US.

Becoming an RN in Utah is a smart career choice.

How to Become an RN in Utah

To become a registered nurse in Utah, you must complete an accredited nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam. Among other options, a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) prepares you to take the exam and then apply for a Utah RN license through the Utah Board of Nursing (with certain considerations).

Find outstanding nursing schools with RN programs in Utah and a wealth of other information in our resource guide to working in Utah as a nurse.

Utah is a compact state, one of the 41 states that have joined the Nursing Licensure Compact. Therefore, the Utah RN license typically allows you to practice nursing in all 41 states without processing another license. You can look up the status of your Utah RN license using Nursys.

How Can I Find Per Diem Independent Contractor Jobs Near Me?

With today’s technology, Nursa makes finding per diem independent contractor nursing jobs easy and quick. Just follow this link to pick up high-paying PRN nursing jobs. With strategic career moves and a keen eye on the advantages of living in Utah, nurses can find financial success and personal fulfillment in their vital work.

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