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Registered Nurses Rank #1 for Great Pay and High Demand

Rebecca Munday
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Updated August 12, 2022
    Find out why Indeed ranked registered nurses and nurse practitioners in the top 10 best jobs of 2022.
    • Registered nurse is the No. 1 job of 2022.
    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from May 2021 data projects 52% job growth for nurse practitioners (NP) between 2020 and 2030.
    • Four of Indeed’s top 10 jobs of 2022 are in the healthcare field.

    Do you want to become a registered nurse (RN)? Are you an RN who wants to go back to school and become a nurse practitioner (NP)? A new Indeed survey on the top jobs of 2022 suggests now could be the time to make that career move.

    Indeed chose 20 of the highest-ranking jobs of 2022. They based the rankings on average annual base salary, employer need, and stable job growth from 2019-2022. Registered nurses took first place, and nurse practitioners took eighth.

    Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners Rank in Top 10 Best Jobs

    RNs and NPs rank high on Indeed’s list of top jobs of 2022 because of their great demand and dependable pay.

    Why Is a Registered Nurse a Good Job?

    Indeed ranked registered nurse as the No. 1 job. Three reasons RNs ranked so high include generous salary, high demand, and stable job growth. RNs can find open positions nearly anywhere across the country.

    RNs make an average of $84,074 annually, according to job listings posted on Indeed between June 2021 to May 2022. This salary is in line with data from BLS, which lists the average annual salary for RNs at $82,750 in May 2021.

    On top of dependable pay, BLS data projects 9% job growth for registered nurses from 2020-2030, which is 1% higher than average for all occupations. Pay and job opportunities for RNs vary state to state.

    RNs will find the most opportunity and highest pay in California, according to BLS. Around 324,000 nurses work in California and make an average of $124,000 a year. Other states offering higher-than-average pay include:

    • Hawaii ($106,530)
    • Oregon ($98,630)
    • Washington, D.C. ($98,540)
    • Alaska ($97,230)

    Registered nurses can find the most job openings in states including Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. The number of job openings in these states range from 149,270-217,630.

    Why Is a Nurse Practitioner a Good Job?

    NPs are a growing profession with high demand, especially as NP full-practice authority is granted across more states. This is one of the reasons Indeed chose nurse practitioner as the No. 8 job. NPs are also in high demand, have generous salaries, and see higher-than-average job growth.

    NPs make an average of $128,105 annually, according to job listings posted on Indeed between June 2021 and May 2022. This average salary is higher than the data from BLS, which lists the average annual salary for NPs at $118,040 in May 2021.

    BLS projects 52% job growth between 2020 and 2030 for NPs, which is 44% higher than average for all occupations. Pay and job openings for NPs can vary by state.

    States offering higher-than-average pay include:

    • California ($151,830)
    • New Jersey ($137,010)
    • New York ($133,940)
    • Washington ($130,840)
    • Massachusetts ($129,540)

    Expect an Overall Rise in Healthcare Jobs

    According to the Indeed survey, four of the top 10 jobs of 2022 are in the healthcare field:

    • Registered nurse
    • Optometrist
    • Pharmacist
    • Nurse practitioner

    BLS data projects about average job growth, 9%, for registered nurses, and much higher-than-average job growth, 52%, for nurse practitioners.

    The healthcare field overall is still below its February 2020 level by 176,000 jobs. In June, the healthcare field gained 57,000 jobs. Ambulatory care provided 28,000 jobs. Hospitals provided 21,000 jobs. Nursing and residential care facilities provided the remaining 8,000 jobs.