How Much Do Infection Control Nurses Make?

NurseJournal Staff
Updated January 13, 2023
Infection control nurses are vital to individual patient health and to public health. Learn what you need to know about infection control nurse salaries and what they do.
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Shot of a patient receiving an injection at a Covid-19 vaccination centerCredit: Charday Penn / E+ / Getty Images

Infection control nurses have always been vital to healthcare outcomes, but COVID-19 made the world more aware of their work and importance. This guide describes infection control nurse salary ranges, along with information on the highest-paying areas.

Keep reading for the information you need to maximize infection control nurse pay and explore answers to your other salary and compensation questions.

Average Salary for Infection Control Nurses

Payscale data as of June 2022 indicates the average annual infection control nurse salary reached $73,920, compared to $68,240 for all registered nurses (RNs). The bottom 10% of infection control nurse salaries are $58,000 or lower, while the top 10% climb to $100,000 or higher. The average hourly infection control nurse pay is $31.86. These higher-than-average salaries reflect the importance of infection control nurses as well as the high demand.

Average Annual Salary
Source:Payscale, June 2022

Average Hourly Wage
Source:Payscale, June 2022

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The Highest-Paying States for Infection Control Nurses

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically track infection control nurse salaries, its RN salary data can offer insight into where infection control nurse pay is likely to be highest.

In California, the average salary is $124,000, followed by Hawaii at $106,530 and Oregon at $98,630. Aside from geography, factors affecting labor and delivery nurse pay include experience, education, and leadership responsibilities.

While the impact of COVID-19 on infection control nursing demand is still being shaped, infection control nurses are especially needed in areas with high numbers of patients with HIV/AIDS, labor and delivery settings, and locations with high levels of infectious diseases. They also remain in high demand in humanitarian work and disaster aid settings.

4 Ways to Increase Pay As an Infection Control Nurse

You can increase your infection control nurse salary by increasing qualifications or relocating to areas with higher pay. Your ideal pathway will depend on your goals and personal circumstances.

  1. 1

    Consider Pursuing Certifications

    The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology issues the CIC infection control certification for healthcare and public health professionals. Licensed and active nurses meet the education and experience requirements, so they only need to pass the certification test. Certification demonstrates advanced knowledge of infection control and commitment to the field, which is valuable in the job market.

  2. 2

    Increase Your Education Level

    Increasing your formal education also puts you in higher demand and demonstrates your qualifications. Nurses with associate degrees in nursing can pursue bachelor of science in nursing programs. Bachelor’s-level nurses can consider master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees.

  3. 3

    Gain Experience in Administrative Roles

    You can also consider taking on additional administrative responsibilities to increase your infection control nurse pay. Demonstrate your readiness through formal or informal mentoring or training opportunities, along with initiating and leading new infection control projects.

  4. 4

    Change Practice Setting

    You can also consider changing your place of employment to increase your infection control nurse pay. Travel nurses often are paid more than staff nurses, though this comes with the increased stress of changing workplaces and living situations. You may also be able to travel to locations where infection control nurse salaries are higher, but keep in mind that higher cost of living figures may offset some or all of the gain from higher salaries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Infection Control Nurse Salaries

question-mark-circleWhat does an infection control nurse do?

Infection control nurses implement nursing best practices to minimize the risk of infections. Hospital-acquired infections are a common source of illnesses after hospital stays. They identify best practices, train nurses and other staff, and evaluate progress toward meeting infection control goals.

question-mark-circleWhere do infection control nurses work?

Infection control nurses work in hospitals, health systems, residential care facilities, and other healthcare settings. They may also work in jails, homeless shelters, military bases, or locations where people live in close quarters. Some infection control nurses work in humanitarian or disaster relief settings to limit the spread of disease.

question-mark-circleIs there a demand for infection control nurses?

The demand for infection control nurses is high, and infection control nurse salaries typically reflect this demand. COVID-19 has highlighted their importance, but they have always played a vital role in healthcare outcomes.

question-mark-circleWill earning an MSN increase my pay as an infection control nurse?

Generally, MSN salaries for nurses are considerably higher. You may be able to increase your infection control nurse salary by earning an MSN and pursuing work as a nurse educator, nurse administrator, or nurse practitioner, for example.

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