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Massachusetts hosts many large biotech firms and some of the most prestigious hospitals and health systems in the country. It also has one of the higher costs of living in the United States. This guide to registered nurse (RN) salaries in Massachusetts can help you negotiate the best salary for your position.
Keep reading for more about average registered nurse salaries in Massachusetts, the highest-paying cities for RNs, and how other nursing job salaries compare.
- Average Massachusetts RN Salary: $96,630 (Ranks 6th among all states)
- Hourly Massachusetts RN Salary: $46.46
- Projected Massachusetts RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 8.2%
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Average RN Salaries in Massachussets
With the annual average RN salary in Massachusetts of $96,630, an average hourly salary of $46.46, Massachusetts is the sixth highest-paying state in the country for nurses. The bottom 10% of reported RN salaries in Massachusetts were $61,180 annually, while the top 10% made $151,310. Nationally, the median RN salary is $77,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This makes almost three-quarters of all RN salaries in Massachusetts above the national median salary.
However, the high cost of living can offset the higher RN salaries in Massachusetts. Job growth for RNs is only slightly slower than the national rate, at approximately 8.2% compared to a national growth projection of 9% between 2020 and 2030, as reported by the BLS.
|Percentile||Average Annual RN Salary||Average Hourly RN Salary|
Massachusetts RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living
While Massachusetts offers the sixth highest RN salaries, it is also ranked sixth highest for cost of living. The cost-of-living index measures the price of goods and services, especially necessities like food, housing, and transportation, and compares them to regional costs. With the U.S. at a national index of 100 and Massachusetts at 107.4, it costs 7.4% more to live in Massachusetts.
Adjusted for this cost of living, the average RN salary in Massachusetts is $89,479.
Demand for housing in the Boston and Cambridge areas is especially high, as the city hosts both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $89,479 (Ranks 6th among all states)
- Cost of Living Index (RPP): 107.4 (7.4% higher than the U.S. average)
Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Massachusetts
In the highest-paying Massachusetts cities, the average RN salary reaches six figures. Salaries are highest in the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua area, which houses Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals, as well as Tufts, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Hospitals.
New Bedford is famous for its fishing and coastal attractions and growing wind energy industry. A biotech hub partnering with the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester is within commuting distance of Boston.
Barnstable features Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, while Pittsfield is home to the Berkshires, known for cultural offerings, such as Tanglewood.
|City||Average RN Salary|
|Boston — Cambridge — Nashua, MA — NH||$132,070|
|New Bedford, MA||$126,970|
|Worcester, MA — CT||$126,23|
|Barnstable Town, MA||$120,600|
Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Massachusetts
While RN salaries in Massachusetts are among the highest in the country, you can increase your income by earning a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree and becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). To be a nurse anesthetist, the highest-paying nursing specialty, you must earn a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). You can become a nurse practitioner or a nurse midwife with an MSN.
- Nursing Assistants: $37,680
- LPN/LVNs: $61,820
- Nurse Midwives: $129,360
- Nurse Practitioners: $129,540
- Nurse Anesthetists: $219,680
Methodology and Sources
Registered nursing salary data by state is collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, released on March 31, 2022. Data reflects RN salaries as of May 2021. The highest-paying cities and states for RNs are ranked by average annual salary.
Cost-of-living data is collected from the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis real personal income for states and metropolitan areas, released on December 14, 2021. RN salary adjusted for cost of living is calculated by multiplying each state's RN salary by its regional price parity (RPP). RPP measures differences in the cost of goods and services in a region compared to national prices.
Projected employment growth data by state is collected from Projections Central.
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