Licensed Vocational Nurse

As 2019 draws to a close, the pay for LVNs in California continues to rise. There's never been a better time to get into the nursing field!

Pay & Job Growth In 2019 For California LVNs

As 2020 approaches, the annual salary for Licensed Vocational Nurses in California reaches record levels! Registered Nurses typically make more than Licensed Vocational Nurses, of course. And there are other allied healthcare professions that pay more than vocational nursing. However, the Vocational/Practical Nursing field continues to be very financially AND personally rewarding! There are more educational opportunities than ever before. Specialty certifications also help to ensure that vocational nursing remains a financially viable career.

The California Development Department's Occupational Outlook Handbook was last updated in 2019. It lists the average annual pay for LVNs in the state at an all-time high of $65,430. The actual pay varies based upon speciic nursing specialties, years of work experience, and location.

How Much Can I Make As An LVN?

When it comes to salary, we always hear "Location, Location, Location"! Just like most other healthcare professions, your average salary as a California Vocational Nurse will largely depend on where you live. If you work in a hospital in a large city, you're more likely to recieve a higher salary. That doesn't mean that working in a smaller metropolitan area automatically means lower pay. Many smaller cities in California have a higher cost of living, which often translates into higher pay. As a general rule, nurses employed by hospitals will more likely be paid more than nurses who work in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities.

And just like most other jobs, the more experience, the better! You'll see your pay increase as you log in more time on the job.

Many Vocational Nurses, both those who are new nurses, as well as those with years of experience, decide to further their healthcare career by earning their license as a registered nurse. The majority of accredited LVN to RN programs in California can be completed in as little as 2 semesters. There are also many of us, however who focus on nursing certifications to increase our annual pay. What it all comes down to, really, is that there are MANY avenues available to you if you choose a nursing career. The time has never been better!

Allied Health Careers That Don't Require a Four Year Degree:

Healthcare Occupation
Average Annual Salary
Ultrasound Technician
Surgical Technologist
Dental Hygienist
Radiologic Technician
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Metro Area Annual Salary Hourly Rate TOP 10% HOURLY
Bakersfield-Delano $54,038 $25.98 $31.05
Chico $52,089 $27.82 $33.87
El Centro $54,017 $28.85 $33.94
Hanford-Corcoran $51,976 $27.76 $31.57
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan $56,292 $30.07 $32.23
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA $56,105 $29.97 $34.49
Metro Area Annual Salary Hourly Rate TOP 10% HOURLY
Madera-Chowchilla $62,510 $30.05 $34.14
Merced $56,838 $30.36 $33.66
Modesto $56,410 $30.13 $32.66
Napa $62,809 $33.55 $35.97
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward Metropolitan $57,643 $30.79 $35.57
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura $62,908 $33.60 $37.12

Further LVN/LPN Information

Metro Area Annual Salary Hourly Rate TOP 10% HOURLY
Redding $55,522 $29.65 $31.79
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario $54,022 $28.85 $30.93
Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville $56,462 $30.16 $32.33
Salinas $56,747 $30.31 $32.49
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos $56,715 $30.29 $32.66
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont $64,998 $34.72 $37.22
Metro Area Annual Salary Hourly Rate TOP 10% HOURLY
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City $64,911 $34.67 $37.17
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $62,639 $33.46 $35.87
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles $56,517 $30.19 $31.53
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine Metropolitan $55,111 $29.43 $32.83
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta $59,712 $31.89 $33.48
Santa Cruz-Watsonville $59,468 $31.76 $34.54

Metro Area Annual Salary Hourly Rate TOP 10% HOURLY
Santa Rosa-Petaluma $70,562 $37.69 $40.38
Stockton $67,702 $36.16 $39.38
Vallejo-Fairfield $59,326 $31.69 $33.97
Visalia-Porterville $53,983 $28.83 $30.94
Yuba City $55,325 $29.55 $31.68
Mother Lode Region $53,017 $28.32 $31.38


Metro Area Annual Salary Hourly Rate TOP 10% HOURLY
North Coast Region of California $47,772 $25.51 $29.12
North Valley Region of California $45,836 $24.48 $26.14
Northern Mountains Region of California $50,608 $27.03 $32.66