Nurse anesthetists are highly paid medical professionals whose services are increasingly in demand. The profession's other benefits include working in safe, sanitary conditions and enjoying significant job satisfaction.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 35,430 nurse anesthetists in the United States in May 2013. Most of them worked in doctors' offices and hospitals. Their average pay was $75.81 per hour or $157,690 annually. The highest salaries were in the Las Vegas, Miami and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
The BLS predicted that, during the decade ending in 2023, the number of jobs for nurse anesthetists will increase by 26 percent. That rate is about the same as the projected growth for other medical careers, but nearly twice that of the average occupation. The demand for nurse anesthetists will increase because of the aging population, the rising percentage of the population covered by health insurance and new medical techniques and technology.
Nurse anesthetists are well-respected members of health-care teams that also consist of doctors and surgeons. They derive satisfaction from helping patients undergoing surgery, as well as those giving birth. The job entails preparing patients for medical procedures, administering anesthesia, operating life-support equipment and conducting administrative duties.