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California LPN Salary, Wage Earnings, & Hourly Pay Scale

California employs the second largest number of licensed vocational nurses in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 61,050 LVNs worked in this state as of May 2013. The average salary for LVNs at that time was $51,800 per year, or $24.94 per hour. This is significantly higher than the national average of $41,540 per year, or $19.97 per hour. This difference is offset by the cost of living in the state of California, which is about 28 percent higher than the national average.

LVNs in California are paid a range of salaries, depending on their experience, location, and employer. In 2013, ten percent of LVNs in this state made $36,430 or less, and 25 percent made $43,000 or less. The median annual salary was $51,620. On the higher end of the spectrum, 25 percent earned $59,520 or more, and ten percent earned $69,840 or more.

The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area employs the largest number of licensed vocational nurses in the state. This area includes Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, and Glendale. Roughly one third of California's LVNs work in this area. The average salary here is comparable to the average for the state. The BLS reported the average annual LVN salary for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area to be $50,530 in 2013, and the average annual salary for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area to be $51,220.

The highest average salary for this occupation can be found in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metropolitan area. LVNs in this area earned an average of $62,330 in 2013. Salaries ranged from under $48,330 to above $80,800. LVNs looking for employment in this area should keep in mind that the higher salary is offset by the extremely high cost of living in this area.



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