Summary Guide for

Nurse Practitioners in California

May also be called: Advanced Practice Nurses

Specialties within this occupation include: Acute Care Nurse Practitioners; Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; Adult Nurse Practitioners; Family Nurse Practitioners; Gerontological Nurse Practitioners; Neonatal Nurse Practitioners; Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialists; Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners; and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners

What Would I Do?

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have received additional training to become NPs, which are considered advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The NPs specialize in providing primary care services to patients and families.

The NPs work practically everywhere health care is provided. Work settings vary with their specialty. Those who work in offices, schools, and other places keep regular business hours. Some NPs work flexible hours including evenings and weekends, especially those working in facilities providing 24-hour care.

Will This Job Fit Me?

Those who like frequently working with, communicating with, and teaching people may find this occupation gratifying. In addition, those who enjoy helping or providing services to others may find fulfillment in this occupation.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2020 for Nurse Practitioners in California was $132,748 annually, or $63.82 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 at Wages do not reflect self-employment.

Hourly Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 at Wages do not reflect self-employment.

Typical benefits for NPs include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. Some employers also offer malpractice insurance. Some offer assistance with federal loan repayment, requiring a commitment to work a specific period of time for the employer.

What is the Job Outlook?

Employment growth for Nurse Practitioners will be strong as the number of primary care physicians decrease. In addition, their demand will be fueled by the effects of healthcare legislation, an increased emphasis on preventative care, and the demand from a large, aging baby-boom population for healthcare services as they live longer and more active lives than previous generations.

How Do I Qualify?

A master's degree in a BRN-approved Nurse Practitioner program is the minimum educational requirement for a licensed registered nurse to become a Nurse Practitioner. Additional requirements include passing the BRN's background check, a minimum of 500 hours of clinical supervised practice in their specialty, and six months of supervised experience furnishing drugs in order to provide controlled substances.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains an effective job search method. The Internet, college placement offices, medical recruiters, health care staffing agencies, and professional associations are sources for job leads. In addition, clinical experience during training provides networking opportunities.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Nurse Practitioners

The California Occupational Guides are a product of:
The California Employment Development Department
Labor Market Information Division

Printed on Sunday, April 11, 2021