- The average wage for California LVNs as of May 2009 was $24.01 per hour, or $49,940 per year, according to the BLS. In comparison, the nationwide average was about 18 percent lower, at $19.66 per hour, equaling $40,900 per year. The middle 50 percent of California LVNs earned $20.33 to $27.61 per hour, or $42,300 to $57,430 per year. The bottom 10 percent had annual wages of $36,650 and below, and the top 10 percent $65,270 and higher.
- California ranked as the fourth-highest paying state on average for LVNs and LPNs in 2009. The top three states included Connecticut at $52,300 per year on average, New Jersey at $50,350 and Rhode Island at $50,010. Four metropolitan areas in California had the highest average pay for these nurses in the country. They were Salinas at $59,670, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area at $57,150, the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward area at $57,140 and the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City area at $56,920.
Other High-Paying Areas
- Many other locations in California have average salaries for LVNs higher than $50,000 per year. They include the greater metropolitan regions of Modesto, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Stockton and Vallejo-Fairfield.
- The lowest-paying area for LVNs in California on average was the Hanford-Corcoran region, where the average LVN pay was $20.12 per hour, or $41,840 per year. Other relatively low-paying areas included El Centro, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Visalia-Porterville and the northern mountains non-metropolitan region of the state. The pay in these areas ranged from about $43,500 to $45,000 per year. The average wages for LVNs in other California metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas were in the range of about $46,000 to $50,000 per year.