Forensic Nurse Salary By State – (2024 Figures)


Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA


Are you one of the many nurses intrigued by forensic science? Have you considered what you can do with a career in forensic nursing? Perhaps you thought of pursuing forensic nursing as a specialty but wonder, “How much does a forensic nurse make?”

If this sounds like you, you will find the information in this article helpful. As you continue reading, you will learn about the forensic nurse salary in 2024 for each state. You will also find out which cities pay the most and tips for maximizing your earning potential as a forensic nurse.



What is the Starting Salary of a New Grad Forensic Nurse?


As you research your options, knowing the kind of money you will make after finishing your degree or certification is crucial. Because of that, you may ask, “What is the starting salary of a forensic nurse?” According to our research, the starting salary of a forensic nurse is approximately $59,430 annually. This yearly pay is equal to $28.57 per hour, $1,143 per week, or $4,950 per month.

Starting Forensic Nurse Salary
Hourly$28.57
Weekly$1,143
Monthly$4,950
Annual$59,430
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)



What is the Average Salary of a Forensic Nurse With Experience?


As a nurse, you probably realize the starting salary and average salary of a nurse can vary significantly, which may lead you to wonder, “What is the average salary of a forensic nurse?” After gaining some experience, the average forensic nurse salary is $86,360 per year, which breaks down to $7,200 per month, $1,661 per week, or $41.52 per hour.

Average Forensic Nurse Salary
Hourly$41.52
Weekly$1,661
Monthly$7,200
Annual$86,360
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)



How Much Does the Forensic Nurse Salary Grow by Years of Experience?


The longer you work and the more experience you gain, you will continue to see increases in your forensic nurse salary. For example, with just one to four years of work experience, you could see an increase of nearly $5,000 per year, earning approximately $64,690 annually. With five to nine years of experience, your income will jump even higher to around $78,800 annually. The most experienced forensic nurses earn an average of $125,550 per year!

Level of ExperienceHourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
Entry-Level$28.57$1,143$4,950$59,430
1-4 Years of Experience$31.10$1,244$5,390$64,690
5-9 Years of Experience$37.88$1,515$6,570$78,800
10-19 Years of Experience$47.16$1,886$8,170$98,090
20 Years or More Experience$60.36$2,414$10,460$125,550
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)



What is the Average Annual Compensation (Salary + Benefits) for Forensic Nurses?


When you consider earning potential and compare the average forensic nurse salary based on experience, another thing to consider is total compensation, which includes benefits. Benefits include things such as health insurance, life insurance, and paid annual or sick leave. Some companies offer forensic nurses very generous benefits packages. When you add the worth of your benefits package to your average annual salary, you can find out what your total compensation will be.

For instance, forensic nurses who work in private industries earn an average salary of $86,340 per year, but with benefits packages totaling more than $36,000, the total compensation for private industry forensic nurses comes to $122,468. Forensic nurses who work for state or local government make nearly the same average annual salary but have benefits packages worth approximately $52,998, making their total compensation $129,468.

ComponentPrivate IndustryState and Local Government
Paid Leave$9,185$10,181
Supplemental Pay$4,531$1,395
Insurance$9,063$15,760
Retirement and Savings$4,164$18,131
Legally Required$9,185$7,531
Total Benefits$36,128$52,998
Average Annual Salary$86,340$86,470
Total Compensation$122,468$139,468
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)



Forensic Nurse vs. All Other Occupations: Who Earns More?


When comparing forensic nurse salaries to all other occupations, forensic nurses earn an average of $24,460 more per year, which is a difference of 39.52%.

Forensic NurseAll OccupationsDifference
Number%
$86,360$61,900+$24,460+39.52%
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)



Forensic Nurse vs. Similar Nursing Jobs: Who Earns More?


Nurses earn different salaries based on their specialty. The average forensic nurse salary is between 1.55% and 23.09% lower than some other nursing salaries, including OB/GYN nurses, oncology nurses, ICU nurses, Geriatric nurses, and Neonatal nurses. Forensic nurses earn between $2,080 and $3,790 more than public health and school nurses, respectively.

RankJob TitleAverage
Annual Salary
Difference
Number%
1Neonatal Nurse$112,290-$25,930-23.09%
2Geriatric Nurse$109,970-$23,610-21.47%
3Orthopedic Nurse$108,080-$21,720-20.10%
4ICU Nurse$105,680-$19,320-18.28%
5Cardiac Nurse$104,190-$17,830-17.11%
6Radiology Nurse$103,150-$16,790-16.28%
7Oncology Nurse$102,160-$15,800-15.47%
8ER Nurse$101,340-$14,980-14.78%
9Aesthetic Nurse$100,240-$13,880-13.85%
10Psychiatric Nurse$98,890-$12,530-12.67%
11OB/GYN Nurse$97,270-$10,910-11.22%
12Hospice Nurse$96,570-$10,210-10.57%
13Surgical Nurse$95,320-$8,960-9.40%
16Flight Nurse$94,210-$7,850-8.33%
14Labor and Delivery Nurse$94,170-$7,810-8.29%
15Dermatology Nurse$93,950-$7,590-8.08%
17Occupational Health Nurse$89,180-$2,820-3.16%
18Dialysis Nurse$88,060-$1,700-1.93%
19Pediatric Nurse$87,720-$1,360-1.55%
20Forensic Nurse$86,360$00.00%
21Public Health Nurse$84,280+$2,080+2.47%
22School Nurse$82,570+$3,790+4.59%



Forensic Nurse vs. Other Healthcare Jobs: Who Earns More?


The average forensic nurse salary ranks 8 out of 20 when compared to other healthcare jobs. Forensic nurses earn between $1,500 and $2,180 more than dental hygienists, diagnostic medical sonographers, and nurse educators. They earn between $12,050 and $53,920 more than radiologic technologists and technicians, physical therapy assistants, licensed practical/vocational nurses, and certified nursing assistants. Other healthcare professionals, including speech-language pathologists, radiation therapists, nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists, earn between 3.47% and 58.03% higher salaries than forensic nurses, with their wages ranging between $89,460 and $205,770.

RankJob TitleAverage
Annual Salary
Difference
Number%
1Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist$205,770-$119,410-58.03%
2Physician Assistant$125,270-$38,910-31.06%
3Nurse Practitioner$124,680-$38,320-30.73%
4Nurse Midwife$122,450-$36,090-29.47%
5Radiation Therapist$98,340-$11,980-12.18%
6Occupational Therapist$92,800-$6,440-6.94%
7Speech-Language Pathologist$89,460-$3,100-3.47%
8Forensic Nurse$86,360$00.00%
9Dental Hygienist$84,860+$1,500+1.77%
10Diagnostic Medical Sonographer$84,410+$1,950+2.31%
11Nurse Educator$84,180+$2,180+2.59%
12Respiratory Therapist$74,310+$12,050+16.22%
13Radiologic Technologist and Technician$70,240+$16,120+22.95%
14Dietitian and Nutritionist$69,350+$17,010+24.53%
15Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician$65,490+$20,870+31.87%
16Physical Therapist Assistant$64,510+$21,850+33.87%
17Licensed Practical/Licensed Vocational Nurse$55,860+$30,500+54.60%
18Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic$45,000+$41,360+91.91%
19Medical Assistant$40,700+$45,660+112.19%
20Certified Nursing Assistant$32,440+$53,920+166.21%



What is the Average Forensic Nurse Salary by State?

(Below, you will find information about the average Forensic Nurse salary by state in 2024.)


1. Alabama

Forensic nurses in Alabama earn an average of $64,920 per year. This annual salary is equal to $31.21 hourly, $1,248 weekly, or $5,410 monthly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$31.21$1,248$5,410$64,920


2. Alaska

In Alaska, forensic nurses make approximately $48.19 per hour, which is the equivalent of $1,928 per week, $8,350 per month, or $100,230 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$48.19$1,928$8,350$100,230


3. Arizona

Arizona’s forensic nurses earn an average of $84,160 per year, which breaks down to $7,010 per month, $1,618 per week, or $40.46 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$40.46$1,618$7,010$84,160


4. Arkansas

Forensic nurses in Arkansas make approximately $64,550 annually. This yearly salary is equal to $31.01 per hour, $1,241 per week, or $5,380 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$31.03$1,241$5,380$64,550


5. California

The average forensic nurse salary in California is $129,370 per year, which is equivalent to $10,780 per month, $2,488 per week, or $62.20 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$62.20$2,488$10,780$129,370


6. Colorado

In Colorado, the average hourly pay rate for forensic nurses is $40.39. This pay equals $1,616 per week, $7,000 per month, or $84,010 annually.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$40.39$1,616$7,000$84,010


7. Connecticut

Forensic nurses who live and work in Connecticut earn approximately $43.97 per hour, $1,759 weekly, or $7,620 monthly, which comes to an annual salary of $91,450.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$43.97$1,759$7,620$91,450


8. Delaware

In Delaware, forensic nurses make an average of $82,490 per year. This pay equals $6,870 per month, $1,586 per week, or $39.66 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$39.66$1,586$6,870$82,490


9. Florida

The average forensic nurse salary in Florida is $77,530, which is the equivalent of $27.27 per hour, $1,491 per week, or $6,460 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$37.27$1,491$6,460$77,530


10. Georgia

In Georgia, forensic nurses earn an average of $39.73 per hour, $1,589 per week, $6,890 per month, or $82,640 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$39.73$1,589$6,890$82,640


11. Hawaii

Forensic nurses in Hawaii make approximately $109,850 annually. This pay is equal to $52.81 hourly, $2,114 weekly, or $9,150 monthly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$52.81$2,113$9,150$109,850


12. Idaho

The average income for forensic nurses in Idaho is $36.67 per hour, $1,467 per week, or $6,360 per month, the equivalent of $76,270.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$36.67$1,467$6,360$76,270


13. Illinois

The salary of a forensic nurse in Illinois averages $79,770 per year. This salary equals $6,650 per month, $1,534 per week, or $38.35 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$38.35$1,534$6,650$79,770


14. Indiana

In Indiana, forensic nurses earn approximately $73,330 per year, which is equivalent to $6,110 per month, $1,410 per week, or $35.25 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$35.25$1,410$6,110$73,330


15. Iowa

The average hourly pay for forensic nurses in Iowa is $32.36, equal to $1,294 weekly, $5,610 monthly, or $67,300 annually.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$32.36$1,294$5,610$67,300


16. Kansas

Forensic nurses in Kansas earn an average of $69,850 per year. This pay breaks down to equal $33.58 per hour, $1,335 per month, or $5,820 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$33.58$1,343$5,820$69,850


17. Kentucky

In Kentucky, forensic nurses make approximately $36.21 per hour, which comes to $1,448 per week, $6,280 per month, or $75,310 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$36.21$1,448$6,280$75,310


18. Louisiana

Forensic nurses in Louisiana earn an average annual salary of $73,660, which equals $35.41 per hour, $1,417 per week, or $6,140 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$35.41$1,417$6,140$73,660


19. Maine

In Maine, the average hourly pay for forensic nurses is $36.11, which is equivalent to $1,444 per week, $6,260 per month, or $75,110 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$36.11$1,444$6,260$75,110


20. Maryland

Forensic nurses in Maryland earn $85,370 per year, equal to $7,110 monthly, $1,642 weekly, or $41.04 hourly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$41.04$1,642$7,110$85,370


21. Massachusetts

The salary for forensic nurses in Massachusetts averages $48.58 per hour, $1,943 per week, or $8,420 per month, which equals $101,050 annually.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$48.58$1,943$8,420$101,050


22. Michigan

The average salary for forensic nurses in Michigan is $78,260 per year, which is equal to $27.63 per hour, $1,505 per week, or $6,520 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$37.63$1,505$6,520$78,260


23. Minnesota

In Minnesota, forensic nurses earn an average of $86,210 annually. This yearly pay is equal to $41.45 per hour, $1,658 per week, or $7,180 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$41.45$1,658$7,180$86,210


24. Mississippi

Forensic nurses in Mississippi make approximately $31.69 per hour, which equals $1,268 per week, $5,490 per month, or $65,910 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$31.69$1,268$5,490$65,910


25. Missouri

The average income for Missouri’s forensic nurses is 69,720 annually, equivalent to $5,810 monthly, $1,341 weekly, or $33.52 hourly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$33.52$1,341$5,810$69,720


26. Montana

In Montana, forensic nurse salaries are approximately $76,020 per year. When you break that figure down, it comes to $36.55 per hour, $1,462 per week, or $6,340 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$36.55$1,462$6,340$76,020


27. Nebraska

The forensic nurse salary in Nebraska averages $71,320 annually, which equals $34.29 per hour, $1,372 per week, or $5,940 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$34.29$1,372$5,940$71,320


28. Nevada

The average yearly pay for forensic nurses who work in Nevada is $93,440. This pay is equivalent to $7,790 monthly, $1,797 weekly, or $44.92 hourly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$44.92$1,797$7,790$93,440


29. New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, forensic nurses make an hourly wage of $38.91, which equals $1,557 weekly, $6,750 monthly, or $80,940 annually.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$38.91$1,557$6,750$80,940


30. New Jersey

Forensic nurses in New Jersey earn approximately $93,790 per year. This pay is the equivalent of $45.09 per hour, $1,804 per week, or $7,820 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$45.09$1,804$7,820$93,790


31. New Mexico

New Mexico forensic nurses make an average of $83,030 annually, equal to $6,920 monthly, $1,597 weekly, or $39.92 hourly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$39.92$1,597$6,920$83,030


32. New York

The average forensic nurse salary in New York is $46.71 per hour, $1,868 per week, or $8,100 per month. This pay comes to approximately $97,150 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$46.71$1,868$8,100$97,150


33. North Carolina

The salary of a forensic nurse in North Carolina typically averages $75,120 per year. This pay breaks down to $36.12 per hour, $1,445 per week, or $6,260 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$36.12$1,445$6,260$75,120


34. North Dakota

In North Dakota, forensic nurses earn approximately $72,770, on average, which equals $34.99 per hour, $1,399 per week, or $6,060 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$34.99$1,399$6,060$72,770


35. Ohio

The average forensic nurse salary in Ohio is $76,110 annually, equivalent to $6,340 per month, $1,464 per week, or $36.59 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$36.59$1,464$6,340$76,110


36. Oklahoma

Forensic nurses in Oklahoma can expect to earn an average of $74,630 each year, which equals $35.88 per hour, $1,435 per week, or $6,220 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$35.88$1,435$6,220$74,630


37. Oregon

Oregon forensic nurses make approximately $103,440 annually, which breaks down to $49.73 per hour, $1,989 per week, or $8,620 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$49.73$1,989$8,620$103,440


38. Pennsylvania

The average forensic nurse salary in Pennsylvania is $37.61 per hour, which equals $1,504 weekly, $6,520 monthly, or $78,230 yearly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$37.61$1,504$6,520$78,230


39. Rhode Island

Forensic nurses in Rhode Island earn an average of $85,620 per year, the equivalent of $7,140 monthly, $1,647 weekly, or $41.16 hourly.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$41.16$1,647$7,140$85,620


40. South Carolina

In South Carolina, the yearly income of forensic nurses is typically around $72,120. This pay equals $34.67 per hour, $1,387 per week, or $6,010 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$34.67$1,387$6,010$72,120


41. South Dakota

South Dakota forensic nurses earn $62,580 annually, on average, which is equivalent to $5,220 per month, $1,203 per week, or $30.09 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$30.09$1,203$5,220$62,580


42. Tennessee

The pay for forensic nurses in Tennessee is approximately $70,320 per year. This annual salary equals $33.81 per hour, $1,352 per week, or $5,860 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$33.81$1,352$5,860$70,320


43. Texas

The average forensic nurse salary in Texas is $81,810 per year, which equals $6,820 per month, $1,573 per week, or $39.33 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$39.33$1,573$6,820$81,810


44. Utah

Forensic nurses who live and work in Utah earn an average of $35.64 per hour, which is the equivalent of $1,426 per week, $6,180 per month, or $74,130 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$35.64$1,426$6,180$74,130


45. Vermont

In Vermont, the average annual salary of forensic nurses is $77,610, equal to $6,470 per month, $1,492 per week, or $37.31 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$37.31$1,493$6,470$77,610


46. Virginia

The average pay for forensic nurses in Virginia is $38.18 per hour, which is the equivalent of $1,527 per week, $6,620 per month, or $79,420 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$38.18$1,527$6,620$79,420


47. Washington

Forensic nurses in Washington earn an average of $47.42 per hour, $1,897 per week, or $8,220 per month. This pay equals $98,640 per year.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$47.42$1,897$8,220$98,640


48. West Virginia

In West Virginia, the average annual income for forensic nurses is $70,080. This pay breaks down to equal $5,840 per month, $1,348 per week, or $33.69 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$33.69$1,348$5,840$70,080


49. Wisconsin

Wisconsin forensic nurses earn an average of $78,590 annually, which is equivalent to $37.78 per hour, $1,511 per week, or $6,550 per month.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$37.78$1,511$6,550$78,590


50. Wyoming

In Wyoming, forensic nurses make approximately $78,600 per year. This pay breaks down to $6,550 per month, $1,512 per week, or $37.79 per hour.

HourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
$37.79$1,512$6,550$78,600



What is the Average Forensic Nurse Salary by City?


Forensic nurse salaries vary from one city to another. Forensic nurses in Little Rock, Arkansas, Wichita, Kansas, and Lincoln, Nebraska, earn some of the lowest salaries, with their pay ranging from $66,750 to $71,680 annually. In cities like Anaheim, Modesto, and Oakland, California, forensic nurses earn much higher wages, with annual salaries averaging between $121,620 and $159,580.

CityHourlyWeeklyMonthlyAnnual
Albuquerque, NM$40.69$1,628$7,050$84,640
Anaheim, CA$58.47$2,339$10,140$121,620
Anchorage, AK$48.12$1,925$8,340$100,080
Arlington, TX$40.98$1,639$7,100$85,230
Atlanta, GA$42.11$1,684$7,300$87,580
Aurora, CO$40.95$1,638$7,100$85,180
Austin, TX$40.45$1,618$7,010$84,140
Bakersfield, CA$55.12$2,205$9,550$114,650
Baltimore, MD$41.75$1,670$7,240$86,850
Baton Rouge, LA$34.64$1,386$6,010$72,060
Boise, ID$37.89$1,516$6,570$78,820
Boston, MA$49.90$1,996$8,650$103,790
Buffalo, NY$40.31$1,613$6,990$83,850
Cape Coral, FL$36.90$1,476$6,400$76,750
Charlotte, NC$37.10$1,484$6,430$77,160
Chicago, IL$39.77$1,591$6,890$82,720
Cincinnati, OH$37.66$1,507$6,530$78,340
Cleveland, OH$37.79$1,512$6,550$78,610
Colorado Springs, CO$38.60$1,544$6,690$80,290
Columbus, GA$33.54$1,342$5,810$69,760
Columbus, OH$37.64$1,506$6,530$78,300
Corpus Christi, TX$35.94$1,438$6,230$74,760
Dallas, TX$40.98$1,639$7,100$85,230
Denver, CO$40.95$1,638$7,100$85,180
Des Moines, IA$33.14$1,326$5,750$68,940
Detroit, MI$38.25$1,530$6,630$79,560
El Paso, TX$35.28$1,411$6,120$73,380
Fayetteville, NC$37.16$1,487$6,440$77,300
Fort Wayne, IN$34.16$1,367$5,920$71,060
Fort Worth, TX$40.98$1,639$7,100$85,230
Fresno, CA$57.55$2,302$9,980$119,700
Greensboro, NC$37.44$1,498$6,490$77,870
Henderson, NV$45.56$1,823$7,900$94,770
Honolulu, HI$53.74$2,149$9,310$111,770
Houston, TX$41.46$1,658$7,190$86,230
Huntsville, AL$31.04$1,242$5,380$64,560
Indianapolis, IN$37.52$1,501$6,500$78,050
Jacksonville, FL$36.61$1,464$6,350$76,150
Jersey City, NJ$48.91$1,957$8,480$101,740
Kansas City, MO$35.72$1,429$6,190$74,300
Laredo, TX$35.63$1,425$6,180$74,120
Las Vegas, NV$45.56$1,823$7,900$94,770
Lexington, KY$36.25$1,450$6,280$75,400
Lincoln, NE$34.46$1,378$5,970$71,680
Little Rock, AR$33.45$1,338$5,800$69,580
Long Beach, CA$58.47$2,339$10,140$121,620
Los Angeles, CA$58.47$2,339$10,140$121,620
Louisville, KY$37.91$1,517$6,570$78,860
Lubbock, TX$36.25$1,450$6,280$75,400
Madison, WI$40.23$1,609$6,970$83,670
Memphis, TN$34.73$1,389$6,020$72,230
Mesa, AZ$40.77$1,631$7,070$84,810
Miami, FL$38.16$1,526$6,610$79,370
Milwaukee, WI$38.27$1,531$6,630$79,600
Minneapolis, MN$43.00$1,720$7,450$89,450
Modesto, CA$64.61$2,584$11,200$134,390
Nashville, TN$36.03$1,441$6,250$74,940
New Orleans, LA$37.05$1,482$6,420$77,060
New York, NY$48.91$1,957$8,480$101,740
Newark, NJ$48.91$1,957$8,480$101,740
Norfolk, VA$37.06$1,482$6,420$77,080
North Las Vegas, NV$45.56$1,823$7,900$94,770
Oakland, CA$76.85$3,074$13,320$159,850
Oklahoma City, OK$36.08$1,443$6,250$75,050
Omaha, NE$35.10$1,404$6,080$73,010
Orlando, FL$36.90$1,476$6,400$76,760
Philadelphia, PA$40.97$1,639$7,100$85,220
Phoenix, AZ$40.77$1,631$7,070$84,810
Pittsburgh, PA$35.56$1,422$6,160$73,960
Port St. Lucie, FL$36.02$1,441$6,240$74,930
Portland, OR$52.06$2,083$9,020$108,290
Raleigh, NC$36.70$1,468$6,360$76,330
Reno, NV$43.51$1,741$7,540$90,510
Richmond, VA$38.56$1,543$6,680$80,210
Riverside, CA$56.66$2,266$9,820$117,850
Rochester, NY$39.13$1,565$6,780$81,380
Sacramento, CA$67.75$2,710$11,740$140,910
Saint Paul, MN$43.00$1,720$7,450$89,450
Salt Lake City, UT$37.02$1,481$6,420$77,010
San Antonio, TX$38.74$1,549$6,710$80,570
San Bernardino, CA$56.66$2,266$9,820$117,850
San Diego, CA$54.96$2,198$9,530$114,320
San Francisco, CA$76.85$3,074$13,320$159,850
San Jose, CA$74.64$2,986$12,940$155,260
Scottsdale, AZ$40.77$1,631$7,070$84,810
Seattle, WA$49.23$1,969$8,530$102,400
Spokane, WA$45.75$1,830$7,930$95,170
St. Louis, MO$35.06$1,403$6,080$72,930
St. Petersburg, FL$37.28$1,491$6,460$77,540
Stockton, CA$60.81$2,433$10,540$126,490
Tacoma, WA$49.23$1,969$8,530$102,400
Tampa, FL$37.28$1,491$6,460$77,540
Toledo, OH$35.70$1,428$6,190$74,250
Tucson, AZ$38.99$1,560$6,760$81,100
Tulsa, OK$37.18$1,487$6,450$77,340
Virginia Beach, VA$37.06$1,482$6,420$77,080
Washington, DC$43.29$1,732$7,500$90,040
Wichita, KS$32.09$1,284$5,560$66,750
Winston-Salem, NC$37.42$1,497$6,490$77,840
Worcester, MA$45.97$1,839$7,970$95,620



What are the Highest-Paying Workplaces for Forensic Nurses?


The salary of a forensic nurse varies based on several factors, including the work setting. Forensic nurses can work in hospitals, community care clinics, correctional facilities, coroner or medical examiner offices, and child advocacy centers. The highest-paying workplaces for forensic nurses are typically family justice centers, attorney’s offices, and government agencies.



What are the Highest-Paying States for Forensic Nurses?


The highest-paid forensic nurses work in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Massachusetts, Alaska, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Connecticut. In these states, forensic nurses earn between $91,450 and $129,370 on average.

RankHighest Paying States
StateAverage
Annual Salary
1California$129,370
2Hawaii$109,850
3Oregon$103,440
4Massachusetts$101,050
5Alaska$100,230
6Washington$98,640
7New York$97,150
8New Jersey$93,790
9Nevada$93,440
10Connecticut$91,450



What are the Highest-Paying Cities for Forensic Nurses?


The highest-paying cities for forensic nurses are all located in California. The cities are Fresno, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, Stockton, Modesto, Sacramento, San Jos, San Francisco, and Oakland. In these cities, forensic nurses earn between $119,700 and $159,850 per year.

RankHighest Paying Cities
CityAverage
Annual Salary
1Oakland, CA$159,850
2San Francisco, CA$159,850
3San Jose, CA$155,260
4Sacramento, CA$140,910
5Modesto, CA$134,390
6Stockton, CA$126,490
7Anaheim, CA$121,620
8Long Beach, CA$121,620
9Los Angeles, CA$121,620
10Fresno, CA$119,700



What is the Future Outlook for Forensic Nurse Salary?


According to Indeed, there are plenty of job opportunities for qualified forensic nurses. Because the demand for services influences earning potential, as the need for forensic nurses continues, the outlook for forensic nursing salaries is promising.



Bonus! 4 Ways Forensic Nurses Can Maximize Their Salary


There are many factors that determine the salary you will earn as a forensic nurse. One of the things I love about nursing is that there are always ways to increase your earning potential. Even the highest-paid forensic nurses can take steps to maximize their salaries. The following are four tips to help maximize your earnings.

WAY #1: Consider Choosing a Forensic Nursing Specialty

While forensic nursing is a specialty, you can choose to specialize further by dedicating your practice to a specific patient population. For example, you can become certified as a Forensic Psychiatric Nurse, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (Adult or Pediatric), Legal Nurse Consultant, or Correctional Nursing Specialist.

WAY #2: Look for Jobs in Areas Where There is a High Demand for Forensic Nurses

Another way to maximize your earning potential as a forensic nurse is to find a job in areas where the need for forensic nurses is greater. For instance, urban areas or areas with higher crime rates usually have a higher demand for forensic nurses, which means employers in these areas are typically willing to pay higher salaries.

WAY #3: Join Professional Forensic Nursing Organizations/Associations

When you join professional nursing organizations, you have opportunities to broaden your professional network. Most organizations, like the International Association of Forensic Nurses, not only offer networking opportunities for members but also offer access to job postings or job boards designed specifically for forensic nurses, which could open doors to higher-paying jobs.

WAY #4: Stay Informed About Trends in Forensic Nursing

Like all fields of healthcare, forensic nursing is in a constant state of change. New technologies and techniques are introduced often, which means staying abreast of current changes and trends in the industry is essential. When you stay informed about trends in forensic nursing, you can leverage your knowledge and skills to negotiate a higher salary.



My Final Thoughts


If you have been considering a career in forensic nursing, it is natural to question, “How much does a forensic nurse make?” Several factors contribute to one’s earning potential, including years of experience, the setting where you work, and your geographical location. In this article, I shared the forensic nurse salary in 2024, told you which cities and states pay the highest forensic nurse salaries, and gave you some tips to help maximize your earning potential. Forensic nurses make a difference in others’ lives, earn excellent incomes, and have a positive job outlook, which means this is the perfect time to pursue your dream of becoming a forensic nurse.



Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert


1. On Average, How Much Do Forensic Nurses Make Per Hour?

The average forensic nurse salary per hour in the U.S. is $41.52.

Salary Per Hour
$41.52


2. On Average, How Much Do Forensic Nurses Make Per Week?

On average, forensic nurses make $1,661 per week.

Salary Per Week
$1,661


3. On Average, How Much Do Forensic Nurses Make Per Month?

Forensic nurses earn an average of $7,200 per month.

Salary Per Month
$7,200


4. On Average, How Much Do Forensic Nurses Make Per Year?

On average, forensic nurses make $86,350 per year.

Salary Per Year
$86,360


5. What States In The Northeast Pay The Highest Salaries For Forensic Nurses?

The northern states that pay the highest forensic nurse salaries are New York and Massachusetts, where forensic nurses make $97,150 and $101,050.

StateAnnual Salary
Massachusetts$101,050
New York$97,150


6. What States In The Midwest Pay The Highest Salaries For Forensic Nurses?

In the Midwest, forensic nurses make the most money in Illinois and Minnesota. In these states, the average forensic nurse salaries are $79,770 and $86,210, respectively.

StateAnnual Salary
Minnesota$86,210
Illinois$79,770


7. What States In The Southeast Pay The Highest Salaries For Forensic Nurses?

Georgia and Virginia are the southwest states with the highest forensic nurse salaries. Forensic nurses in these states make between $79,420 and $82,640 annually, on average.

StateAnnual Salary
Georgia$82,640
Virginia$79,420


8. What States In The Southwest Pay The Highest Salaries For Forensic Nurses?

The southwest states with the highest salaries for forensic nurses are New Mexico and Arizona, where salaries are $83,030 and $84,160, respectively.

StateAnnual Salary
Arizona$84,160
New Mexico$83,030


9. What States In The Western Region Pay The Highest Salaries For Forensic Nurses?

Forensic nurses in California and Hawaii earn more than forensic nurses in any other state in the western region of the U.S. The forensic nurse salaries in these states are $109,850 and $129,370.

StateAnnual Salary
California$129,370
Hawaii$109,850


Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).