Nurse practitioners are the highest paid, most popular job in Arizona

Arizona’s job market is booming.

Since July 2018 Arizona has added 78,200 nonfarm jobs, a 2.8 percent uptick. The majority of those were in Education and Health Services, but are those actually the most in-demand jobs in the state?

CareerBuilder, an online employer website, examined the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to find the most popular and highest-paid job for each state. The company found that 40 out of 50 states named a health care profession or a software developer as the highest-paying, most in-demand job in its state. 

In Arizona, the highest paid, most popular job is a “Nurse Practitioner.” 

A nurse practitioner can also be known as an advanced practice registered nurse and is allowed to take patient histories, perform physical exams, order labs, analyze lab results, prescribe medicines, authorize treatments and educate families and patients on the care needed.

According to CNBC, the average salary for a nurse practitioner in Arizona is $110,750, which is more than the median salary for the job in the United States. 

U.S. News & World Report ranked nurse practitioner as the fifth-best health care job and seventh-best job overall.

“Nurse practitioners are handsomely paid for their work, with the top 50 percent taking home six-figure salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 36.1 percent employment growth for nurse practitioners between 2016 and 2026. In that period, an estimated 56,100 jobs should open up,” U.S. News writes. 

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) said the growth of the profession could be connected to the current primary care provider shortage.

“NPs are the providers of choice for millions of patients,” AANP President Joyce Knestrick said in a statement. “Current provider shortages, especially in primary care, are a growing concern, yet the growth of the NP role is addressing that concern head-on. The faith patients have in NP-provided health care is evidenced by the estimated 1.06 billion patient visits made to NPs in 2018.” 

According to the AANP, as of January 2019, there were an estimated 270,000 nurse practitioners licensed to practice in the United States, a significant increase from the 248,000 reported in March 2018. 

There has also been a 129 percent spike in the number of office visits to nurse practitioners and physician assistants, according to financial information website MarketWatch. 

“While NPs on average have practiced for 10 years, over a third (42.2 percent) have been in practice for five years or less,” the AANP reported. “More than 26,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2016-2017, a significant jump from the 23,698 graduates in 2015-2016.” 

In Arizona, the job has a projected growth of 25 percent through 2023 according to CNBC.

Emily Richardson

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