AAOHN: Salaries of Occupational Health Nurses Likely Will Continue to Rise

Salaries and benefits of occupational and environmental health nurses have shown a steady increase over the past 5 years, according to new research from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

"This study brings positive news to the occupational and environmental health nursing profession by showing the majority of professionals in our industry have been experiencing salary and benefits increases over the past 5 years," AAOHN President Susan Randolph said.

Findings from the study show that the average salary of AAOHN members is $63,472 and that the estimated average salary has grown 3.9 percent annually since 2001. Also, the study shows that education levels and age tend to have a positive correlation with the salary earned, as does having some type of occupational and environmental health nursing certification.

"Continued education and competency in the field is supported by the salary increases," Randolph told OccupationalHazards.com.

Occupational and health nurses also have reaped health care, insurance and retirement benefits. A typical member had 75 percent of their health insurance premium paid by their employer in addition to receiving other benefits such as dental, life insurance and long- and short-term disability insurance, according to the study. Research also showed that three in four members were enrolled in a 401(k) retirement plan.

Randolph said she believes that nurses' salaries will continue to rise for years to come.

"The value an occupational health nurse brings to the worksite is enormous," she said. "They are and hopefully will continue to be rightfully compensated."

The results were derived from a survey of approximately 3,000 randomly selected AAOHN members. Factors such as certification levels, education, job title, years in the position, work schedule, race, age, region of country and more were considered in revealing specific trends and statistics in salaries.

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