The TheraEx Locums Blog

News and insights from our team of experts.


Highest Paying States for Locum Tenens

Deciding on which state you would like to work in depends a lot on your personal preferences. Some physicians want to work for the people; some want to use the opportunity to adventure and see the country, while others may be purely looking to make the money they need to live well. If your options are determined more heavily on the income, then this article is for you.

There are plenty of doctors out there that dive into Locum Tenens because financially it is an excellent choice. This doesn’t mean they are any less caring, empathetic, compassionate or willing to do whatever they can to help when it comes to their patients and co-workers. However, with a lot of money spent on schools and residency, being financially stable in today’s world is security you can be lucky to have. Work Locum Tenens jobs for a number of years and you could have all of your loans paid off and start living a more comfortable life. It’s a substantial reason why physicians start right after residency and an ample reason for you to hop on board too. But where are the highest paying states? Let’s check them out below.

Highest Paying States to Work In


Those who go to Kentucky will have an interesting experience here. On one side, we have classic Kentucky which includes great music, bourbon, horse racing, a little NCAA appearance by the Final Four and the Mammoth Cave. A cavern recorded as the world’s longest outdoor attraction. You will be able to discover everything you would like and need in between the country, mountains or in and around the city. You can gain a considerable income of around $364,000 annually which provides you enough room to save and also adventure. On the other side, Kentucky is known as one of the worst areas in the country for obesity, diabetes, drug use, mental health and poverty. It is predicted that by 2025, over 950 physician spots will be available, which is one of the worst in the country. This, however, gives you the in to earn well to aid patients in this state, as well as enjoy the perks of Kentucky.


There are plenty of spots available in Tennessee for you to work and the reasonings are kind of interesting. It seems to come down to there not being enough residencies to keep doctors in the state. Chances are, even if they train in Tennessee, they could find themselves heading somewhere else for residency and then simply not returning. While the Senate is trying to make things easier, for now, you could be looking at an income around the same as Kentucky, $364,000. That means not only creating a great base but also venturing out and enjoying the festivals in neighboring cities Memphis or Nashville, getting all of your foodie needs met in Atlanta, enjoying the art scene of the city and enjoying its historical sights. In relation to health care, it is said to be thriving, along with its technology sector. A great bonus.


Home of The Reuben, the gigantic pork tenderloin sandwiches, rocky mountain oysters or some questionable but delicious raisin pie. Nebraska is not often a typical choice for people, but it can definitely keep more than your stomach satisfied. Along with great food, you can also adventure at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium or set your sights on the Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Scotts Bluff National Monument or the quirky Carhenge. Just to name a few. Why Nebraska is a hot spot for Locum Tenens is due to its retiring community. One in four doctors is over the age of 60 and will most likely be retiring fairly soon. Though, diversity seems to be the more key mark here when it comes to patients. While the population is changing, it is becoming very diverse and they are looking for doctors who can bring that same diversity. You’d be looking at a similar annual income to Tennessee and Kentucky to spend on all of that delicious food. If you think you have what it takes, don’t be shy.


Missouri’s situation is unique. While its population seems to be growing since 2010, four rural hospitals have closed. This means that for every 100,000 people, there are only 56 doctors available. Making it quite clear that Missourians need to be getting some better care. You would be looking at around $357,000 annually in an area where the cost of living is quite affordable. As for the city itself, if you are a sport or BBQ fan, it’s got you covered. Home to the Kansas City Chiefs, St Louis Cardinals and some of the best BBQs in the country, you will have your fair share of things to enjoy and eat.

Honorable mentions are:

  • Alabama: $358,000 annual income along with the lowest burnout rates.
  • Oregon: $352,000 annual income along with higher expenses but insane natural scenery.
  • Indiana: $350,000 annually and the top 10 most affordable states to live in.

If income is on the top of your list of reasons why you are or would like to become a Locum Tenens, then there are plenty of places for you to pick from. These states have very good reasons as to why they need your extra hands, and they are definitely willing to pay for your hard work and help. There are many factors to choose from, but every state brings their own uniqueness to the table and that’s something we can make sure fits our lifestyle before we take the leap. If you have anymore questions about what state would be best for you to work in, don’t hesitate to contact us here!