Washington/Oregon Wages vs California


Hi Everyone

This is my first post and I need a bit of help. I am a PICU nurse currently working in California. I am wanting to move closer to Canada(where I am originally from) and have been looking at Portland, OR or Seattle, WA. Are there any members that currently work in either of these two cities that could tell me the hourly wage? In San Francisco we make around $50.00/hr. I need to see how much of a drop in Wages I'll be looking at.

I have checked out some of the Labour stats but they seem off.

Thanks for your help


121 Posts

I looked at some job postings in the Portland, OR area and a lot of them were $25-30 starting.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Salaries are going to be quite a bit less, but the cost of living is also less.

What you really need to do is sit down and calculate out what expenses would be there compared to what you are making now and would be there.

Chances are that you may be right on par with the differences in both. With what your final take home is per week or month.

You can easily pull up their local newspapers on-line, Sunday is always the best day and then check out some of the facilities and what they are offering. Just like many from out of state do with the Chronicle.

Best of luck to you.


15 Posts

Specializes in EMERGENCY.

Cali Is The Place To Be If You Want The Money, Anywhere Else Youre Going To Have To Make Some Serious Changes In Your Spending.

Specializes in CVICU, SICU. Has 5 years experience.

I worked out in Seattle for 2 years and made between $27-29/hr. Our differentials were about $3.50 on nights, $1.50 for weekends. Cost of living was much less than CA, but it's still on the higher side compared to the rest of the country (I live now in the midwest and make a ton more, with less housing costs which equal a LOT more savings!).

Regardless, Seattle and Portland are 2 of my favorite cities to live in.. you won't go wrong living in either.. plus the proximity to Canada will be nice... Good luck with your choices!


17 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Intensive Care. Has 13 years experience.

I moved from the bay area 5 years ago to work in Portland Oregon. My starting salary was much lower than I was getting in Childrens Hospital of Oakland at that time. Currently I'm employed at a PICU and base salary is about $33/hr with 7 years exp.

Hope that helps.

Oh, and I hope you like rain!!

smk1, LPN

2,195 Posts

Depends on your experience. I am a new grad and started at 27.50 plus night shift differential. I live and work in a suburb of Portland. Cost of living is much lower than in California, so all things considered you might be fine even with what seems like a steep pay cut.

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