Choosing a state to work in as a Locum Tenens depends on various factors, including your personal preferences. Some doctors prioritize serving the community, while others seek adventure and travel. Others may prioritize earning a good income. If you’re focused on the highest paying states where you can earn the most money, this article is for you.

Financial stability is a desirable aspect for many doctors, and choosing Locum Tenens work can help achieve that goal. This career choice doesn’t mean they care any less for their patients and coworkers. In fact, many doctors start their Locum Tenens journey right after residency to pay off their loans and lead a more comfortable life. With lucrative earning opportunities, several states offer high pay to Locum Tenens. Let’s explore the highest paying states in detail.

Highest Paying States to Work In


Working in Kentucky as a Locum Tenens can provide an exciting blend of experiences. The state offers a mix of classic Kentucky attractions such as music, bourbon, horse racing, the Final Four, and the Mammoth Cave, the world’s longest outdoor attraction.

With an annual income of approximately $364,000, you can save and explore the country, mountains, and cities. However, Kentucky is known for its high rates of obesity, diabetes, drug use, mental health issues, and poverty, with a projected need for 950 physicians by 2025. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity to earn well while helping patients in need and enjoying the unique culture of Kentucky.


There are numerous job openings for Locum Tenens in Tennessee due to a shortage of doctors in the state. Although the government is attempting to resolve the issue, you have the opportunity to earn a substantial income of $364,000 per year. This not only provides financial stability but also allows you to explore nearby cities such as Memphis, Nashville, or Gatlinburg, experience their festivals, food, art, and history. Additionally, Tennessee boasts a thriving healthcare and technology industry, making it an attractive option for those seeking job opportunities.


Nebraska is not just a destination for food lovers, with its famous Reuben sandwiches, big pork tenderloin sandwiches, Rocky Mountain oysters, and raisin pie. It also offers other attractions like the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and historic sites such as Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Scotts Bluff National Monument, and Carhenge.

This state is becoming a popular choice for Locum Tenens due to its aging community of doctors, with one in four over the age of 60 and expected to retire soon. The population in Nebraska is becoming more diverse and they need doctors who can match that diversity. With an annual income comparable to Tennessee and Kentucky, you can enjoy delicious food and all that the state has to offer. If you have the skills and passion, consider exploring Nebraska.


Missouri offers a distinct opportunity for Locum Tenens physicians. Despite its growing population since 2010, four rural hospitals have shut down, resulting in only 56 doctors per 100,000 people. This presents a clear need for better medical care in the state. You can expect an annual income of around $357,000, which is made even more attractive by the affordable cost of living. As for the state itself, it offers plenty for sports and BBQ fans, with the Kansas City Chiefs and St Louis Cardinals, as well as some of the best BBQ joints in the country.

Honorable mentions are:

  • Known for having low burnout rates, Alabama has an annual income of $358,000.
  • Boasting amazing natural scenery that comes with higher expenses Oregon has a slightly lower annual income of $352,000.
  • Ranked among the 10 most affordable states to live in Indiana has an annual income of $350,000.

If you’re seeking a high income as a Locum Tenens physician, there are many states that would welcome your expertise. These states need additional support and are willing to compensate you well for your services. When choosing one of the highest paying states to work in, consider the various unique offerings each state provides and select the one that aligns best with your lifestyle. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

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