Should You Become a CRNA Freelancer?

January 15, 2016
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What are the differences between a CRNA who works as a W-2 employee and one who is a 1099 contractor or freelancer? You probably are familiar with both types of CRNAs; those who go to work at the same place every day as employees, and those who run their own businesses as freelancers. Both work arrangements have their unique challenges and advantages.

Advantages of Being an Employee

Because most CRNAs are medical professionals, rather than business people, working as a W-2 employee can provide a stable and steady framework to do one’s job without the added pressures of having to run a business too. Employees are able to show up at the same time, at the same place, and take home the same paycheck each month. There are fewer risks involved, and employees are able to leave their work behind at the end of the day.

Advantages of Freelancing

About 14% of CRNAs are currently working as 1099 contractors, not W-2 employees*. These individuals know that freelancing provides many advantages including:

  • The opportunity to potentially earn a higher hourly rate
  • The ability to be in control of their careers
  • Scheduling flexibility
  • The potential to save more for retirement
  • Potential tax deductions

Of course, there are challenges to becoming a freelancer as well, including finding your own work, running a business, as well as paying upfront legal and business costs. But for many CRNAs who choose to freelance, the opportunity to run their own business is both interesting and fulfilling.

You Don’t Have to Give up Your W-2 Job

Don’t feel comfortable jumping 100% into freelancing? You can do both! Many CRNAs are not aware that to begin freelancing, they don’t necessarily need to give up their current job! It’s possible to continue your W-2 employment while running a freelancing business where you make money as an independent contractor.

Freelancing can offer significant opportunities to potentially earn more, save more and retire earlier. Learning more about the business of freelancing can help you become better prepared to make the right choices for your lifestyle. Need help? CRNA Financial Planning® understands the dynamics that are unique to self-employed CRNAs and can assist with developing strategies to pursue your financial goals.

How to Learn More

At CRNA Financial Planning®, we work with CRNAs to help them make informed financial decisions through education. To learn more about starting a freelancing business, email us at, call our office at 855.304.3748, or visit our website.

About Jeremy Stanley

Jeremy Stanley is the founder of CRNA Financial Planning®. He has been providing advice and guidance to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) for over two decades. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Jeremy has met rigorous certification and professional standards set by the CFP® Board. He is committed to adhering to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients. Jeremy is also the author of the book “The Wealthy CRNA,” which lays out a foundational roadmap for CRNAs to help them plan their financial futures.


Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group and CRNA Financial Planning are separate entities from LPL Financial.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.