Nursing is often the first choice for students looking forward to getting into healthcare and patient care. It is the basic level of being a nurse, and you can improve your stature with time by getting further education. Over 1,343,700 nursing assistants work in the U.S. They work in various medical and senior citizen facilities to help patients with their daily tasks relating to healthcare.
But the question arises, “How much money does a CNA make?”
Keep reading to learn everything about a CNA’s salary, including high-paying states, facilities, and how to increase your earning potential.
What does a CNA do?
Before we get into how much CNAs earn on average, let’s first tell you what a CNA actually does.
Certified nursing assistants care for their patients and help them in everyday activities, including healthcare-related tasks. They also report changes in the patient’s emotional or physical health to help doctors assess the situation better.
CNAs observe the patient’s needs, change bedding, and help them bathe, get dressed, and eat, if required. Furthermore, they answer phone calls and notify other related healthcare workers of emergencies.
Do Nursing Assistants Get Paid Well?
Often students wonder if CNAs earn above the national US average salary. The answer to this question is “no,” but it still does not mean that nursing assistants do not have a good salary. Nursing assistants earn less than the national average salary of $45,760. However, they make more money than the median salary of healthcare support occupations, which is $39,880.
Nursing Assistants or CNAs do not require a professional degree which allows them to work overtime. Federal Law orders employers to pay at least 1.5 times their regular pay when CNAs work over their 40-hour week.
How Much Money does a CNA Make per Year?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNAs make a median salary of $30,310 in the USA annually with a $14.57 hourly pay. The salaries range from $23,780 to $41,410 per year. The top ten percent of CNAs make above $44,240, while the bottom ten percent earn $23,880.
Factors that Affect Your Earning Potential
If one CNA friend has told you a different salary from the other, none of them may be lying. Being a CNA has varying earning potential depending on your qualification, geographical location, and workplace.
|Average CNA Salary Depending on Qualification|
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses||$48,070|
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
You can become a certified nursing assistant if you have a GED or high school diploma. Next, you must enroll in a state-approved training program and receive the certification or license after passing the competency exam. In most states, you have to obtain 70% – 75% in the exam’s first part of the exam and 100% in the second part to receive the certificate.
Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)
Being an LPN or LVN requires an approved educational program typically spanning one year. The program teaches you to administer basic patient care, including changing bandages, inserting catheters, etc.
Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered nurses previously required an associate’s degree in nursing. But now, you need a four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) to get an RN license. In case you already have an associate’s degree, you can get the license in 12 to 14 months through the RN-to-BS Completion Program.
|Average CNA Salary Depending on Workplace|
|Workplace||Average CNA Salary|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||$35,190|
|Nursing Care Facilities||$32,090|
|Home Health Care Services||$29,930|
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals – $35,190
Certified Nursing Assistants working in general medical and surgical hospitals make around $35,190 on average. They work under a registered nurse to care for patients with a wide range of needs.
Nursing Care Facilities – $32,090
Nursing care facilities, also known as skilled nursing facilities, have residents needing help with their day-to-day tasks. As a CNA at a nursing care facility, you can make $32,090 on average.
Home Health Care Services – $29,930
If you do not prefer working full-time at a facility, you can opt to be a home healthcare service provider. Home healthcare service providers visit patients’ homes to help them with their medical and daily-life tasks.
|Average CNA Salary Depending on Experience|
|Experience||Average Pay Per Hour|
|One year or less||$12.32|
|One to four years||$12.76|
|Five to nine years||$13.38|
|Ten to nineteen years||$13.97|
|Twenty years or more||$14.60|
One Year or Less
Salaries may vary depending on the state and facility you work in. However, on average, most CNAs with a working experience of one year or less are paid $12.32 per hour.
One to Four Years
Furthermore, as CNAs work in different areas and get more experience, they can make up to $12.76 per hour.
Five to Nine Years
With over five years of experience, certified nursing assistants are considered a pro, and their hourly wage rises to $13.38.
Ten to Nineteen Years
Certified Nursing Assistants can expect varying wage increments during different career stages depending on the state and working facility. Most CNAs receive $13.97 per hour when they have more than ten years of experience.
Over Twenty Years
After working as a CNA for over twenty years, you can expect $14.60 per hour.
You may stay a CNA and receive the increment over time with an increase in experience or get further training to become an LPN/LVN or RN for better income.
|Average Nurse Salary Depending on Location|
|High Paying State||Average Salary||Low Paying State||Average Salary|
|District of Columbia||$39,390||Arkansas||$27,840|
High Paying States
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that CNAs in Alaska make the highest average pay compared to other states in the US. After Alaska, New York is the second highest-paying, followed by California, the District of Columbia, and Oregon.
Low Paying States
On the other hand, Puerto Rico has been named the state with the lowest average salaries for certified nursing assistants. Other states with low average hourly and monthly pay for CNAs include Alabama, Guam, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
Annual Wage by State
|State||Mean Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia||$39,390|
How Can I Increase My Earning Potential?
Receiving further education to become a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) or a registered nurse can help you increase your income. Registered nurses make the highest average among certified nursing assistants, licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses, and registered nurses.
Moreover, you can also receive certifications for oral care aides, bathing aides, oncology aides, and restorative aides to advance in your nursing career. The most high-paying choices are pediatrics, geriatrics, cardiology, and psychiatry aides.
Other high-paying skills for certified nursing assistants include telemetry, surgical, and ICU skills. Training in these domains can help manage patients with special needs, thus allowing CNAs to make better income.
How can CNAs Make Additional Money?
Besides working overtime and obtaining further qualifications, consider talking to your employer about shift differentials. Most employers offer shift differentials if you work on weekends, holidays, or evening shifts; you can earn 1.5 times the standard hourly rate in your workplace.
Scope of CNAs in the Coming Years
Reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the overall employment rate for nursing assistants will grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030, opening around 192,800 new jobs in the next decade with a projected 4.7% growth rate.
The pay for CNAs increases approximately 3.5% more after four years, 8.6% more after five years, 13.4% more after ten years, and 19% more after twenty years. So, there is no second thought in deducing that there will be plentiful jobs for CNAs and other nurses in coming years.
Where to Find CNA Jobs?
You can find CNA jobs through your seniors or hospital websites by visiting their “careers” option. But if you are unable to find any leads through these channels, some other job-searching portals include:
Further Options After Becoming a CNA
Once a CNA, you can advance into your career by obtaining further certifications and licenses to increase income. Some of the most popular career choices for certified nursing assistants include registered nurse, family nurse practitioner, licensed practical nurse, medical assistant, certified medical assistant, certified nurse’s aide, nursing home administrator, and geriatric care manager.
The Bottom Line
A certified nursing assistant does not make the highest money as a healthcare professional, but nursing is the highest paying among all patient support healthcare domains. CNAs make a median salary of $30,310 in the USA annually with a $14.57 hourly pay. The top ten percent of CNAs make over $44,240, while the bottom ten percent earn $23,880. However, the salaries may vary according to geographical location, qualification, experience, and workplace. You can earn more as a CNA by improving your qualification, acquiring high-paying skills, and working in a better-paying workplace.
How much does a CNA make per hour?
The average hourly pay for a CNA in the US is $16.04 an hour. However, the hourly wages may vary from state to state.
How much CNA makes an hour in Florida?
If you are just starting as a CNA in Florida, you can make $17.98 per year. CNAs with 3 to 5 years of experience earn $18.93, up to 9 years of working experience get $19.41, and nursing assistants with more than ten years of experience make $21.39.
How to become a CNA?
Becoming a CNA requires completing a 105-hour state-approved Nurse Aide training program followed by the written and skills competency evaluation to receive the license.
How much money does a CNA make in Kansas?
If you have just received your CNA certification in Kansas, you can earn $17.60 until you have three to five years of experience. CNAs with 3 to 5 years of experience make $18.53, those with 6 to 9 years of experience earn $19.00, while you may make as much as $20.94 per hour with more than 10 years of experience.
Matthew is a Co-Founder at BusinessFinanceArticles.org. Matthew was a floor manager at a local restaurant in Wales. He lost his job after the pandemic and took initiative to make a team and start the project.
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