What Jobs Can You Get With a CNA Certification?

CNA certification is much more accessible than college degree programs, and can also be much less expensive.

However, aspiring CNAs should realize that not all jobs available to them require their certification or even any training whatsoever; there are some positions which will accept candidates straight from school, while others will require additional education or even a bachelor’s degree.

To present a clear picture of what you can expect from your CNA experience in terms of job prospects, here are 13 jobs open to certified CNAs.

1. Nursing Home Aide

One of the most common jobs available to CNAs is that of nursing home worker. Residents who need long-term care are often transferred into these facilities, and there is always a need for certified nurses assistants to provide some of the basic medical services which residents require.

While this position usually only requires certification, it may be necessary for you to acquire additional training if you want to work in specialized areas of the home such as psychiatric or Alzheimer’s care.

This job also has the greatest amount of room for advancement; beyond merely keeping your clients healthy and comfortable, you can progress by moving up through the ranks until you become an administrator over your own patient group or even manage entire facilities.

Who is suitable for this job?

While nursing home work may not sound glamorous, it is perfect for those who can handle the emotionally draining nature of caring for the sick and elderly. It requires a great deal of patience and empathy to deal with people in their final years, but this job is rewarding if you are capable of providing your residents with compassionate care.

2. Home Health Aide

These workers focus primarily on caring for individual patients rather than larger groups. Their job is very similar to that of the nursing home worker, but usually has less room for growth since they tend to focus on individual cases rather than managing an entire facility.

However, there are often openings for hospital aides which can be acquired through your certification; these positions will require you to continue your education and gain even more experience working with other types of patients.

2020 Median Pay$27,080 per year
$13.02 per hour
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20203,470,700
Job Outlook, 2020-3033% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2020-301,129,900
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Who is suitable for this job?

Home health aides are appropriate for those with the patience and compassion needed to provide care for people who are unable to get out of bed due to their illnesses. They often require extensive endurance; in addition to working long shifts, you may be asked to transport patients between facilities in order to ensure that they receive the best possible treatment.

3. Personal Caregiver

Another common position available to CNAs is that of personal care aid, which involves providing assistance with daily activities like bathing, dressing and eating.

This type of work tends to be done in either the patient’s own home or another living situation such as an assisted living community or group home. You can expect this job to involve many hours spent not only on housekeeping and personal care, but also transporting your patient to and from appointments as well as running errands for them.

Who is suitable for this job?

Personal care workers need to be both caring and practical. They must be able to get along with people of all ages and backgrounds, but also be responsible enough to keep accurate records while balancing a busy schedule. There can often be long hours and little pay in this profession; however, the flexibility offered may make it an ideal job for those who wish to pursue further education.

4. Child Care Aide

Many people choose to pursue this career path in order to work with children; the responsibilities of a CNA will be very familiar since you already work with patients who can’t take care of themselves.

This job is especially perfect for students or individuals who want to combine their work with child care experience so that they may eventually pursue a more lucrative position such as nurse or even physician’s assistant.

Those without certification can still find positions at daycare centers which don’t require it – often times this type of business will accept CNAs instead of hiring someone new altogether since you’ve already had training and can come to work immediately.

2020 Median Pay$25,460 per year
$12.24 per hour
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2020992,400
Job Outlook, 2020-308% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2020-3084,200
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Who is suitable for this job?

Working with children requires patience, love and a desire to further the education of our future generations. You must be capable of dealing with difficult situations in a calm and collected manner in order to avoid putting your students at risk.

Child care workers often juggle many responsibilities beyond just taking care of their young wards; they may need to feed them snacks, change diapers and prepare meals.

5. Traveling CNA 

If you’ve always wanted to see the world, this is a great way to combine your love of travel with your career.

Traveling CNAs are hired by hospitals or even affluent individuals who need long-term care but will be traveling for an extended period of time. This job requires that you have plenty of certification and experience in order to be considered; additionally, it can be very physically demanding since you’ll likely spend much of your time transferring patients into wheelchairs and carrying them around while they tour new lands.

Who is suitable for this job?

This job isn’t for everyone, but someone interested in combining their love of travel with caregiving often excels in this position. You’ll need to be able to get along well with others and learn everything you can about new cultures while also maintaining your patient’s safety and comfort at all times.

It’s probably not a good choice for those who want to be behind a desk for most of their hours, with the exception of travel time spent on airplanes and in hotels.

6. Emergency Room Aide

This type of position is perfect for those who enjoy excitement and challenges on the job every day.

While working in an emergency room setting isn’t exactly comparable to nursing home work, it does require some of the same skills; you must be able to deal with crisis situations, answer questions quickly and efficiently, and comfort patients through stressful times.

Working in this type of facility requires extensive experience as well as certification; if you do not yet possess either it may be more beneficial for you to complete both before applying.

Who is suitable for this job?

Working in an emergency room requires many of the same skills needed to provide care in a nursing home; patience, organization and communication are all extremely important while you’re on the job.

You must be able to pay close attention to detail and work well under pressure while remaining calm; additional training in CPR will also be beneficial in order to remain certified.

Since much of this work is done on an urgent basis, you’ll need to be capable of making quick decisions and always thinking two steps ahead in order to ensure that your patients receive stellar care.

7. Government Facilities Aide

At the federal, state and local level there is always need for individuals with CNA training; this can include hospital work, nursing homes and even correctional facilities.

These positions offer more job security than something like traveling nursing because you’ll know that you’ll be able to continue your career no matter where in the country you go.

Who is suitable for this job?

Working with prisoners requires an individual who can deal well with difficult people while still maintaining their composure. You’ll need to be prepared to work long hours in high-turnover positions in order to remain valuable, and you’ll also need to be able to pass stringent background checks.

Many CNAs begin their career in this field; if you’re interested in moving into higher-level jobs after gaining experience, this would be a good position for you to start with.

8. Hospice Aide

This field involves working hand-in-hand with terminally ill patients who are nearing the end of their lives. This often times requires helping them manage pain while also providing emotional care so they may live out their final days as comfortably as possible.

As a hospice aid it will be up to you to carefully monitor your patient’s health while also offering support during these trying times; most facilities will allow you to work full-time hours, which may make this the perfect position for moms who wish to spend more time at home.

Who is suitable for this job?

Many CNAs who have worked in nursing homes or on the medical floor of a hospital have gained experience with terminally ill individuals. You’ll need to be extremely empathetic and patient as well as able to work long hours without becoming worn out.

While working with hospice patients can be emotionally draining, it can also be one of the most rewarding parts of your career. If you’re looking for a position that allows you to really make a difference in someone’s final days, hospice work may be perfect for you.

9. Clinical Aide

Working as a clinical aide is perfect for those who want to pursue medical careers and gain valuable experience without undertaking the extreme schooling.

Most people in this position end up pursuing further education within the field after gaining some preliminary knowledge.

You’ll need at least one year of training before applying, along with certification, but once you’re in keep your eyes peeled because many facilities hire CNAs with ambition to become nurses or physicians on staff.

Who is suitable for this job?

Many of those who want to become physicians and nurses go through clinical aide training first; it’s a great way to treat the patients while also learning about the intricacies of hospital care. You’ll need to be highly organized and have great attention to detail as well as the ability to learn quickly.

Clinical aides are also often times responsible for data entry, scheduling appointments and other logistical tasks that can keep a medical facility running smoothly.

10. Hospitals Aide

As with a government facility, working in a hospital setting allows you to stay close to the medical field without having to deal with constantly changing hours and an active patient population. This is a great position for CNAs looking for something less physically taxing since they will often work in more of a support role rather than being responsible for an individual’s care from start to finish.

Who is suitable for this job?

Hospitals are looking for highly qualified, reliable staff who won’t require extensive training; they will usually hire CNAs with at least one year of prior experience.

As with any medical position your work hours will be long and exhausting but the effort you put in can make a huge difference if you’re helping us with a patient’s recovery. If you’re looking for a change and want something less physically demanding while also getting to work alongside medical staff, this could be the position for you!

11. School Aide

More schools are making teachers and staff also be first responders in case of an emergency. They may need to have special training to help students if they get sick or hurt.

Even further, some schools rely on CNAs as part of their educational team – you’ll typically find these types of jobs in preschools where you’ll teach children about basic hygiene and safety during the early years before they’re able to attend kindergarten.

Who is suitable for this job?

Those looking to get into education or social services may find that school administrative positions are more difficult to get hired for; by becoming a CNA you’re also opening up the possibility of working with the children academically.

There’s no degree required and most times just consist of on-the-job training, but you do need to be extremely organized and able to multi-task. You should also have great patience as well as the ability to learn quickly, especially since these positions are often seasonal or unregulated in terms of employment hours.

12. Rehabilitation Facilities Aide

Since there are hundreds of people who leave hospitals every day with serious injuries requiring physical therapy it stands to reason that there will always be a need for individuals experienced in taking care of them; many rehabilitation centers prefer to hire CNAs because they already have experience and simply need to continue with their education.

This is the perfect job for those who want to become a nurse without attending lengthy school programs or spending time working in an office setting. No matter what your skill set may be there’s always something you can do to help others when you have CNA certification!

Who is suitable for this job?

A medical facility that specializes in physical and occupational therapy will always be looking for individuals to help out either part or full-time. You’ll need to have a vast knowledge of both the human body and certain types of medication, although these aren’t required skills when you’re just starting out as a certified nursing assistant. Previous experience is a plus but not a requirement so you can jump right in and start learning on the job!

13. Private Practice/Self Employed CNA

The last option for those who hold CNAs is to open their own practice or even work for themselves; this option does require the most amount of time and effort, but it can also be very rewarding.

You’ll need to advertise your services, recruit clients, and develop policies that will protect both you and your patients; however, once you have a solid patient base established these types of jobs can be very lucrative.

Who is suitable for this job?

Naturally those with the most experience should be the first to look into these types of positions; however, you also need other areas of training such as proper record keeping and insurance filing.

If you already have an excellent patient base then this is the perfect opportunity to become your own boss and reap all of the benefits; start part-time or even volunteer at a local clinic and learn as much as you can about the business side of health care. Once you’re ready to open up shop make sure that you’re fully equipped to handle your patients from A to Z so that they’ll be comfortable and safe.

There are many medical service providers out there who need trained individuals willing to help people in a variety of ways; regardless of where you’re located or what type of experience you may have there’s a CNA position waiting for you somewhere! You simply have to start looking, applying, and following-up until you find a great job. There are many different opportunities available depending on how much experience you have as well as which type of facility you’d like to work in – so begin searching now to get the ball rolling!