An In-Depth Details of CNA Salary

With the recent nursing shortage, many aspiring nurses are considering a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) instead. As an entry-level position in the medical field, CNAs have a starting salary of about $30k per year, but with enough experience, there is room for growth and they can earn up to $40k or more. Read on to learn more about CNA salary, What are the factors that affect the salary, Tips to improve your earning potential, and more.

How Much Does a CNA Earn?

Usually, CNA salary is calculated on an hourly basis. The hourly rate may be in the range of $10 to $19. Before taking the job, you should research the nursing assistants’ salary within your city.

How much a CNA earns also depends on the state or city you are living in. Not only the taxes people pay to the administration are higher, but also the charges paid for services to the providers are higher. Therefore, in such a city or state, you can receive a high salary.

You will find a $5 difference per hour in your salary. If your city were paying you $10 for an hour, the city where the cost of living is high would pay you $15 per hour. Experience and additional certification can greatly affect your salary. Since experience is counted in the job, a nursing assistant with 10 years of experience can easily earn $25 to $30 per hour.

Details of CNA Salary in all The States of America

A certified nursing assistant or CNA is an upcoming profession in this industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics by 2029 the United States will need 1,698,600 new nurse aides. The employment of nursing assistants decreases the cost of healthcare a great deal and thus, the demand for trained aides is so high.

Below is some information about the states that offer good salaries to nurse aides

  • The highest hourly wages are offered in the state of Alaska; USD 19.38 an hour is what you can earn in this state, which makes the CNA salary in Alaska USD 40,320 a year. This is an excellent salary for a starting-level job, but it has a flip side to it. The per-year job openings in Alaska are very low; around 100 jobs are offered every year. Alaska is one state which has very less population so the healthcare requirements are less, but the demand for nurse aides is high and the opportunities will increase in the coming years
  • New York is one state which is full of opportunities for nurse aides; the state has around 2,500 job offers coming every year at a pay rate of USD 18.66 every hour. The average salary of nurse aides in New York is more than USD 38,810 second to Alaska. The population of New York is the third-largest among all states of America. New York City which belongs to the state is land for opportunities for nurse aides as well. The average salary in the city for nursing assistants is USD 38,810 which is the highest among all the cities in the country.
  • Hawaii is another state that pays well to the nurse aides; USD 18.13 an hour takes the salary to USD 37,710 plus a year. The good thing is that the job opportunities are marginally better than in Alaska with around 250 job openings per year.
  • California is the state for nurse aides being the most populous and urbanized state of the US. The state needs a staggering 4,000 new nursing assistants each year. The pay scale in the state is around USD 17.61 an hour which means that CNA salary in California is more than USD 36,630 on average. So with ample job opportunities and good paychecks, the nursing assistant is a great profession in the Golden State.
  • Being the second most populous state in the United States it is astonishing that Texas is not among the top states when it comes to job opportunities for nursing assistants. However, the average CNA salary in Texas is USD 27,930 which is the same as the national average; the hourly pay rate in the state is around USD 13.43.
  • The state of Florida also has a good number of job opportunities for nurse aides; as many as 3,500 new jobs are on offer every year which is second best after California. The wages are decent at USD 13.36 an hour which is a little more than the national wages; the annual salary in Florida is USD 27,790. Despite the job opportunities, there is a growing demand which means that CNA salary in Florida will definitely increase.
  • Puerto Rico is the lowest paying state for nurse aides in the country; the hourly wages in the state are around USD 10.84 which takes the yearly salary to just about USD 22,540. Mississippi and Oklahoma follow it among the low-paying states. In Mississippi, you can earn USD 11.53 an hour, and the yearly salary will be around USD 23,980 while in Oklahoma, your salary will be around USD 26,030 with an hourly pay rate of USD 12.51. These states have a low-paying capacity for healthcare needs, so the salaries are low.

National Annual CNA Salary: As per the recent survey, the national annual pay scale of a certified nursing assistant from lowest to highest is mentioned as follows:

USD 22,540
USD 24,590
USD 35,040
USD 36,630
USD 40,320

National CNA Hourly Salary: As per the recent survey, the national hourly pay scale of a certified nursing aide from lowest to highest is mentioned as follows:

USD 10.84
USD 11.82
USD 16.84
USD 17.61
USD 19.38

Comparison of the Pay Scale of Entry-level Candidate and Experienced Candidate

  • As an entry-level candidate, the pay scale of a certified nursing aide ranges from USD 10 to USD 19 per hour, which goes up to USD 22,000 to USD 40,000 annually
  • As an experienced candidate, the pay scale of a certified nursing aide ranges from USD 20 to USD 25 per hour, which goes up to USD 35,000 to USD 40,000 annually

State Wise CNA Salary: Listed below is the average annual wages of a nursing assistant in different states of the USA

Name of the State Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Alabama $11.82 $24,590
Alaska $19.38 $40,320
Arizona $15.69 $32,640
Arkansas $12.48 $25,950
California $17.61 $36,630
Colorado $16.34 $33,980
Connecticut $16.52 $34,360
Delaware $15.27 $31,770
District of Columbia $16.98 $35,320
Florida $13.36 $27,790
Georgia $13.41 $27,890
Hawaii $18.13 $37,710
Idaho $13.92 $28,950
Illinois $14.31 $29,760
Indiana $13.75 $28,610
Iowa $14.67 $30,520
Kansas $13.12 $27,280
Kentucky $13.12 $27,280
Louisiana $11.22 $23,340
Maine $14.79 $30,770
Maryland $15.60 $32,450
Massachusetts $16.84 $35,040
Michigan $15.01 $31,220
Minnesota $16.90 $35,150
Mississippi $11.53 $23,980
Missouri $12.73 $26,490
Montana $14.63 $30,440
Nebraska $14.38 $29,920
Nevada $16.77 $34,890
New Hampshire $16.07 $33,430
New Jersey $15.00 $31,190
New Mexico $13.87 $28,850
New York $18.66 $38,810
North Carolina $12.76 $26,540
North Dakota $16.50 $34,320
Ohio $13.79 $28,690
Oklahoma $12.51 $26,030
Oregon $16.72 $34,780
Pennsylvania $15.19 $31,590
Puerto Rico $10.84 $22,540
Rhode Island $15.88 $33,020
South Carolina $12.77 $26,560
South Dakota $13.52 $28,120
Tennessee $13.10 $27,250
Texas $13.43 $27,930
Utah $13.89 $28,890
Vermont $15.24 $31,710
Virginia $14.13 $29,400
Washington $16.25 $33,800
West Virginia $12.93 $26,900
Wisconsin $15.04 $31,280
Wyoming $15.35 $31,930

Top 5 Highest Paying CNA Industries: Let us have a look at the top 5 highest paying industries along with the number of employment, wages on an hourly basis, and average annual pay.

Type of Industry Number of Employment Percent of Industry Employment Wages Per Hour Wages Per Year
Junior Colleges 120 0.02 $ 23.68 $ 49,250
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 5,560 0.18 $ 21.57 $ 44,870
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 15,790 0.76 $ 19.81 $ 41,210
Scientific Research and Development Services 670 0.09 $ 19.05 $ 39,630
Outpatient Care Centers 12,940 1.35 $ 18.47 $ 38,420

Top 10 States with Highest Hourly Remuneration: Listed below are the top 10 states with the highest paying remuneration on an hourly basis.

Name of the State Hourly Wage Annual Wage
1 Alaska $19.38 $40,320
2 New York $18.66 $38,810
3 Hawaii $18.13 $37,710
4 California $17.61 $36,630
5 District of Columbia $16.98 $35,320
6 Minnesota $16.90 $35,150
7 Massachusetts $16.84 $35,040
8 Nevada $16.77 $34,890
9 Oregon $16.72 $34,780
10 Connecticut $16.52 $34,360

Top 10 States with the Lowest Hourly Salary: Listed below are the top 10 states with the lowest paying salary on an hourly basis.

Name of the State Hourly Wage Annual Wage
1 Puerto Rico $10.84 $22,540
2 Louisiana $11.22 $23,340
3 Mississippi $11.53 $23,980
4 Alabama $11.82 $24,590
5 Arkansas $12.48 $25,950
6 Oklahoma $12.51 $26,030
7 Missouri $12.73 $26,490
8 North Carolina $12.76 $26,540
9 South Carolina $12.77 $26,560
10 West Virginia $12.93 $26,900

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The registered nurses (RN) are paid USD 36.22 per hour which makes their average salary around USD 75,330, whereas nurse aides are paid USD 14.82 an hour and their average salary across the country is USD 30,830 a year.

These are some of the details on CNA salary that will help you choose your dream job. But, Before you decide on making a career as a nursing assistant, you must research the training and certification requirements in your particular state.

It is quite beneficial to work in this field as candidates are paid on an hourly basis. Hence, improving one salary is quite easy in this field. One needs just to understand the various factors that would help them earn better.

Factors Affecting CNA Salary

The candidates with relevant work experience would get a higher salary of around $35,000 to $40,000 annually. Mainly there are three factors that affect the salary of a CNA which are work experience, training, and location. Below is a list of factors that may affect your salary.

  • Experience: Experience plays an important role in increasing the remuneration of a certified nursing assistant, as they are paid considering their skills and potential. An experienced certified nursing aide is paid on an average from USD 32,000 to USD 35,000 annually.
  • CNA Training: You must undergo training from the best nursing institute to enhance your skills in an effective manner. For example, trainees from Red Cross Society are paid more as compared to trainees from other institutes. We have separate details post to find a quality training program here.
  • Additional Degree or Certification: An additional certificate also plays an important role during the recruitment and salary negotiation process.
  • Location of the Job: The location of the job is one of the major factors on which the remuneration of a certified nursing aide depends. For example, a travel CNA is paid more as compared to the nursing aides working in the hospitals. They are provided traveling allowances, home allowances, insurance facilities, and other facilities as well. The travel certified nursing assistant needs to move from one state to another as per requirement.
  • Past performances: Many recruiters take note of the past performances of the candidate during the appraisal process as well as before recruiting the candidate in their organization. They check the candidate’s performance to judge the potential of the candidate.
  • Different Areas of Work: There are various places in which certified nursing aids are required to work such as nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, child care, government hospitals, private clinics, etc. Therefore, the salary varies from one organization to the other.
  • Profit of the Company: The profit of the organization also affects the pay scale of a certified nursing assistant. If the output is more, then the pay is also raised automatically.
  • Duties of CNA: The pay scale of a certified nurse assistant also depends upon the duties and responsibilities that they undertook. For example, a psychiatric aide is paid more than a home health aide and so on.

Earning Potential of CNA Jobs

Many things go into consideration when we think about a job. First, we need to know how much we are going to earn. Second, what is the growth in the job? Lastly, we should be sure about job security. If you want employment that will take care of these concerns, then you should know the earning potential of CNA jobs.

You can reap many benefits when you take a nursing career. It will offer you job security, a good salary that can compensate for your skills and allow you to earn a little higher than other entry-level jobs, and above all a feeling of satisfaction since many will be benefited from your nursing capabilities.

The moment you complete your training, you are eligible to work in nursing homes. Hospitals may not employ you unless you pass the exam and get the certification. You still need the certification to continue your job in nursing homes. Besides, you can apply to many other healthcare sectors that accommodate patients and provide medical treatment and nursing care.

Since this is your first interaction with the medical field, the salary would depend on the healthcare setting and the state you live in. You can earn a better wage in hospitals than in nursing homes. Also, the exposure nursing assistant would get working in hospitals would be higher.

Hospitals will offer you opportunities to apply your nursing skills to a variety of patients who are different in age, ailments, and social status. Nursing homes, mostly, cater to older people who need long-term care and treatment. Therefore, the package you would get in this type of setting will be lesser than other settings.

The demographic location of the job will also impact your salary. If the cost of living is high in a particular state, let’s say, New York, you will earn an annual salary of $38,000 in USD. In a state where the cost of living is lower than in New York, your salary would be in the range of $25,000 to $27,000.

Comparing with the time and money you have spent in getting into the medical field, the offered salary is much worth it. Further, you can progress to the position of LVN and RN as you keep on adding experience and expanding your nursing knowledge and skills.

How Can You Improve Your CNA Salary

Whether the person is an entry-level or an experienced candidate, everyone would like to get a salary raise. You need to take the right steps to make sure that you get the desired salary raise.

Steps to Improve your CNA Salary

  • The salary of a Certified Nursing Assistant varies as per the location where they work. If the nursing assistant is working in a remote interior area, then the salary paid would be less as compared to the salary paid in the metropolis. A person looking for a salary raise can move to a new location in a city and work in a larger organization like a well-known hospital or medical clinic. The per-hour salary in larger hospitals and major cities is more than in smaller villages. But one needs to keep in mind the expenses that they need to bear in larger cities.
  • Another important factor that affects the salary of a certified nursing assistant is training. If you have received training from a well-known institute, your chances of getting a better salary increase. Hence, you need to keep yourself upgraded by getting trained by the best institute in the state. If you are moving to another state it is vital to get CNA certification from the best institute in the state. Even entry-level candidates can expect an excellent salary if a well-known institute trains them.
  • The candidates with the relevant experience in the field would be better paid off than the entry-level candidates. Hence, when you are looking for a job change, you need to aptly mention your work experience details in your resume and prove your suitability for the job to the recruiter. You would receive a good increase in salary if you are able to successfully explain your suitability for the job. The amount of experience that you have gained and your proficiency at work should also be explained to the employer.
  • Along with the right amount of work experience, one needs to provide details about their specialization. If you have worked in a prenatal ward and are experts in assisting such patients, then you need to emphasize this fact to get a better salary. A certified nursing assistant with specialized skills would be better paid as compared to other nursing aides. Hence, whether you are applying for a job or facing appraisal meetings, you need to emphasize your expertise at work.
  • To help improve your salary, you can work extra hours. It is easy to earn more with your current job by working extra hours, as a certified nursing aide is paid on an hourly basis. By doing so you would increase the number of hours that you work and even your work experience would increase. The expertise and experience you gain by working extra hours would help you further in getting a salary increment. You may even choose your working hours aptly. The payment during night shifts is more than the payment during day shifts. Hence, the CNA’s can earn more by working in the night shift. It is quite easy to earn an extra salary as a certified nursing aide, just by making little changes to the schedule or putting in a few extra hours of work.
  • The candidates looking for a new job to get a salary increment should understand that the employer would be looking for relevant experience and expertise in duties performed during a previous job. The candidate needs to lay importance on their work experience details and duties performed during their previous jobs. It is vital to provide complete details about your duties during previous jobs. Most candidates mention just a few duties on their resume, but they need to understand that if they do so the employer would not be able to judge their true competencies.

Taking the first step to improving your CNA salary is vital as it will help one to earn better and get paid for what they deserve.

What are the Benefits Working CNA Enjoys?

There are many benefits other than salary in the field of nursing and health care. The employers, according to their terms and conditions, compensate overtime or extra work hours in the job.

Besides, the organization would also make provisions for bonuses, family pension, children’s education, and other allowances. You can add more benefits to your account if you are prepared to work as a traveling nurse. Many staffing agencies and states offer attractive incentives to those who are eager to relocate. They even provide you with accommodation, insurance, and transport facilities. For someone who loves to travel, this is the greatest benefit the job offers.

Being a certified nursing assistant will also allow you to work for a home-based patient. You will have to provide your service to the patient at his/her home. This way, you can fix your program schedule according to your convenience. Moreover, your employer would get ready to accept your demand in terms of salary, insurance, and other benefits.

How Easy is it to Find a CNA Job?

Thanks to the population for increasing the demand for nursing assistants. You will have no difficulty in searching and fetching a nursing job. The healthcare industry needs certified nursing assistants to provide nursing care to their clients. The demand is expected to grow each year, and it will stay at this level till 2029. So, the question of being unemployed will never arise.

Today, the healthcare industry has grown and spread into different categories. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and aged homes are few branches where nursing assistants can work.

You can drop in with a resume in your neighborhood facility and inquire about a job. You will surely get a positive response from the human resource department. Looking for a job through many job portals that frequently advertise the CNA job openings is also convenient. Besides, you can get help from the classified column about job vacancies published by employers in the local newspaper.

Now that you know about the earning potential of certified nursing assistant jobs, you should not prolong your decision about getting into the medical field. The salary, as an entry-level position, is quite fair. Also, there is scope to progress in your career.

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