CNA Salary (Certified Nurse Assistant) 2015


CNA Salary (Certified Nurse Assistant) depends on a number of factors, including skills. However, the average income of these healthcare professionals is around $10.94 per hour. Median annual salary is around $30,500.

Average Salary of Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs)

The average annual income of CNAs in the United States is around $24,890. The average national salary of them is around $44,888. Depending on the level of education and years of experience, you will get a higher salary. You can make the highest income if you work in local government facilities. However, your income will be the lowest if you work in community health facilities for elderly. The income will be less for those who work as home health aides.

San Francisco, Alaska, Anchorage, California and Oakland are the highest paying metropolitan areas. The higher end CNAs can earn around $15.97 per hour. You will get higher income if you work in operating rooms, telemetry or intensive care units.

The starting salary of these nursing professionals is around $18,600. Once you gain a few years experience, you will get high income. The starting salary is what you can expect in the beginning. Once you started taking more responsibilities such as training new workers, etc, you will get more. You can earn around $19,769 if you work in home healthcare service. Salary of those who work in community care facility is around $21,840, hospital is around $24,010 and nursing home is around $24,946.

You can earn around $27,191 if you work in hospice centers. Those who work in professional school can earn around $31,030. Some of these employers hire only highly experienced and skilled nursing assistants. However, they also need these nursing assistants with proper knowledge. The requirements of each employer will also be different.

New York, Alaska and Connecticut are the best states for CNAs. Salary for them prevailing in Alaska is around $14.36 per hour. Oklahoma, Mississippi and Louisiana are the worst paying states for them. Here, you will get only 7.57 per hour.

What is a Certified Nurse Assistant?

CNAs are the basic healthcare providers to patients. They are responsible for assisting patients in bathing, walking, dressing, lifting, turning, moving bedridden patients, providing a range of motion exercises and other basic daily needs. They also need to report patient concerns and changes to nurses. Depending on the level of training, they may also disperse medication.

They are the first responders for patients in hospitals and long term care facilities. So, they need to handle situations that can be frightening for family members of patients. So, they should show empathy to patients and their family members. They are the principal care givers in a nursing home.

CNAs need to work under the supervision RNs (registered nurses) and LPNs (licensed practical nurses). They will be on their foot for most of the time. They must have physical and mental capability to lift patients and heavy objects regularly. They can be exposed to infectious diseases and bodily fluids.

Education Requirements

To become a CNA, you need to complete an education program, which is approved by the state. This program allows you to know basic principles of nursing. You will also get an opportunity to do complete supervised clinical work. Community colleges, high schools, technical and vocational schools, nursing homes and hospitals conduct this training program. The duration of the course ranges from 75-150 hours. It includes class room studies and practical training. You need to undergo job training in order to learn more.

After completing the education program successfully, you can appear for a competency exam. You need to pass the exam to get the title, Certified Nursing Assistant. Some states need additional requirements such as criminal background check and continuing education to work as a certified nurse assistant. Some states allow you to become a CMA (Certified Medication Assistant). CMAs can administer medications.


The demand for CNAs is very high due to the increase in aging population. The projected job growth of these nursing professionals is 21 percent from 2012 to 2022. Experience is the most important factor that affects the income of a CNA. Experience is essential to do basic duties as a certified nurse assistant. Certification is not required to practice as a CNA within a state. But it is the other major determining factor of the salary of a certified nurse assistant.

Certification is also essential if you are planning to other states. It is helpful for making advancements in your career. If you are certified, chances of becoming an LPN or RN are very high. Very little training is needed to become a CNA. So, if you want to enter in healthcare industry, this is the best option even if the starting certified nursing Assistant (CNA) salary rather small.

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