In 2018, almost 1.5 million people in the US were employed as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA, also known as Home Health Aide).
The employment growth for these positions is projected to be strong translating into 137,800 new jobs opening by 2028 for the reason of the aging population.
CNAs provide useful healthcare services to elderly and disabled patients at long-term-care facilities.
They typically work under the supervision of a registered nurse or another licensed medical provider.
CNAs help patients with daily activities such as bathing, grooming, eating, monitoring vital signs, and more.
Some people can use the CNA experience as a stepping stone in the nursing or healthcare field.
Others continue working as a CNA.
The salary of CNAs depends on various factors, which we will explore below.
- How Much Does a CNA Make a Year?
- How Much Do CNAs Make an Hour?
- CNA Salary By State – How Location Impacts CNA Pay
- Other Factors That Impact How Much a CNA Makes
- How Quickly Can I Start Earning a CNA Salary?
- How Does A CNA Make Compared To Other Medical Jobs like RNs or LPNs?
- Additional Compensation and Job Benefits for CNAs
- Where Can I Find Open CNA Positions?
How Much Does a CNA Make a Year?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for nursing assistants was $13.72 per hour, or $28,530 per year, as of 2018.
In 2017, it was $13.23 and $27,510 respectively.
How Much Do CNAs Make an Hour?
According to the BLS, the average hourly wage of CNAs is $13.72.
Major websites listing CNA jobs post slightly different numbers, for instance, according to PayScale, the CNA’s wage is $12.32.
SimplyHired lists $13.61 while Indeed reports $12.70.
PayScale: annual – $25,625; hourly – $12.32.
Indeed: annual – $26,416; hourly – $12.70.
SimplyHired: annual – $28,311; hourly – $13.61.
CNA Salary By State – How Location Impacts CNA Pay
One of the biggest factors influencing the salary of a CNA is the state they work in.
CNA salaries range greatly from state to state.
Alaska is the highest-paying state with $19.15 per hour.
Louisiana is the lowest-paying state with a rate of $10.94.
The salary is also higher in metro areas as there are more nursing homes and hospitals, so the demand for CNAs is higher.
The cost of living in these areas is also higher, of course, so you need to consider that too.
Below, you will find the salary information state-by-state:
- Alabama: hourly – $11.59; annual – $24,110.
- Alaska: hourly – $19.15; annual – $39,830.
- Arizona: hourly – $15.12; annual – $31,450.
- Arkansas: hourly – $12.06; annual – $25,080.
- California: hourly – $16.93; annual – $35,220.
- Colorado: hourly – $15.68; annual – $32,610.
- Connecticut: hourly – $16.06; annual – $33,390.
- Delaware: hourly – $14.8; annual – $30,780.
- District of Columbia: hourly – $16.11; annual – $33,510.
- Florida: hourly – $12.9; annual – $26,840.
- Georgia: hourly – $12.44; annual – $25,870.
- Guam: hourly – $13.11; annual – $27,270.
- Hawaii: hourly – $17.2; annual – $35,770.
- Idaho: hourly – $13.17; annual – $27,400.
- Illinois: hourly – $13.85; annual – $28,810.
- Indiana: hourly – $13.08; annual – $27,210.
- Iowa: hourly – $14; annual – $29,120.
- Kansas: hourly – $12.6; annual – $26,210.
- Kentucky: hourly – $12.88; annual – $26,800.
- Louisiana: hourly – $10.94; annual – $22,750.
- Maine: hourly – $13.8; annual – $28,710.
- Maryland: hourly – $15.05; annual – $31,310.
- Massachusetts: hourly – $16.17; annual – $33,630.
- Michigan: hourly – $14.49; annual – $30,130.
- Minnesota: hourly – $16.21; annual – $33,710.
- Mississippi: hourly – $11.11; annual – $23,100.
- Missouri: hourly – $12.47; annual – $25,930.
- Montana: hourly – $13.99; annual – $29,110.
- Nebraska: hourly – $13.81; annual – $28730.
- Nevada: hourly – $16.89; annual – $35,130.
- New Hampshire: hourly – $15.48; annual – $32,200.
- New Jersey: hourly – $14.61; annual – $30,380.
- New Mexico: hourly – $13.61; annual – $28,310.
- New York: hourly – $17.79; annual – $37,010.
- North Carolina: hourly – $12.29; annual – $25,570.
- North Dakota: hourly – $16.34; annual – $33,990.
- Ohio: hourly – $13.26; annual – $27,570.
- Oklahoma: hourly – $12.35; annual – $25,690.
- Oregon: hourly – $15.98; annual – $33,230.
- Pennsylvania: hourly – $14.73; annual – $30,630.
- Puerto Rico: hourly – $11.41; annual – $23,740.
- Rhode Island: hourly – $15.07; annual – $31,340.
- South Carolina: hourly – $12.21; annual – $25,390.
- South Dakota: hourly – $12.89; annual – $26,820.
- Tennessee: hourly – $12.69; annual – $26,400.
- Texas: hourly – $12.99; annual – $27,03.
- Utah: hourly – $13.4; annual – $27,88.
- Vermont: hourly – $14.77; annual – $30,730.
- Virgin Islands: hourly – $14.23; annual – $29,610.
- Virginia: hourly – $13.83; annual – $28,770.
- Washington: hourly – $15.45; annual – $32,130.
- West Virginia: hourly – $12.7; annual – $26,410.
- Wisconsin: hourly – $14.22; annual – $29,590.
- Wyoming: hourly – $14.86; annual – $30,910.
Other Factors That Impact How Much a CNA Makes
Location is one of the most significant factors influencing the salary of a CNA, but it’s not the only one.
Some Industries Pay More Than Others
New CNAs sometimes make a mistake by accepting the first job offer they receive.
This mistake can be expensive.
There are many CNA openings available at long and short-term care facilities and nursing homes.
But there are also higher-paying jobs at more specialized facilities.
So to get a more specific answer to the question of how much CNAs make, you need to consider various industries that hire CNAs.
Below, you can see that working at a government or research facility can come with a salary of $10,000+ higher than in a retirement community.
- Scientific Research and Development Services: hourly – $20.19; annual – $41,990.
- Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation): hourly – $18.81; annual – $39,110.
- Junior Colleges: $18.09; annual – $37,620.
- Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: hourly – $17.14; annual – $35,650.
- Outpatient Care Centers: hourly – $16.48; annual – $34,280.
- Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals: hourly – $15.39; annual – $32,020.
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: hourly – $15.17; annual – $31,540.
- Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities): hourly – $13.73; annual – $28,560.
- Home Health Care Services:hourly – $13.52; annual – $28,130.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly: hourly – $13.35; annual – $27,780.
- Individual and Family Services: hourly – $12.82; annual – $26,660.
More Experience and Education Equals More Pay
Like with other jobs, with more education and experience, come higher salaries.
This is also true for CNAs.
According to PayScale, experience influences the salary of CNA greatly.
Based on reports of more than 19,000 CNAs, the increase is as follows:
- 5-10 years of experience: 8.6% higher than starting salary.
- 10-20 years of experience: 13% higher than starting salary.
- 20+ years of experience: 21.7% higher than starting salary.
To see a big increase in salary, it can take years of experience, so a quicker way to improve the pay is through specialization and education.
There are many specializations that can help CNAs get more job opportunities and higher pay.
Some of the most popular specializations include:
- Psychiatry Aide.
- Geriatrics Aide.
- Pediatrics Aide.
- Cardiology Aide.
Some of them may require special certifications.
Others can become available only with relevant experience in a facility providing care to particular types of patients.
Early in the career, it would be a good idea to gain extra certifications and specialized experience to improve future opportunities.
How Quickly Can I Start Earning a CNA Salary?
One of the most attractive things about becoming a CNA is how quickly you can get certified and start earning.
Applicants need to have a high school diploma or GED, but they don’t need a college degree.
You can become a CNA in various ways, but on average, you need 75 hours of classroom and clinical training.
The required classroom time and the CNA exam can be completed within 4-12 weeks.
Sometimes, employers may pay for training if CNAs agree to work for them after they become certified.
In this case, you can start earning even before you take the exam.
How Does A CNA Make Compared To Other Medical Jobs like RNs or LPNs?
Healthcare includes many jobs and job titles that make interesting salary comparisons for CNAs.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) need more education and certification.
So they make more than CNAs.
To compare the salaries, the list below demonstrates average salaries for other healthcare jobs, according to PayScale:
- Physical Therapists – $69,315.
- Occupational Therapist – $64,805.
- Registered Nurse – $62,085.
- Physical Therapist Assistant – $48,635.
- Occupational Therapy Assistant – $46,444.
- X-Ray Technician – $43,736.
- Licensed Practical Nurse – $40,811.
- Dialysis Technician – $33,109.
- Dental Assistant – $31,232.
- Phlebotomist – $30,806.
- Medical Assistant – $30,569.
- Personal/Home Care Aide – $24,210.
Common Career Paths: The CNA Career Ladder
Many CNAs work in the position for 10 years or more.
Others, use the experience in patient care as a transitional point to other jobs in healthcare.
With higher salaries for other roles in nursing, many CNAs use their experience to become LPNs or RNs.
CNAs eventually move to the following positions:
- Licensed Practical Nurse.
- Medical Assistant.
- Certified Nurse’s Aide.
- Registered Nurse.
- Certified Medical Assistant.
- Family Nurse Practitioner (NP).
- Geriatric Care Manager.
- Nursing Home Administrator.
Additional Compensation and Job Benefits for CNAs
While CNAs have a steady paycheck, they can also receive other benefits.
In total compensation, they can make a big difference.
Sometimes, the benefits package can increase the pay by 25%.
Full-time CNAs have health, vision, and dental insurance, as well as holidays and paid vacations.
Some employers offer other perks, such as retirement contributions or tuition reimbursement.
Where Can I Find Open CNA Positions?
There are numerous online resources where you can find CNA openings.
You can find multiple opportunities both locally and nationally through Google search.
But to make it quicker, below, we have put together a list of resources where you can search for jobs using various filters to find what suits you best:
- Health Career Web.