Real CNAs. Honest CNA Salary Data
More Answers From Certified Nursing Assistants
Nursing Assistant Salary Snapshot
$23,880 – $44,240
Job Growth (proj.)
13% Per Year
Best Online CNA School Programs
There are multiple levels of CNA programs available. The most common is a CNA certificate program, which typically takes about 12 weeks to complete. CNA certification programs are offered at community colleges, vocational schools and via online colleges. There are also associate in nursing assistant degrees, which typically take about two years to complete. Associate degree programs are offered at online colleges, community colleges and some technical schools. Here is a list of accredited online CNA school programs:
Nursing Assistant Salary Overview
What is the average salary as a CNA?
According to the latest US BLS data, the median hourly wage for nursing assistants is $16.38, and the median annual wage for nursing assistants: $34,910. This means that half of nursing assistants earned more than $34,910 and half earned less. The lowest 10% of nursing assistants earned less than $23,880, and the highest 10% earned more than $44,240. The BLS projects that employment of nursing assistants will grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than average across all careers. In addition to employment growth, wages for certified nursing assistants is expected to grow faster than average. Wage growth for nursing assistants in the next 5 years is expected to grow by 8% per year.
This means that the median hourly wage for nursing assistants could reach $28.07 by 2027. The mean annual wage for nursing assistants could reach $58,385.60 by 2027.
How Does Degree Level Impact CNA Salary?
Generally speaking, the higher the degree you have, the more you will earn as a CNA. The median annual salary for nursing assistants climbs considerably with each degree level.
- Nursing Assistant with No Degree: $28,000 – $32,000 per year
- Nursing Assistant With Diploma or Certificate: $30,000 – $35,000 per year
- Nursing Assistant With Associates Degree: $32,000 – $40,000 per year
- Nursing Assistant With Bachelors Degree: $35,000 – $45,000 per year
Obviously, there are a number of factors beyond degree level that can influence how much an individual might earn as a CNA, including:
- Location: Nursing assistants tend to earn higher salaries in urban areas than in rural areas.
- Experience: Nursing assistants with more experience tend to earn higher salaries than those with less experience.
- Specialty: Nursing assistants with specialized training in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or critical care tend to earn higher salaries than those with general training.
- Education: Nursing assistants with a higher degree tend to earn higher salaries than those with a certificate or no degree
- Certifications: Nursing assistants with certifications from organizations such as the National Association of Nursing Assistants (NANA) or the American Association of Nurse Assistants (AANA) tend to earn higher salaries than those without certifications.
How Location Impacts CNA Salary
The cost of living in a particular area can have a significant impact on the salary of a nursing assistant. In general, nursing assistants tend to earn higher salaries in urban areas than in rural areas. This is because the cost of living is typically higher in urban areas, and employers are willing to pay more to attract and retain qualified nursing assistants. The five highest paying states for nursing assistants are:
- New York: $40,680
- California: $39,760
- District of Columbia: $39,390
- Oregon: $38,830
- Washington: $38,770
How Work Setting Impacts CNA Salaries
The average salary of a nursing assistant can vary depending on whether they work in private practice, as an employee, for the government, or for a nonprofit organization. Here are the median annual salaries for these different types of work settings (according to the BLS, the National Association of Nursing Assistants (NANA), and the American Association of Nurse Assistants (AANA)).
- Private Practice: $30,310
- Employer: $31,320
- Government: $34,050
- Nonprofit: $32,540
How Work Experience Impacts CNA Salaries
The average salary of a nursing assistant degree depends a great deal on their years of experience. According to a 2023 survey by the American Association of Nurse Assistants, here is a breakdown of the average salary for nursing assistants based on their years of experience:
- Nursing Assistant with No Degree: The average salary for a nursing assistant with no degree is typically lower than those with higher levels of education. On average, a nursing assistant with no degree can expect to earn around $28,000 to $32,000 per year.
- Nursing Assistant with a Diploma or Certificate: Nursing assistants who have completed a diploma or certificate program can typically earn slightly higher salaries compared to those without formal education. The average salary for nursing assistants with a diploma or certificate ranges from $30,000 to $35,000 annually.
- Nursing Assistant with an Associate’s Degree: Some nursing assistants pursue an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), which can open up additional opportunities for career advancement. The average salary for nursing assistants with an ADN is generally higher than those with lower levels of education. The average annual salary for nursing assistants with an associate’s degree can range from $32,000 to $40,000.
- Nursing Assistant with a Bachelor’s Degree: While it is less common for nursing assistants to hold a bachelor’s degree, those who do may have expanded responsibilities and may be eligible for more advanced positions. The average salary for nursing assistants with a bachelor’s degree can range from $35,000 to $45,000 per year.
It is important to note that these are just averages, and salaries can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the location, the type of facility they work in, and their level of experience.
What Is The Employment Outlook For CNA?
The employment outlook for nursing assistants is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of nursing assistants will grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.
Here are some of the factors that are contributing to the growth of the nursing assistant occupation:
- The aging population: The number of people aged 65 and older is projected to grow from 46.2 million in 2015 to 98.2 million by 2060. This growth will increase the demand for nursing assistants to provide care for this population.
- The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases: Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are more common in older adults. These diseases often require long-term care, which creates additional demand for nursing assistants.
- The shortage of nurses: There is a shortage of nurses in the United States. This shortage is expected to worsen in the coming years, which will create additional demand for nursing assistants.
What Our Experts Say About Nursing Assistant Programs
Salary definitely depends on where you are and the jobs that you’re choosing. If you work in a nursing home, typically that’s paid by the hour. Hospitals are typically hourly, but if you do home health, it’s typically hourly unless there’s a specific fixed shift. It kind of depends on what you’re doing.
This year, the average annual salary was around $32,000 a year. I think that on the lower end of that is around $24,000 and the higher end was around $42,000. Generally, you start making a little bit more with experience, but I don’t think it’s gonna get a whole lot higher than that.
I would always say home care being one of the highest paying jobs, because you can kinda negotiate. There’s also a hospice, where I am.