CNA Salary Guide

CNA Salary Guide

As direct care providers, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) are responsible for moving around patients and medical supplies, bathing and dressing patients and assisting RNs and doctors with their duties. No matter how you slice it, good CNAs are essential to any successful facility.

Compared to other nursing positions, the average Certified Nursing Assistant salary of $30,290 is relatively modest. In reality, the range of salaries for Certified Nursing Assistants is vast and depends on a number of conditions.

 To help you maximize your earning potential, we will cover must-know CNA salary facts, in this extensive guide. Keep in mind that all the numbers listed are subject to change.



 CNAs can find work in a variety of different facilities. Naturally, some industries pay better than others.

 Government facilities and hospitals lead the way, according to the BLS. With median salaries of $37,310 and $35,870 respectively, these will be your most lucrative opportunities.

 Nursing assistants are also needed in care facilities and care homes for the elderly. Their respective median salaries of $29,970 and $29,900 are more modest.

 Home healthcare has risen in recent years, with the pandemic keeping everyone locked in place. CNAs can find work in these spaces and they usually earn around $29,280 doing so.


 RN programs are 4-year long and cover both theoretical and practical nursing knowledge, in-depth. By contrast, CNA programs only take six months or less to complete.

 Since their training and experience are not as advanced, CNAs have fewer qualifications, responsibilities and earning power.

 Although the gap cannot be fully closed, CNAs can increase their earning potential with additional certifications like IV Therapy, Long Term Care, Basic Life Support and more.  Provided they are relevant to the facility or department you are applying for, they will look incredibly good on any resume.

 You can find these certifications in many community colleges and healthcare facilities.


 How much does a Certified Nursing Assistant actually make? Where you live will play a massive role in how much you can earn as a CNA.

 Listed below are the BLS’s highest-paying states:

  •    Alaska: $43,000
  •   New York:  $40,530
  •   California: $30,760
  •   District of Columbia: $39,380
  •   Oregon: $38,830


The annual salary in a vacuum only paints part of the picture. CNAs also have to consider employment level, which can determine the difficulty of finding jobs in the first place.

  •    California: 94,450
  •   New York: 85,490
  •   Florida: 83,010
  •   Texas: 71,700
  •   Pennsylvania: 68,180
 Cost of Living

 On paper, California and New York are the most tantalizing CNA spots. Seeing as they boast the highest employment and annual nurse associate degree salary, you cannot go wrong with either location.

 It would be dishonest to discuss these locations without mentioning the additional expenses. High-income tax and expensive cost of living rates will bring down your adequate buying power, overall.

 If you plan to relocate, your job offer’s salary must be accounted for alongside a state’s cost of living. This cost of living calculator, but you can find a number of other resources available online.


 Facilities will always take proven HCPs over rookie ones. As a result, experienced nurses typically have a higher CNA salary, hourly. According to Payscale, for year-one nurses, the Certified Nursing Assistant’s salary per hour is $13.38. Comparatively, nursing assistants with 20+ years of experience make $15.70/hr.

 Is CNA a good job?

 A Certified Nursing Assistant’s salary cannot compare to higher nursing positions. Despite this, it is a job well worth considering.

Thanks to its lower bar to entry, students can become HCPs cheaper and faster. It is the perfect entry-level position, as a result.

 You get to gain work experience earlier than others while saving money for further RN education. Though not a traditional route, it is one worth considering.