CNA Average Salary in the U.S.

What Will I Earn With My CNA Training?

Getting your CNA is a big achievement. It is a great way to get started in the health care industry. In fact, many people will start out as a CNA while they explore their options and determine what they would like to do in the future. Of course, getting paid is also important. Many people wonder what kind of salary they can expect with their CNA certification. This depends on where you live and where you work, but there are some generalizations that can give you a better idea of what to expect.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 1,439,010 people working as a nursing aide, assistant or orderly in 2009. These workers are responsible for a variety of nursing related tasks all performed under supervision. These include feeding, dressing, cleaning and helping to move patients. While you may work in a variety of settings as a CNA, most commonly people find employment working with the elderly.

Pay rates vary dramatically based on where you live and what you do as a CNA. The mean annual wage was $24,980, which works out to about $12.01 per hour. This however is the just the midpoint in a large range. The bottom 10% in this field were earning about $8.42 per hour while the top 10% was earning more than $16 per hour. On average pay is pretty consistent for those working in the public sector as well as for those working for private companies.

To see just how much income can vary based on where you live, let’s look at a couple of states and the average income of CNAs there. In Arkansas the average hourly wage is $9.72. However, in Alaska it is $15.57. In some cities the pay is also much higher or lower than the state average. For example in New York the average pay for nursing aides is $14.83, but in the Nassau-Suffolk metropolitan area the average is much higher at $16.79. Conversely, in the Utica-Rome area in New York the average pay for CNAs is only $11.36 per hour.

As you can see, your pay will be dependent upon where you work and where you live. While earning a great income is important, remember that becoming a CNA carries many other purposes as well. You will go to work each day and really help others to have a better quality of life. Additionally you will learn new skills and valuable experience which you can use to advance your career in the health care industry.




I have been a CNA in the state of California since 1995. One of my passions in life is to help people and help others who want to expand their careers and become CNAs.

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