How Much Do CNAs Make? | Salary Overview

According to, a CNAs average income in the United States is around $30,763.

If we break the salary into hourly pay, it comes to approximately $14.82 per hour based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nevertheless, the salary for CNAs range varies immensely depending on their location, employer, experience, and position.

Certified nurse assistants in the lower 10% of income earners make around $25,540 annually.

Contrarily, CNAs in the upper 10% may see an annual income of about $35,986.

It’s important to note that some certified nurse assistants make higher annual incomes than those described here.

For instance, CNAs in Vermont make about $39,249 based on estimates.

Certified nurse assistants in New York, NY, earn even more, with a median income of $40,549!

As a result, these numbers are estimates of the average United States CNA salary.

Factors That Influence CNAs Salary

Numerous factors determine how much money CNAs make annually.

It includes their work experience, location, job agreements, and overtime/holiday pay.

The following section covers these characteristics to explain how certified nurse assistants earn more money.

Work Experience

Work experience plays an essential role in a CNAs salary.

Those with more background and responsibilities earn higher hourly wages than new CNAs.

Skilled certified nurse assistants can also apply for other jobs if their current employer doesn’t provide competitive pay.

As a result, acquiring work experience is vital for employment at hospitals and high-paying facilities.

With that said, there are limited opportunities for CNAs that stay within their present profession.

Most certified nurse assistants pursue further education to land better careers in healthcare.


Where CNA works significantly impacts their salary.

For instance, New York, N.Y. certified nurse assistants make an average annual income of about $40,549.

However, it reduces to around $33,562 as you move closer to Suffolk County, N.Y.

City/metropolitan areas with high demand and a desire to minimize staff shortages pay more for qualified CNAs.

Nevertheless, some CNAs in New York make a lot more money when overtime/holiday pay is abundant.

Most individuals would love to earn higher salaries and work in locations that offer higher pay.

However, it’s essential to determine a location’s cost of living before deciding to work there.

Higher expenses will eat away at the additional income made from a higher salary.

As a result, you must factor in the cost of living and how much it impacts your salary.

Some CNAs travel further distances to work, living in a more cost-efficient location while earning maximum pay.

Finally, CNAs interested in making a good income should contact the healthcare organizations they want to work at.

Human resources or the hiring department can provide information on the average employee salary, pay structure, and overtime availability.

Employment Agreements

Some experienced certified nurse assistants make higher incomes due to employment agreements.

If an employer is short-staffed and hiring trained CNAs, there’s a more promising chance to negotiate a higher wage.

Sometimes, an employer may ask an existing CNA to change departments or take on special assignments for a pay bonus.

Employment agreements are very situational, so their impact on most CNAs is not quantifiable.

Overtime/Holiday Pay

As previously mentioned, CNAs who work overtime and on certain holidays make bonus pay.

Those who take advantage of the extra money can earn more than the average CNA within their location.

Overtime depends on the facility a CNA works, and not all employers offer overtime.

Some employers even limit labor time to keep most CNAs under 40 hours of work.

As a result, CNAs must determine whether working for a particular facility meets their financial goals.

Career Ladder

There are numerous career pathways for CNAs who want to further their profession.

However, the most common path CNAs take to move forward in their career is to become an LPN or RN.

The next part breaks down the career pathways for licensed practicaland registered nurses.

LPN Career Pathway

Becoming an LPN requires approximately a year or so of training.

During this time, LPNs learn numerous skills to offer higher levels of medical care.

LPN Training Includes:

  • Assisting patients with getting in/out of bed
  • Dressing or helping patients with difficult clothing
  • Assisting with using the bathroom, shower/bathing, and cleaning
  • Providing medication and feeding individuals who are unable to feed themselves
  • Recording vital signs and updating/maintaining medical records
  • Sanitary care and guidelines
  • Primary emergency care (CPR, AED, etc.)

A higher level of education allows LPNs to take on more responsibilities and make more money.

With that said, there are limitations regarding the number of career pathways available to LPNs.

Some LPNs pursue work in schools, clinics, physician offices, government facilities, or travel.

Each career offers its perks, benefits, and pay.

Others move into more senior roles within their career to oversee additional responsibilities.

Nevertheless, it’s difficult to gain entry into more advanced care without additional education.

As a result, numerous CNAs decide to pursue the registered nursing pathway.

Registered Nurse Pathway

Many registered nurses began careers as certified nurse assistants to gain experience before committing to healthcare.

It allowed them to test whether healthcare was the right career path with minimal financial and time risk.

Becoming a registered nurse takes approximately 2 – 4 years, depending on the student’s previous education and full-time/part-time status.

Students must also pass various prerequisite courses before being accepted into a nursing program.

With that said, registered nursing offers countless opportunities with over 100 career pathways.

As a result, there’s no shortage of vocations to choose from as an RN.

Nurse Assistant Overview

Nurse assistants, also known as UAPs or unlicensed assistive personnel, are healthcare workers who assist patients requiring medical aid.

These healthcare workers aid the elderly, chronically ill, and reinhabiting patients requiring additional support.

Many nurse assistants work in long-term care facilities.

However, they’re also found in hospitals, private homes, residential nursing facilities, and various state or privately owned healthcare establishments.

RN (registered nurse), LPN (licensed practical nurse), or licensed healthcare specialists supervise nurse assistants.

While Nurse assistants do not hold a license, they may receive certification in several healthcare-related areas.

It ensures that they provide patients with proper care and medical attention.

CNAs perform various primary bedside care tasks and manage essential healthcare duties during a typical day.

It includes escorting patients to appointments, assisting with physical tasks, documenting patient care, taking vitals, maintaining a sanitary facility, and other responsibilities.

Nevertheless, a registered nurse or physician is required for more advanced medical care, depending on the patient’s needs.

CNAs play vital healthcare roles by allowing LPNs, RNs, and physicians to focus on responsibilities requiring more training and expertise.

As a result, patients receive better care because CNAs improve workflow and ensure each individual gets adequate care and attention.

Job Outlook

Nursing assistants’ job outlook will continually increase over the next decade.

As a result, the demand for qualified CNAs will lead to better pay, career opportunities, and job stability.

CNAs and nurse assistants play a vital role in providing primary medical care and assistance to the elderly and the sick and rehabilitating patients.

As a result, their role will become increasingly important to healthcare organizations, long-term facilities, and hospitals experiencing staffing shortages.

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