CNA Average Salary

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a great way to get your foot in the door of the healthcare field without having to spend years in school. Programs for CNA certification can usually be completed in fewer than five months, and in some cases, as quickly as six weeks. It is required that you have a high school diploma or GED before applying to one of these programs.

These programs are usually offered through community colleges, technical schools, and sometimes even through hospitals. Look into programs in your area; some may offer some or most of the coursework via online study, which allows you complete your classes on your own time. Lab work and clinicals are where you gain hands-on experience, so these portions of the program must be completed in the classroom or the facility where you are training.

Once you complete your required coursework, lab time, and clinicals, you can begin an exciting career as a CNA and start earning a higher salary. Your salary may not be the only factor when choosing a career, but it is still important to know what your earning potential will be. And with a growing demand for qualified medical personnel, the job outlook and opportunity for higher salaries for CNAs looks promising.

The role of a CNA is to provide basic care to patients under the supervision of a doctor or nurse. Some of these tasks include:

  • Taking patients’ vital signs
  • Checking medical records
  • Transporting patients
  • Feeding patients
  • Bathing, dressing, and grooming patients
  • Changing linens

Salary Information

Salaries for CNAs can vary depending on a number of factors, and depending on the type of facility where you work, your pay may be hourly or an annual salary. According to, the national hourly rate for CNAs is $8.35 – $14.34, which comes out to $17,500 – $31,987 annually. These numbers do not include overtime or any bonuses that you may receive. If you work for a company that pays more for overtime hours, that could add anywhere from nine cents to $7.00 to your hourly salary.

Factors That Can Affect Your Salary

  1. Location: Where you work makes a big difference in what you might earn; working in the city versus working in a more rural area, as well as the cost of living in your particular area.
  2. Facility: CNAs can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and doctors’ offices. Where you work and what your job duties entail will play a factor in your overall salary. For example, working for a private medical practice may give you the opportunity for a higher salary, as they can set their own pay scale.
  3. Experience: This is true for any field. The number of years on the job, your previous experience, as well as what types of setting you have worked in can influence your starting salary.

Online Nurse Assistant Degree Programs

For anyone who wishes to earn a nurses assistant certification, or CNA, earning a medical assisting or nursing assistant degree is usually required. Most often, an associate's degree from one of the schools below will be sufficient. For those wanting a more advanced degree, bachelor's level programs are also available.

Kaplan University
AS in Medical Assisting
Kaplan University — Kaplan's associate's degree in medical assisting at their School of Nursing offers courses on numerous topics including community nursing care, management, and informatics. Graduates of this program will be eligible for becoming a CNA.
Ultimate Medical Academy
AS in Medical Admin Asst
AS in Medical Billing & Coding
Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma
Medical Billing & Coding Diploma
Ultimate Medical Academy — The Ultimate Medical Academy's AS in medical administrative assisting prepares students to apply for entry-level employment as Medical Administrative Assistants or in similar clerical position within a medical office. Students are trained to understand and process medical insurance forms, utilize word processing, spreadsheet and database management computer applications, and apply effective customer service skills in the daily operations of the medical office.
Rasmussen College
Pharmacy Technician Certificate
Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate
AS in Health Sciences
Rasmussen College — For the student looking to enter the field of healthcare, the Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate offered by Rasmussen College will aid in reaching your career goals by teaching the necessary skills to fill several entry-level positions. Rasmussen also offers associate degrees in Health Sciences and Medical Laboratory Technician.
Liberty University
AA in Medical Office Assistance
Liberty University — Liberty University offers a online program for an AA in Medical Office Assistance. This program is designed for aspiring individuals looking to enter the world of health care. All courses are geared toward working professionals with busy schedules, so classes are flexible.

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