Certified Nursing Aid (CNA) Salary Guide [2018]

Certified Nursing Aid Salaries

CNA Job Description

CNAs, or certified nursing assistants, fall under the employment category of nursing aides. Under the supervision of nursing and medical staff, they handle many aspects of patient care within a hospital, taking a hands-on role with patients. Tasks vary but often include feeding, bathing, dressing, and answering calls for help. CNAs also make beds and straighten up rooms occupied by patients. Some take patient vital signs and assist medical staff with setting up equipment. CNAs who work in nursing care facilities often serve as the principal caregivers, having the most contact with residents.

CNA Salary Statistics

Range in Annual CNA Wages

A mean annual wage of $25,140 was paid to nursing aides as of May 2010, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest ten percent of earners made $17,790 annually, the middle 50 percent earned $24,010 yearly, and the top ten percent had an annual salary of $34,580. Nursing care facilities had the highest level of employment, with a 37.22 percent share. General surgical and medical hospitals, elderly community care facilities, home health services, and employment services rounded out the top five.

The federal executive branch was the top paying industry, with an annual mean wage of $35,730. Insurance carriers came in second and offered a $33,120 mean annual wage. Other industries that paid well during this time were colleges, professional schools, and universities, state government, and boarding and rooming houses.

Alaska, Nevada, New York, Hawaii, and Connecticut were the top five paying states, while Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, and South Carolina were among the lowest paying states.

CNA Job Outlook

2008 – 2018 Projected Employment Changes 276,000 new nursing aides, orderlies, and attandants jobs 19% increase in employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of nursing aides to increase by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average of all occupations. An increasingly elderly population will create additional long-term care needs. However, employment growth will be slower than other healthcare support careers because nursing aides are concentrated in residential and nursing care facilities, sectors that are growing relatively slower. California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania have the highest employment levels for nursing aides.

CNA Education & Training

Nursing Aide Education Chart

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required to become a CNA. State laws and work setting determine specific qualifications. High schools, vocational-technical centers, and some nursing care facilities and community colleges offer CNA training. O*Net recently surveyed individuals working in this field and found that 33 percent had a high school diploma or equivalent, 53 percent took some college courses but did not have a degree, and 12 percent had an associate’s degree.

CNA educational programs cover nutrition, infection control, body mechanics, anatomy, physiology, resident rights, and communication and personal care skills. Some hospitals require CNAs to have worked previously as a home health aide or nursing aide. Employers may provide new hires with classroom instruction. Others rely on a more experienced aide or a licensed nurse to deliver training that lasts from a few days to a few months.

To work in nursing care facilities, an individual must complete at least 75 hours of State-approved training and get a passing score on a competency evaluation. This results in the designation of CNA and the individual is then placed onto the state nurse aid registry. Certain states impose additional requirements such as disease testing and a criminal background check.

Related Occupations

CNAs provided routine care or treatment to patients. Occupations like child care worker, medical assistant, home health aide, occupational therapist assistant, and social and human services assistant include similar duties.

Child care workers care for, teach, and nurture children of pre-kindergarten age.

Medical assistants help keep medical professional offices running by performing relevant clerical and administrative tasks.

Home health aides help cognitively impaired, chronically ill, disabled, and older adults who live in their homes or within residential facilities.

Helping patients with rehabilitative exercises and activities outlined in a treatment plan created with an occupational therapist is the role of the occupational therapist assistant.

Social and human services assistants help healthcare workers, social workers, and other professionals who provide services to the population. They may perform roles like youth worker, mental health aide, and life skills counselor.

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