Responsibility as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) can be assumed as a long-term career or at times as a temporary and or transitional job between an individual’s other jobs. In order to be certified as a nursing assistant, training to a certain level is very paramount. However, with the lower barrier placed on entry into this career with respect to level of training and professionalism in the medical industry, someone may be asking “Can I live on a certified nursing assistant salary?” If you don’t know what is a CNA, You can learn deep insight from the link.
Unfortunately, this job may not offer a huge salary, but there is always room for growth and development. Whether you are in for a short while or for the long-term, working as a CNA might have something in store for you. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median annual salary of certified nursing assistants for 2014-15 at $24,420; however, the actual salaries of these professional nursing assistants may vary greatly with respect to a number of factors that include the size of the company, industry, location as well as level of education and years spent in practice.
One great factor that influences the actual salaries received by certified nursing assistants is location. Salaries paid to certified nursing aides varies greatly in each of the US states. The next section highlights the salaries of CNAs in select states of the US.
Average CNA Salary by State
In the US, the average annual salary of CNAs stands at around $29,000. It is a requirement that all nursing aides working in nursing homes pass a state-based test, receive approval from the state as well as be listed on the state’s registry. Due to shortages in staff in the recent past, many certified nursing assistants are forced to attend to more than enough patients at a given time. This has contributed to the shifts in salaries paid to these professionals from state to state; with hourly wages of between $8.80 and $16.99. However, some top earning CNAs see an annual salary of about $36,000 or higher, which translates to an hourly rate of about $18 or higher. There is an obvious difference between the salaries of nursing assistants who work in rural areas as home aids with that of those working in nursing homes in metropolitan areas. For instance, annual salaries of nursing assistants in New York range from $22,000 to $34,000. The high upper limit can be attributed to the exceedingly expensive conditions of living in this state. However, with this salary, most CNAs can sufficiently carry on with a content life.
Washington DC offers one the best CNA salaries in the country; ranging from $22,000 to $31,000 with a possibility of making in the regions of $37,000 annually with continued experience in the field. The average income these days for CNAs in Washington DC is around $27,000 annually. This is similar to the hugely populated state of California; with certified nursing assistants earning a salary of between $21,000 and $31,000 annually. However, in both states payments varies with respect to years of experience; whether you are at the entry level or have some experience in the field.
Florida is one of the hottest states to work in as a professional nursing aide thanks to the many upcoming and existing facilities seeking to recruit new CNAs. The state’s average annual salary for a CNA is $28,000. However, this can rise to more than $39,000 thanks to the many extra benefits that come with working in Florida, for instance 401k, pension, healthcare, time off as well as disability and personal days. Just like other states, there are higher chances of higher income in metropolitan areas than in rural areas of the state.
CNAs working in Pennsylvania earn an annual salary of between $22,000 and $29,000; which averages to about $26,000 per year. This is slightly lower than in DC and Florida as well as the average salary of the whole country. This low pay can largely be attributed to the fact that most CNAs in Pennsylvania work in homes; which attracts less pay as compared to working in a nursing home or hospital. This is very different from what employers in New Jersey offer CNAs. With the state recognized as one of the few offering certified nursing assistants with a standard pay of around $35,000 and above annually, this state records an annual average salary of $31,000. Vineland is considered as one of the least paying metropolis in New Jersey with an annual pay of less than $24,000. However, this is different in Newark where CNAs earn up to $33,500 or more annually. The average pay in this state eclipses the annual average pay of the country, which stands at $29,000. This has resulted in qualified nursing assistants migrating from other areas just to enjoy this opportune offer in New Jersey.
Similar to New Jersey is Illinois which offers an average salary of $31,000 annually. However, this can sometimes fluctuate to about $24,000 annually. One essential responsibility that makes nursing aides in this state earn such considerably is the fact that they have to see a patient even before a nurse or doctor comes in. This in turn has opened up avenues for CNAs to commit to long-term services; something that is attracting more certified nursing assistants from other places to this state.
By now, it is obvious that the cost of living is a major determining factor in the amount of wages paid by employers in different states. South Dakota is considered among the state with lowest standards of living. This can be evident with the annual salary of $25,000 that CNAs working here earn. However, it is very much possible for nursing assistants working here to make between $17,000 and $29,000 annually. Considering the lower living standards of the state, this pay is reasonable enough to lead a respectable life in this state. In contrast, its North Dakota counterpart pays more on average; with CNAs enjoying an annual pay of between $20,000 and $31,000. On average, CNAs working in this state earn a salary of $28,000 which is slightly lower than the average US earner in the same field. CNAs in North Dakota have the advantage of making even more money than those in other states thanks to programs that sponsor free nurse trainings as well as advanced levels of training as a CNA.
Advantages of Being an Experienced CNA
Certified nursing assistant salary varies in each of these states. Apart from the location of the employer, experience is a major determinant in the amount of pay a CNA will receive upon recruitment. Each state has a range in which CNAs are compensated. For beginners, most states will pay in the regions of $20,000 or less annually whereas experienced practitioners start from a much higher pay. This should not be a worry for beginners as more experience is gained as they work and in the long-term; salaries can more than double the initial pay. In addition, some employers provide on-the-job training that ensures nursing assistants gain more experience in this field that can in future help them in applying for higher paying jobs.
Working as a CNA can be a very good career for the long-term as well as a transition job. However, if you are looking to earn much higher salaries in the medical industry than the CNA’s $29,000 annually, starting off as a CNA can be ideal as it can lead into other mega opportunities that will for sure attract a higher income to afford you the living standards that you most desire.