Certified nursing assistant careers are in high demand and provide ample opportunity for individuals to grow within the healthcare profession. When researching to determine if a job as a CNA is right for you, you'll likely want to take into account the salary average of these professionals. In this article, we discuss how much a CNA makes on average and provide a list of CNA salary averages by state. We also cover the most important skills needed to help you make the maximum salary possible as a certified nursing assistant.
How much does a CNA make?
Certified nursing assistants in the United States make an average base salary of $15.35 per hour or $34,670 on an annual basis, although updated salary information for CNAs is frequently adjusted. CNAs also make an average of $4,500 in additional overtime compensation each year.
How much a CNA makes can vary greatly depending on their geographical location and the type of facility they work at. Locations with more nursing homes and hospitals, such as metro areas, often have higher salary averages for CNAs. Additionally, working in specialized facilities, government facilities or research centers also tend to offer higher CNA salaries. More experience and education can also result in a higher yearly income for a certified nursing assistant.
Average CNA salaries by state
The following is a list of the average salary of certified nursing assistants by the state in alphabetical order. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link for each state listed below:
- Alabama: $23,022 per year
- Alaska: $40,566 per year
- Arizona: $32,733 per year
- Arkansas: $25,352 per year
- California: $37,088 per year
- Colorado: $35,813 per year
- Connecticut: $32,648 per year
- Delaware: $34,215 per year
- Florida: $30,400 per year
- Georgia: $24,431 per year
- Hawaii: $38,944 per year
- Idaho: $29,831 per year
- Illinois: $30,568 per year
- Indiana: $31,172 per year
- Iowa: $33,259 per year
- Kansas: $28,999 per year
- Kentucky: $30,346 per year
- Louisiana: $22,938 per year
- Maine: $34,832 per year
- Maryland: $29,766 per year
- Massachusetts: $35,566 per year
- Michigan: $31,151 per year
- Minnesota: $35,339 per year
- Mississippi: $23,008 per year
- Missouri: $27,657 per year
- Montana: $33,844 per year
- Nebraska: $35,131 per year
- Nevada: $30,572 per year
- New Hampshire: $37,187 per year
- New Jersey: $33,912 per year
- New Mexico: $32,413 per year
- New York: $35,916 per year
- North Carolina: $25,481 per year
- North Dakota: $36,758 per year
- Ohio: $27,284 per year
- Oklahoma: $27,137 per year
- Oregon: $37,634 per year
- Pennsylvania: $33,914 per year
- Rhode Island: $33,739 per year
- South Carolina: $25,163 per year
- South Dakota: $39,012 per year
- Tennessee: $27,547 per year
- Texas: $26,299 per year
- Utah: $29,186 per year
- Vermont: $39,349 per year
- Virginia: $27,456 per year
- Washington: $37,155 per year
- West Virginia: $32,003 per year
- Wisconsin: $34,464 per year
- Wyoming: $33,355 per year
What benefits are offered to CNAs?
Certified nursing assistants are often eligible for several benefits depending on the employer and whether the certified nursing assistant is a part-time or full-time employee. Geographical location may also have an impact on the benefits available to CNAs. The most common benefits offered to certified nursing assistants include:
- Tuition reimbursement: Tuition reimbursement is when the employer agrees to pay some or all of an employee's furthered education. For example, a company may pay for an employee to pursue a master's degree as long as the degree is in a field that is relevant to the employee's job. CNAs may be eligible for tuition reimbursement programs especially if they are furthering their education or training in the healthcare field.
- Referral programs: A referral program is when an employee is rewarded for referring a new hire to their employer. These programs are typically contingent on whether the new hire stays with the company for a set amount of time such as six months or a year. After this time period has passed, the employee who referred the new hire will be given a monetary bonus or another form of compensation for their referral.
- Health insurance: Full-time certified nursing assistants are typically eligible for health insurance through their employer. The type of health insurance offered will vary depending on the type of employer and size of the company.
- Paid sick time: Paid sick time is a benefit that allows employees to take time off when sick and still receive pay. Most full-time certified nursing assistants are eligible for this benefit.
- 401(k): A 401(k) is a benefit that some companies offer to their CNAs. This benefit is a tax-advantaged retirement plan that allows employees to set aside a portion of their paycheck for retirement savings. Some companies will match the employee's contribution or will put forth a percentage of the contribution.
Highest-paying skills for certified nursing assistants
Certified nursing assistants need several key skills to be successful in their jobs. Some skills can even help CNAs make a higher salary. The highest-paying skills for a certified nursing assistant to possess include:
- Telemetry skills: Telemetry is when a CNA continuously monitors a patient's vital signs using various types of medical equipment. For example, a patient with heart failure often requires round-the-clock monitoring with specialized equipment. Knowing how to use this equipment and read diagnostics can potentially result in a higher salary.
- Intensive care unit (ICU) skills: Certified nursing assistants who work in the ICU of a hospital or other medical facility are required to have the skills that allow them to monitor patients with life-threatening conditions. The ICU environment is high-stress and fast-paced and requires CNAs to work well under pressure and use their ICU skills in an effective manner. Many CNAs who work in the ICU make more money annually than CNAs in other areas of a hospital.
- Surgical skills: CNAs who work in a surgical setting often make a higher salary than CNAs who work elsewhere in a medical facility. Surgical skills needed to work in this setting include monitoring patients before and after medical surgeries and working well under pressure.