Certified Nursing Assistant Salary: An Overview

nursing assistant salary
Nursing Assistant Salary

Interested to know how much a Certified Nursing Assistant salary generates annually? The median yearly compensation of a CNA has an average of $31,545. However, it can range from $28,592 to $35,093 depending on a number of factors.  It is estimated that 50% of the CNAs in the U.S. are expected to receive less than the average annual salary.

The Job of a CNA

A Certified Nursing Assistant Salary receives an average of $11.68 per hour. An assistant nurse that has a more extensive experience earns only a little bit more than the average CNA. Usually, the maximum experience of assistant nursing jobs is 20 years.

A nursing assistant can work part-time or full-time and will most likely be required to have a flexible schedule. They are sometimes asked to work night shifts or weekends. CNAs are also expected to have strong interpersonal skills because they will be interacting with a lot with patients.

Communication is another important trait of a CNA. Aside from dealing with nurses and patients on a daily basis, they often coordinate with different medical staffs to provide the latest updates on the patient’s condition.

Another requirement is having a strong physique. CNAs are always on the go during their shifts and are always checking on their patients. They also sometimes carry and transport heavy medical equipment.

Therefore, CNAs must possess proper training and certification. A certified nursing assistant salary based on five years of working can amount to a total average of $23,000. This includes overtime pay, bonuses and tips. Meanwhile, a CNA with an experience of five to 10 years can earn a total of $26,000 while those who have worked over 20 years can receive $28,000.

CNA Salary Range

Based on PayScale, CNAs have an average annual pay of $24,454 that ranges from $17,951 up to $31,314. The skills you possess can significantly impact your nursing assistant salary. Aside from these skills, the location of work can also contribute to the range of pay you receive. Those who are willing to relocate have the potential of earning more.

A nurse salary can depend on what you can offer. So, if you want to improve your skillset, you can enroll in various CNA programs, CNA classes or CNA classes online with the help of a CNA study guide. You can further advance your studies by enrolling in a reputable nursing school. Check out links online and participate in practice tests.

Some of the high paying skills of a CNA include the following areas.

Emergency Room (ER)

Working in the ER can be chaotic and highly stressful, especially when it comes to shifts and the number of patients coming in. With this fast-paced environment, CNAs can take home an average of $27,929 yearly with a range of $18,663 to $35,075. A nursing assistant must check the vital signs of patients, take blood and prepare the room for patients. CNAs with a background on working in the ER will have the best chance of getting a high compensation in Las Vegas.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

ICU patients are often in critical condition and require constant monitoring. The environment in the ICU is often highly stressful and fast-moving. The average salary of CNAs who have experience in ICU is around $25,700. It can range from $19,097 up to as high as $35,639 annually. The best city to work as a CNA is in Seattle.

Operating Room (OR)

CNAs who have the opportunity to work in the OR are able to receive higher salaries. They have the daily task of preparing the patients for surgery, setting up the equipment needed as well as facilitating the room for the patient. CNAs working in OR may rake in an average of $25,943 annually ranging from $18,766 to $35,648. Similar to CNAs who are working in ICU, the best place to receive the highest pay for OR-experienced CNAs is also in Seattle.


Working in surgery is another way to increase your salary. CNAs assist the patient’s needs during surgical procedures. The average annual salary of CNAs with this background is around $28,425 ranging from $19,068 to $34,671. Aside from Seattle, Philadelphia is another top place to work as a CNA who has skills and knowledge in the surgery department.

Nursing Career Path

Working as a CNA can be a long-term or a transitional career. CNA positions require a specific level of training and education. However, this job is a great entry-level position if you want to pursue a career in the nursing field. Whether you see yourself working as a CNA for many years or you just want to try if this is the right fit for you, a CNA position is a great opportunity for you.

Working as a CNA is a highly respectable job. If you want to achieve a growth in your nursing assistant salary, make sure you continue to update your skills.

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