Certified Nursing Assistant Salaries

What are the highest and lowest certified nursing assistant salaries that I could earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average CNA salary as of May 2015 was $25,090. The lowest 10% earned less than $17,790, while the top 10% earned over $34,580.

Payscale offers a similar assessment, placing the national median annual salary at $17,598 to $32,073. The average hourly certified nursing assistant salary is $8.40 to $14.37 per hour. The average CNA salary in a long-term care facility is $21,000 to $34,000 a year, while CNAs working evening shifts in hospitals average $31,000 to $37,000 annually. In general, your CNA salary will depend on how much experience you have and the state in which you work. Pay tends to be lowest in the southern states.

A CNA can become a certified nursing assistant-advanced (CNA-A) or a CNA II and earn $1 to $3 more per hour than the typical CNA pay rate. You can also progress to lead nursing assistant or supervisory roles. Indeed.comreports that a lead nursing assistant earns an average salary of $47,000 annually. CNAs often advance into other health care careers through more education and training. A registered nurse, for example, earns an average of almost $65,000 per year according to the BLS.

In addition to my certified nursing assistant salary, will I earn benefits?

A survey of CNAs in Iowa states that, in addition to their CNA salaries, the majority of certified nursing assistants receive health insurance, paid sick time, dental insurance and paid vacation. Less than half of the CNAs surveyed also received a pension or long term disability insurance. CNAs working in nonprofit facilities are more likely to be offered benefits than those working in for-profit institutions, though most employers do offer some type of benefits package.

On average, you can expect to receive about 1 week of vacation and will often work nights, weekends and holidays. Payscale reports that even after 20 years as a CNA, the average amount of vacation time rises to just 1.3 weeks. However, along with their certified nursing assistant salary, many CNAs also receive profit sharing.

CNAs benefit the most from this in the first year of their job, as the median profit sharing during that time is $1,750. After 20 years, a CNA receives about $500 per year in profit sharing. You may also receive bonuses, but even for those who have worked 20 or more years, the national average is only about $50 annually.

Will I always earn a salary in my certified nursing assistant job?

CNA salaries are paid at an hourly rate and not at an annual salaried rate, as CNAs are entry-level workers and do not require advanced degrees. They are usually entitled to overtime pay as a result. Be especially cautious if you choose to work in home health care, as many CNAs work for individuals advertising online or in local papers rather than through agencies. These CNAs often endure a lack of health insurance and no guarantee of minimum wage and overtime.

CNA pay generally does not reflect the physically and mentally demanding work of a certified nursing assistant. In order to gain a salaried position, you can continue your education and enroll in nursing school. Many schools even require students to become CNAs before enrolling in their nursing programs, so that students are assured the healthcare field is right for them. With an additional 2 to 4 years of education, and upon passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), you can obtain licensure as a registered nurse (RN).

In contrast to the average CNA salary, RNs make an average of nearly $60,000 per year and are salaried rather than paid hourly. Very ambitious students can continue on to masters degree programs for positions that pay as much as 6 figures annually.