Assistant Nurse

Certified Nursing Assistant Salary USA: How Much Do They Make Per Year?

If you are considering a career as a nursing assistant, there are a few things you need to know. Luckily, this article will highlight the key points you need to know about nursing assistant salaries. Specifically, we dig into the difference between assistant nurse salaries between states and a few tips to help you increase your salary as a certified nursing assistant.

Nursing assistants have a fundamental role in the medical industry, they are providers of healthcare and support. A career as an assistant nurse is quite demanding.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that you are getting fair compensation as an assistant nurse.

Average Salary Range of Assistant Nurses

According to the average nursing assistant salary in 2022 is $32,846. The average salary range based on these findings ranges from $29,857 to $36,900. The median hourly wage is approximately $16,00. The hourly wage ranges between $14,00 to $18,00.

According to ZipRecruiter’s statistics in 2022, the average salary for assistant nurses ranged between $25,00 to $47,00. The lowest-earning nursing assistant will earn approximately $11,000. The highest nursing assistant job in 2022 has the potential of earning up to $56,000.

Only a small portion of nursing assistants will be able to earn this. It will depend on several factors, including location and experience.

Based on ZipRecruiter’s findings, the average base salary is $34,000 per year. The average hourly wage is approximately $16,53, working out to a monthly salary of $2,856.

Levels of Nursing Assistant Positions and Salary Differences

There are two levels of nursing assistants in the medical field, including CNA 1 and CNA 2. The difference between these positions includes working facilities, medical knowledge, and salary. Both of these levels of CNA nurses will be required to work under registered nurses as they are not licensed nurses.

CNA 1 level is known as the entry-level position of an assisting nurse. At this level, the assistant nurse will not be permitted to work in hospitals. Assitinting nurses with a CNA 1 level can work in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and day centers.

At this assistant nursing level, there is more focus on daily care than medical treatment. The average hourly salary for an assistant nurse at a CNA 1 level typically ranges between $10,00 to $15,00.

Only after a nursing assistant has achieved their CNA 1 level will they be able to work toward a CNA 2 level. CNA 2 is the more advanced level of a nursing assistant but requires the basic skills needed as a CNA 1 level.

The main difference between CNA 1 and CNA 2 nurses is that CNA 2 level nurses are permitted to work in a hospital setting. Another difference between these two levels is that nurses at a CNA 2 level earn more. The hourly salary of an assistant nurse at a CNA 2 level ranges between $15,00 to $20,00.

Average Nursing Assistant Salary Based on Experience

Doctors Doing Surgery of a Serious Patient

With almost any job in any field, the level of experience you have will be factored into your earning potential. It is completely normal for entry-level positions to earn less compared to positions that require more years of experience. Here is the average nursing assistant’s salary based on the years of experience:

  • 1 year of experience – $18,88 per hour
  • 1 to 2 years of experience – $19,06 per hour
  • 3 to 5 years of experience – $20,08 per hour
  • 6 to 9 years of experience – $20,59 per hour
  • 10 plus years of experience – $22,69 per hour

State Average Salary of Nursing Assistants

The average salary of nursing assistants will vary depending on the state that the CNA role is located. The difference between the average salaries between states for the same position is quite big. The lowest average salary starts at $22,070, and the highest salary is $38,000.

This is why it is crucial to ensure the state that you are planning to work in falls into the higher average salary bracket.

There are several factors that contribute to why it is possible to earn more in certain states than others. A few of these factors include the cost of living, demand, regulations, as well as other factors.

Five Highest Paying States For Nursing Assistants:

The best way to figure out which states should be on your radar as a nursing assistant is to identify which states you will earn the most in.

The states that have the highest average salary for CNAs include:

  1. Alaska – $38,500
  2. New York – $36,610
  3. Nevada – $34,060
  4. Hawaii – $34,870
  5. North Dakota – $33,980

Five Lowest Paying States For Nursing Assistants:

To ensure that you are making the most informed decision when trying to figure out which will be the best state for you to work in. It is also important to take into account the states that offer the least earning potential for CNAs. The best way to do this is to take note of the states that have the lowest average salaries for assistant nurses.

This includes:

  1. Louisiana – $22,070
  2. Mississippi – $22,480
  3. South Carolina – $24,190
  4. Missouri – $24,350
  5. Oklahoma – $24,530

Average Assistant Nurse Salary by State

Since the range between the average salaries of the various states is quite large, it is a good idea to analyze the earning potential of CNAs in all states. This is also a good idea if you are unsure which state you would like to practice, as it will help make the decision a bit easier.

Here is an alphabetical list of the average assistant nursing salaries for all 50 states:

  1. Alabama – $28,540
  2. Alaska – $38,500
  3. Arizona – $30,540
  4. Arkansas – $24,610
  5. California – $33,070
  6. Colorado – $32,000
  7. Connecticut – $32,620
  8. Delaware – $30,020
  9. Florida – $26,020
  10. Georgia – $24,680
  11. Hawaii – $34,870
  12. Idaho – $26,770
  13. Illinois – $27,860
  14. Indiana – $26,830
  15. Iowa – $28,520
  16. Kansas – $25,670
  17. Kentucky – $26,080
  18. Louisiana – $22,070
  19. Maine – $28,350
  20. Maryland – $30,230
  21. Massachusetts – $32,230
  22. Michigan – $29,710
  23. Minnesota – $33,350
  24. Mississippi – $22,480
  25. Missouri – $24,350
  26. Montana – $28,820
  27. Nebraska – $28,280
  28. Nevada – $34,060
  29. New Hamshire – $31,280
  30. New Jersey – $29,470
  31. New Mexico – $27,890
  32. New York – $36,610
  33. North Carolina – $25,260
  34. North Dakota – $33,980
  35. Ohio – $27,040
  36. Oklahoma – $24,530
  37. Oregon – $32,350
  38. Pennsylvania – $30,080
  39. Rhode Island – $30,000
  40. South Carolina – $24,190
  41. South Dakota – $26,300
  42. Tennessee – $25,680
  43. Texas – $25,760
  44. Utah – $27,650
  45. Vermont – $29,910
  46. Virginia – $27,270
  47. Washington – $31,220
  48. West Virginia – $25,180
  49. Wisconsin – $29,240
  50. Wyoming – $29,970

Tips to Earn More as a Certified Nursing Assistant

Nurse in Blue Scrub Suit Helping Patient Woman Sitting on Bed

In any field, you always want the option of being able to earn more, which can be quite hard in the healthcare field. Especially as a certified assistant nurse where the projected job growth potential is quite limited. Although it is not impossible to earn more as a CNA, there are quite a few things that you can do to increase your salary.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are trying to earn more as a CNA:

  1. Level up to CNA2 – the first action you should take if you are trying to earn more money as a CNA is to level up to CNA 2. At this level, you will earn quite a bit more per hour compared to what you may be currently earning as a CNA 1.
  2. Work overtime – if you are looking to earn a bit more money and may need it soon, a good idea is to work overtime shifts. Although if you choose to take on extra shifts, it is important you set a bit of time for your body to reset. After all, the last thing you want is to burn out and end up missing out on your regular shifts.
  3. Advanced studies – as a CNA nurse, you may feel that there is little projected job growth potential, but it is important to keep in mind that you can further your studies. Studying for a higher position like a registered nurse, will help you earn a higher salary in the long run.
  4. Relocate – one of the key factors to keep in mind when you are trying to earn more as a CNA is to relocate. When relocating, make sure to select a state that has a higher average assistant nurse salary than others.

About Assistant Nurses

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or an assistant nurse’s role involves completing daily healthcare activities with patients. The main focus of nursing assistants is to ensure to give their patients the best quality of care while being treated.

Certified nursing assistants are an essential part of the healthcare field and play an important role in ensuring other medical professionals can treat patients in the best way possible.

Unlike several other healthcare positions, there is quite a high demand for nursing assistants in the medical field. A few reasons why there are plenty more CNA positions available include the increase in the elderly population, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the growth in the healthcare industry.

One of the key reasons why the CNA position is in high demand is the fact that more experienced nursing assistants are advancing to higher positions.

This role involves a wide range of responsibilities, long hours, and a lot of hands-on work. Meaning this role can be quite physically taxing, which is one of the reasons it is important to ensure you will receive the salary you expect for the responsibilities that you will be expected to deliver.

A few general responsibilities of certified nursing assistants include:

  • Monitoring and taking vital signs
  • Set up medical equipment used in procedures
  • Assistant with certain medical procedures
  • Note changes in patients
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Severing meals and feeding patients

Requirements to Become a Nursing Assistant

The educational requirements needed for CNA positions are an important factor to consider when analyzing the salary of this position. This helps put into perspective the educational background required to be a nursing assistant and whether it will be worth it.

Certain requirements need to be completed to qualify as an assistant nurse. This ensures that CNAs have the necessary educational background and skills needed to succeed in this position. To become a nursing assistant, you will require a high school diploma.

Thereafter you will have to complete a training course, and there are several programs you can choose from. Once you complete the course, you will need to pass the state exam to qualify as a certified nursing assistant.

Once you have the educational background needed to qualify as a CNA, you will need to complete in-person training. This will allow you to gain some experience in the medical feel that will help your chances of landing CNA jobs in the future.

General Schedule of Nursing Assistant

The number of hours is another important factor to keep in mind when analyzing the CNA position salary. After all, you want to ensure the hours that you are putting in as an assistant nurse will be financially worth it.

It is no secret that roles in the nursing field require a lot of working time, and this is no different for CNAs. Almost all nursing positions are required to run 24 hours a day throughout the entire week.

This is also inclusive of weekends and even public holidays. This is no different for CNAs, meaning this role will have a rotation of day and night shifts.

Most nursing assistant shifts are between 8 to 12 hours long. There can be overtime making these shifts even longer. The time that the day and night shifts start and begin will usually differ between hospitals.

Generally, most hospitals’ day shift for nursing assistants starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. On the other hand, the night shift usually starts at 3 p.m and finishes at 7 a.m.

Where Do Nursing Assistants Work?

nurse practitioner salary north carolina

Unlike many other medical positions, nursing assistants are not only needed in hospitals. Since nursing assistants provide essential care that every patient will need, several facilities require assistants.

A few common nursing care facilities include:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehab centers
  • Clinical centers
  • Adult homes or day centers
  • Long-term care facilities

Assistant Nurse vs. Registered Nurse

Nursing assistants and registered nurses are positions that often get confused despite being quite different from one another. There are several more differences between these positions than there are similarities. The main similarity is the fact that both positions focus on the healthcare of patients. Certified nurses manage more of the medical care of patients, whereas CNAs manage basic patient care.

One of the key differences between these roles is the salary. Registered nurses have a much higher starting salary and earning potential compared to nursing assistants. This is due to several factors which also make the roles different such as educational requirements and responsibilities.

Final Thoughts

A certified nursing assistant performs an essential role in the healthcare industry. CNAs play a significant part in managing the care of patients. A CNA position can be extremely rewarding but also quite demanding, both physically and mentally.

This why it is important to ensure that the CNA job that you accept will provide you with the salary that you deserve. Now that you know everything you need to know about assistant nurse salaries to help you find a CNA position that meets your salary expectations.

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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