How Much Does a CNA Make?What are the Factors that Affect it?

CNA is a lucrative career and if you have a genuine interest in public health and passion to work in a medical field then this could be the career you are looking for. The good thing about this career is unlike most of the other profession in the medical field, it does not require years of training and experiences.

In just within a year you can complete your CNA training program and start earning around $25,000 annually. Keep in mind that this is just the starting salary for those who are just starting the career; an experienced CNA can expect to earn around $40,000 annually. However the salary of a CNA depends on many factors including job location, employer and experience.

A latest report from The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that the medium salary of a CNA in United States in 2012 was around $25,614 which implies around $12.33 per hour. But like I said the salary of a CNA depends on a number of factors which includes the employment facility as well.

Highest and Lowest Paying Industries

In United States, it is the scientific research and development services and the federal branch of government that are regarded as the highest paying industries for the CNA. Here CNA can expect to earn around $17.75 per hour making their annual salary of around $36,000.

Next are the colleges and universities where the hourly salary is around $15.48. The health facilities are regarded as the lowest paying industries for CNA where they earn around $13.12 hourly. So now you know which should be your top priority when searching for a CNA job in United States.

Highest Paying States

Not all states offer the same amount of salaries to the CNAs. So it is better to know which state offers the highest salaries and which one the lowest. According to the latest statistics, Alaska boasts as the highest paying states offering an hourly salary of around $16.68 to the CNAs. Second one is the New York with an hourly salary of $15.50 and the third one is Nevada with $15.20.

The states on the southern region of United States which includes Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas are the lowest paying states for CNAs where they are offered the hourly salary of no more than $11. So try to avoid these states if you are in search for a decent CNA job.

Factors affecting the CNA salary

Just because the annual salary mentioned in the statistics is around $25,000 does not mean that all the CNAs will be offered the exact same salary as the starting salary. Like I said, the salary of a CNA depends on different factors. Below here I have listed out some of those factors that determine the annual salary of a CNA.


The state and the facility where you are hired as a CNA play an important role in determining the annual salary of a CNA. CNA working in Alaska can expect to earn more than those working at Mississippi or any other states within the southern region. Additionally, CNAs working at research based facilities can expect to earn more than those working in a medical facility or any other health care facility.

Economic Condition

The economic condition of the state and the facility is yet another factor that determines the salary of a CNA. If the state or the facility has a strong economic condition then without a doubt the employees working there are offered higher salary.

Qualification and Experience

cna salary

It is mandatory for CNAs to pass the state’s certification exam in order to work as a CNA in the medical field. A CNA with excellent results in the training programs are offered higher salary as compared to those with average results. And as your experience grows within the career, you are offered higher salary as compared to those who are just starting. A qualified and experienced CNA can earn an annual salary of around $40,000 with additional opportunities like free lodging and transportation.

How secure is the CNA career?

So now you know that CNA is a lucrative career but you might be wondering how secure the career is. Well almost every career within the medical field is secure because the number of elderly population and the demands for health care needs is always increasing. CNAs are regarded as one of the main workforce in the medical field as their abilities are regularly utilized within the career.

They aid nurses and doctors in patient care and perform the basic techniques in the care and assistance of the patients. It is their duty to help patients in their daily activities such as bathing, brushing teeth, combing hair, dressing up and is also responsible to feed the patients.

Besides that they also perform health related tasks such as taking vital signs and informing nurses and doctors about their health conditions. Patients are close and personal to the CNAs so they play an important role in healing a patient both physically and mentally.

Therefore CNAs are one of the important careers in the medical field. Recent studies have shown that the demands for CNAs are growing at an impressive rate and within years it could be double. That means your career as a CNA is one of the safest career out there.

The Bottom Line

Remember that the career requires some interpersonal skills and needs a genuine interest in public health; fail to meet either of these requirements means that the career is not for you. The starting salary of a CNA is quite impressive as one can expect to earn around $30,000 annually and with time and as your experience grows you will be offered $40,000 annually. CNA career is really a lucrative career that does not need years of training or experience to start.

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