CNA Salary

At the heart of virtually every person’s decision to become a CNA is the noble desire to help people in their greatest time of need. However, this desire not means that the work has to be done for free. The good news is that new CNAs can expect a competitive salary that will only grow with time. If you’re still in the process of researching whether or not this career choice is actually right for you, it makes sense to naturally wonder what type of CNA salary you can expect to have.

There are a few different factors that determine the salary of a CNA, and some of these factors can even be controlled by the actual CNA.

The first is definitely experience. Entry-level CNAs are expected to “pay their dues” much like other entry level workers in other industries, in order to get the experience necessary to move to bigger and better positions. However, this is not an area that’s completely out of the control of the CNA. Gaining experience ahead of time as a volunteer in hospice care or another allied health position can often allow the new CNA the necessary leverage to negotiate a slightly higher salary. The key to keep in mind is to provide a solid value to the employer at all times. Anything you can do to set yourself aside from the other CNA candidates is definitely a good thing.

Another area that affects CNA salary is location. The location of a CNA job opening is a major factor in determining how much the position will actually offer. If the job opening is in a smaller city or town, it will be harder to actually get a larger starting salary than if the job opening is in a major city. This is because most opening salaries are based on the cost of living for that particular area, and CNA jobs are not an exception to this rule. If you are finding that the CNApositions offered in your area are not to your liking, you may want to consider moving to a larger area where there are more opportunities available. Again, this is definitely general information and every area will vary in terms of salary.

The size of the facility will also make a difference in terms of the salary offered. A small home aide facility may not be able to offer as much as an upscale retirement community or a full fledged hospital. Knowing what type of organization, you are applying for employment to can help you determine how much leeway you have with respect to CNA salary.

One factor to also consider as you begin reviewing potential CNA salaries is the possibility of bonuses. Many positions that have been open for a long time often come with bonuses to help the employer find someone to fill it. The additional money they would have to pay pales in comparison to having someone qualified on staff to take care of patients and otherwise keep order in the facility. While some bonuses are indeed paid upfront upon actually signing an offer of employment, many bonuses are actually paid out after a certain amount of days have been worked. Even if the job does not have an advertised bonus, it is always worth your time to ask the employer if the position qualifies for any sign on bonuses. The worse they can tell you is no, and it becomes your decision of whether or not to continue to seek employment within that organization.

Overall, CNA salary is just one key in determining whether or not this career path is right for you. Naturally, you do not want to enter this profession just for the money. However, if you are truly serious about helping others as a CNA, you’ll find that the standard CNA salary offered is actually very competitive.

CNA Salaries by State

While Certified Nursing Assistants may not be the highest-paid health care workers in the country, they definitely fare better than others. As employer demand for CNA holders continues to rise, room for salary negotiation will also continue to increase for those that are certified. As expected, those working in larger metropolitan areas such as Albany, New York, and Sacramento, California can expect to earn a higher CNA salary than those found in less populated, rural areas.

Nevertheless, almost all health care facilities in various states provide bonuses and other fringe benefits to their CNA employees. These include pensions and 401(k) insurance. They are usually given their own health care and life insurance benefits, which may even extend to their immediate family members. The clinic hours can sometimes be varied, but they are entitled to paid leaves.

Moreover, CNAs who are working in Medicare/Medicaid facilities can request reimbursement for their CNA training after its successful completion. Some nursing homes and hospitals also support their employees by letting them undertake paid training in affiliated schools.

Many states have reciprocity agreements, which means state-approved CNAs can move out and work in another state without having to retake the training and examination. Generally, they will only require endorsements; however, in some cases challenging the exam might be required.

There’s a lot of room for career growth for CNAs. Because of their formal training, they can apply favorably to a Licensed Practical Nursing program should they choose. Another option afterwards is to move on to Registered Nursing, earning better salaries and benefits.

Knowledge is power. Knowing what the average pay rate is for nursing assistants in your State will give you greater confidence when it comes to negotiating your starting salary or commanding a pay raise.

Below you will find the latest data for CNA salary by state, courtesy of Salaries were calculated based on average data taken from each state’s capital city. Both salaries and hourly wages are indicated as a range.

State Annual Salary ($)
Annual Salary ($)
Hourly Rate ($)
Hourly Rate ($)
Alabama 22,589 27,218 11 13
Alaska 30,241 36,438 15 18
Arizona 26,341 31,739 13 15
Arkansas 22,738 27,398 11 13
California 28,141 33,908 14 16
Colorado 26,744 32,225 13 15
Connecticut 28,299 34,099 14 16
Delaware 27,384 32,675 13 16
Florida 24,358 29,350 12 14
Georgia 26,466 31,890 13 15
Hawaii 29,031 34,981 14 17
Idaho 24,980 30,099 12 14
Illinois 24,383 29,381 12 14
Indiana 25,660 30,919 12 15
Iowa 25,682 30,946 12 15
Kansas 24,432 29,439 12 14
Kentucky 24,474 29,490 12 14
Louisiana 23,242 28,005 11 13
Maine 23,432 28,234 11 14
Maryland 27,564 33,213 13 16
Massachusetts 29,280 35,281 14 17
Michigan 26,096 31,444 13 15
Minnesota 24,051 31,611 13 16
Mississippi 21,998 26,506 11 13
Missouri 23,896 28,793 11 14
Montana 23,197 27,951 10 12
Nebraska 23,034 27,755 13 16
Nevada 27,081 32,631 13 16
New Hampshire 27,743 33,428 13 16
New Jersey 30,545 36,805 15 18
New Mexico 22,848 27,531 11 13
New York 26,692 32,162 13 15
North Carolina 26,326 31,721 13 15
North Dakota 23,800 28,678 11 14
Ohio 26,281 31,667 13 15
Oklahoma 25,167 30,324 12 15
Oregon 25,671 30,932 12 15
Pennsylvania 26,666 32,131 13 15
Rhode Island 27,590 33,244 13 16
South Carolina 24,276 29,252 12 14
South Dakota 20,540 24,750 10 12
Tennessee 24,489 29,508 12 14
Texas 25,231 30,402 12 15
Utah 25,257 30,434 12 15
Vermont 25,885 31,190 12 15
Virginia 26,225 31,600 13 15
Washington 27,554 33,201 13 16
West Virginia 23,064 27,791 11 13
Wisconsin 24,151 29,100 12 14
Wyoming 23,563 28,393 11 14