Have you heard the good news? If you have been pondering a future as a Certified Nursing Assistant, keep reading. According to the United States Department of labor, employment in healthcare support positions, such as a CNA, is expected to increase by 20% through 2020. This rise in CNA employment, which is a natural byproduct of the aging baby-boomer population, equates to increased opportunities for burgeoning CNA students.
Now that you know your chance for landing a job is excellent, let’s take a moment to explore the salary of today’s working CNA.
CNA Salary Outlook
Full time CNAs typically earn between $16,000 to $31,000, and have a median income of approximately $24,000 cites the Department of Labor. There are several contributing factors that play a role in how much you can earn as a CNA. As a prospective Certified Nursing Assistant, the following elements can influence how much money you earn:
Like many occupations, the amount of education and training you have can play a huge role in how much you are paid. CNAs earn a competitive wage without having to spend years studying in a university. With that being said, it would definitely behoove you to obtain the highest level of education possible before starting your career. For example, CNAs who possess the minimum education requirements for certification earn approximately $20,000. In contrast, CNAs who have additional education or a college degree typically make $30,000 or more.
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The cost of living in the midwestern states of the country is much less than most states on the west and east coasts. This disparity in living costs has a huge influence on your salary in different parts of the country. For example, in 2012 a CAN employed inIowaearns a typical salary of $23,500, while a CNA working inNew Yorkearned about $32,000 reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At face value, it may seem more advantageous to work inNew York; however, you could probably rent two apartments inIowafor the price you would pay for one in the Big Apple.
If you do get the urge to move to another state, you can transfer your CNA license by researching the reciprocity process through your state’s Nurse’s Aide Registry.
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Another factor determining pay is the type of employer you choose. CNAs usually find work in nursing homes, community care facilities, hospitals and as home health aides.
- Nursing Homes – A vast majority of CNAs are employed in nursing homes. Because Americans are living longer, the need for long term care facilities will continue to increase. CNAs employed in this type of facility earn between $10 to $13 an hour.
- Community Care Facilities – These institutions encompass elderly patients and other patients, who need special care. The clinical setting is similar to nursing homes; however, these patients generally require fewer needs than nursing home patients. The pay is typically around $9 to $12 an hour.
- Hospitals – One major advantage of working in a hospital setting is that you may be exposed to a variety of assignments. For example, you could start out on a maternity unit, and at some time during your tenure in the hospital transfer to a medical/surgical floor. This will allow you to encounter a variety of clinical procedures, and therefore gain more experience. Pay in hospitals is often higher than other facilities, and ranges from $11 to $15 an hour.
- Home Health Aide – CNAs, who are employed as home health aides are often hired by private companies. In this capacity, you may be responsible for patients at several different locations. Wages for home health aides are between $8 to $11 an hour.
The longer you are employed as a CNA, the more money you will earn. This is a fairly universal concept in many occupations. Additionally, most states mandate continuing education courses for CNAs. This along with hands-on experience will naturally culminate in higher pay throughout your career as seasoned health care worker.
One succinct reason for the increase in pay throughout your career is that as you gain valuable experience and education, your duties and responsibilities will increase. It’s up to you to take advantage of every training opportunity during your career. This exposure will ultimately pay dividends in the form of increased job satisfaction and the added financial benefit of higher pay.