The annual earnings of a Certified Nursing Assistant cannot be easily determined, as a variety of influences factor in to determine the pay rate. The income one can expect to earn working as a CNA varies with the location in which you are employed and how much experience you have. Other things which influence pay are the shift you work, the number of hours you work per week, and advanced training you may have received. However, there are some general guidelines which you can use to form an idea of your future expected income.
The pay range of CNAs who have just finished their training and are new to the health care setting generally varies between $9.25 and $12.75 per hour. Many facilities offer pay incentives for overnight shifts which can be up to an extra dollar per hour or more. Also, depending on the facility, you may be able to work overtime hours which would increase the amount that you earn to time and one half. Other pay incentives for CNAs include paid holidays and vacation time which are generally offered after a probationary employment period of about three months. Holiday and vacation pay generally accrues at a rate specified by the employer accumulating up to two weeks on average of paid days off.
For an experienced CNA, or one who has received additional training either independently or through their employer, the rate of pay usually starts at a higher amount. Whereas a newly hired CNA with no previous experience may make anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 per year, a seasoned CNA with significant amounts of previous experience could potentially earn any where from $28,000 to $35,000 per year. Additional benefits of experienced CNA often include the potential to earn additional amounts of paid time off, as well as having seniority within the company which allows them to have preference over which shifts they would like to work.
Finally, employment location probably has the most significant influence over the annual salary of a CNA. Working in various states, or working in a rural compared to an urban area, can weigh heavily on the amount of money you can expect to make. A CNA working in Los Angeles, California may have income potential up to $22.00 per hour or more, while a CNA working in rural Wisconsin would be more likely to make around $9.50 to $10.00 per hour. The demand for CNAs and the cost of living in the area of employment have a lot to do with the dramatic fluctuation seen in these two scenarios.
Expert Contribution by: Heather Martens CNA
Heather has been working as a CNA for over five years, she is currently a full time nursing student and plans to graduate as a Registered Nurse in the year 2012.