In today’s economy, many people are wondering about the earning potential of certified nursing assistants (CNAs). CNAs play an essential role in the healthcare system and work directly with patients to help them perform daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and toileting. They also provide vital emotional support to patients who may be struggling with illness or injury.

The basic job description of a CNA involves providing patient care and assistance under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs)/licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). In most cases, they work full-time but can also opt for part-time work if necessary.

Salaries for CNAs can vary depending on several factors like experience level, type of employer/job setting/industry, geographic location/cost-of-living index/demand-supply balance etc.) Some employers might pay more based on performance bonuses/shift differentials/overtime opportunities or other incentives too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be continued growth in demand for healthcare professionals across all specialties through 2022 as our population ages and healthcare systems expand globally.

What determines how much a CNA earns?

What determines how much a CNA earns?


CNAs with more years of on-the-job experience tend to earn higher wages than those just starting out. Experience typically comes from working in various settings and handling diverse types of patient-related responsibilities.

Job Setting/Employer:
CNAs employed by hospitals generally earn higher salaries than those employed by home health agencies or nursing homes even though their roles often overlap. This happens because hospital employment requires additional certifications beyond what is required for traditional CNA certification i.e., Basic Life Support – BLS certificate keeping you ahead among peers.
Nursing Homes/LTCF
Home Health Agencies
Assisted Living Communities

Some industries have unique requirements that justify higher pay rates for CNAs – e.g., prison health services where security clearances or prior detainee care experience adds to the complexity of ensuring safety for all involved.
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)
Home Health Care Services
Local Government

Geographic location:
CNAs working in certain states/jurisdictions/cities carry lower paychecks than others due to differences in supply-demand dynamics, cost-of-living indexes, and reimbursement policies. More expensive cities typically have higher salaries but also come with more competition for jobs among CNAs from other regions.

Demand/Supply factors:
If there is a high demand for healthcare workers in general or within particular areas of practice such as geriatrics then CNAs might expect competitive compensation packages regardless if starting out fresh on their CNA journey.

What are the current national average earnings of CNAs?

According to recent data from websites like, among others who closely track industry trends – the estimated hourly wage range for certified nursing assistants ranges between $10-$17 per hour before any bonuses/incentives they can earn by taking on additional shifts/responsibilities. This means that a full-time CNA can expect an annual salary somewhere around $21,000-$36,000 gross+ depending upon location/experience level as mentioned above alongside any union/association benefits they may receive. However highly skilled/expert AZ type role normally pays more than SE ones – $25-30/hour being common.

How is the CNA field expected to change over 2022?

There has been an uptick witnessed post-pandemic where people are seeking employment options that would be largely recession-proof and allow them avenues across multiple socio-economic settings giving job security which till date have not found themselves affected by closures or limited operations so far.. There has always been demand increasing year on year for CNAs since it remains an essential part of basic healthcare delivery systems helping bridge ranks when patient care needs come up, and with continued growth over the next decade more facilities will open up leading to an increase in the number of job opportunities available.

With this increase will also likely come new educational requirements that incorporate technology, science advancements, or other tools necessary to provide effective patient care. This could result in additional certification coursework being added for CNAs who aim to specialize further – e.g specialty home care, pediatric patients specific CNA etc. alongside offering newer opportunities for fresher candidates as well working across skill-specific sidelines involving consulting or training positions within healthcare institutions themselves.

The Bottom Line

CNAs are integral members of many medical teams worldwide who play a key role by providing support & emapthy albeit through basic tasks helping their team manage tough situations seamlessly. They help individuals maintain their dignity and improve their quality of life during times when it feels like they have lost control over everything else around them …making every penny worth it!