How much does a CNA make per hour in the United States?

How much does a CNA make per hour in the United States?

What is a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides direct patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). CNAs assist patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating, and mobility. They also take vital signs, help with medical procedures, and provide emotional support to patients.

CNAs work in various healthcare settings, including:

  1. Hospitals: Providing care to patients in different departments such as emergency, surgery, and general medical.
  2. Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities: Offering care to elderly or chronically ill patients.
  3. Assisted Living Facilities: Supporting residents with daily activities and basic medical care.
  4. Home Healthcare: Providing in-home care to patients who need assistance with daily living activities and medical care.
  5. Hospice Care: Supporting terminally ill patients with comfort and palliative care.
  6. Rehabilitation Centers: Assisting patients recovering from surgeries, injuries, or illnesses.

What is the salary of CNA?

The salary of a CNA can vary based on location, experience, and the type of healthcare facility. As of the most recent data:

Median Annual Salary: Around $30,000 Hourly Wage: Typically ranges from $12 to $20 per hour

Salaries tend to be higher in hospitals and in areas with a higher cost of living.

How to Become a CNA

1.Complete a State-Approved Education Program: Enroll in a state-approved CNA training program, often available at community colleges, vocational schools, and some healthcare facilities. Programs typically last from 4 to 12 weeks and include classroom instruction and clinical practice.

2.Pass the Competency Exam: After completing the training program, you must pass a state competency exam, which includes a written test and a practical skills test.

3.Get Listed on the State Registry: Once you pass the exam, you are placed on your state’s CNA registry, allowing you to work as a CNA.

4.Maintain Certification: Certification usually needs to be renewed every two years, often requiring proof of employment and continuing education.

Career Development

1.Gain Experience: Work in various healthcare settings to gain diverse experience and improve your skills.

2.Specialize: Pursue additional certifications or training in areas such as geriatrics, hospice care, or home health.

3.Advanced Certifications: Consider obtaining certifications like Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) to expand your scope of practice.

4.Further Education: Many CNAs choose to advance their careers by becoming Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs). Some healthcare facilities offer tuition reimbursement or educational grants for CNAs pursuing further education.

5.Networking and Professional Associations: Join professional associations such as the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) for networking, continuing education opportunities, and career advancement resources.

6.Leadership Roles: With experience, CNAs can move into supervisory roles such as lead CNA or shift supervisor in healthcare facilities.


Becoming a CNA is a rewarding entry point into the healthcare field, offering opportunities for direct patient care and career advancement. With experience and further education, CNAs can progress to more advanced nursing roles, expanding their responsibilities and earning potential.