Which CNA Jobs Pay the Most?

Licensed Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) have a variety of options and settings available to them as they pursue their careers, including hospitals, home health settings, and nursing homes or long-term care facilities. There are some differences in the duties required in each of these settings, and there are differences in the average salary that a CNA can expect.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average annual salary of a CNA in the U.S. as $30,850 annually (or $14.82 hourly), although the reported annual salary span ranges from $17,951 to $31,314. There are distinct geographical differences that impact the average salary and state-by-state averages vary. North Carolina has the lowest average pay, with an hourly rate of $10.23, while Alaska has the highest at $20.43, followed by New York at $19.53.


CNAs who work in hospitals have the highest average pay, at $16.18 hourly. Specialized CNAs in this setting can earn substantially more. The highest-paid specialties for CNAs include the ICU, Operating Room, Telemetry, Emergency Room, and Medicine and Surgery. In fact, an ICU CNA in Seattle can earn up to $37,000 annually. This is the highest paid specialty/location combination listed, although specialty CNAs working in these locations can expect a salary within the range of $18,663 to $35,648.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

Behind hospitals in CNA pay level are skilled nursing facilities, which pay about $14.90 an hour and nursing homes, which average $14.71. Home health CNA salaries generally have a bigger variance in their range, depending upon the company that is hiring, the location, and the duties of the position. However, the average for these CNAs is $14.30 per hour.

Which CNA Jobs Pay the Most

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