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 $27,470 annually (or $13.20 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 $18.24, followed by New York at $16.87.
CNAs who work in hospitals have the highest average pay, at $14.73 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.
Behind hospitals in CNA pay level are skilled nursing facilities, which pay about $13.20 an hour and nursing homes, which average $12.84. 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 $13.08 per hour.