Top 15 States with Best Salaries for CNAs

Top 15 States with Best Salaries for Certified Nursing Assistants

Top 15 States with Best Salaries for CNAs

Of the many ways you can break into the field of nursing, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, is among the quickest and easiest. In fact, many who aspire to be registered nurses one day, begin by earning their CNA certifications. After all, in less than a year, you can earn the credentials you need and can start applying for jobs as a CNA.

Like many, you're probably wondering what to expect in terms of compensation. As with any career, the amount you can expect to earn as a CNA depends on a variety of factors. Geography is among the biggest of them. Indeed, CNAs in some states make far more than CNAs in others. We've compiled a list of the 15 states offering top salaries for CNAs. Read on to learn more.

Top 15 States for CNA Salaries

All of the information below is current as of May 2016 and has been pulled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  1. Alaska - Average annual CNA salary: $37,520, or around $18.04 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 1,720. The highest paying areas are large metro regions like Anchorage.
  2. New York - Average annual CNA salary: $34,300, or around $16.49 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 98,040. New York is therefore a great state for CNAs not just in terms of compensation but in terms of job availability.
  3. Nevada - Average annual CNA salary: $33,650, or around $16.18 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 5,830. Since this is a sparsely populated state, most of the demand for CNAs is concentrated in metro areas like Las Vegas and Henderson.
  4. Washington, D.C. - Average annual CNA salary: $33,380, or around $16.05 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 2,970. The nation's capital is a great place for CNAs. Since it is a compact area, you can be sure of finding well-paying work quickly.
  5. California - Average annual CNA salary: $32,770, or around $15.76 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 99,140. California is not only a top state for CNAs, but it is routinely listed as a top place for RNs and LPNs too.
  6. Connecticut - Average annual CNA salary: $32,140, or around $15.45 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 21,180. For such a tiny state, Connecticut is jam-packed with excellent opportunities for CNAs.
  7. Hawaii - Average annual CNA salary: $31,990, or around $15.38 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 5,500. This far-flung island chain has a fairly small year-round population, so demand for CNAs isn't quite as strong. However, CNAs here earn far more than the national average.
  8. Massachusetts - Average annual CNA salary: $30,960, or around $14.88 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 30,960. In places like Boston, Springfield, and Worcester, demand for CNAs is near an all-time high in the Bay State. As you acquire more experience, you will be eligible for even higher-paying jobs.
  9. New Hampshire - Average annual CNA salary: $30,390, or around $14.61 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 8,970. If you live in the Granite State and want to break into the field of nursing, becoming a CNA will get your foot in the door along with some pretty competitive pay.
  10. Colorado - Average annual CNA salary: $30,150, or around $14.49 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 19,230. This state has experienced a major population boom over the last decade or so, so demand for CNAs is strong, and they are compensated well. Demand for these professionals is expected to remain high for years to come.
  11. Washington State - Average annual CNA salary: $30,150, or around $14.49 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 26,530. In the Pacific Northwest, Washington State is by far the best place for CNAs. From Seattle to Tacoma, these medical assistants enjoy access to tons of jobs as well as exceptional pay and benefits.
  12. Arizona - Average annual CNA salary: $29,790, or around $14.32 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 13,620. As a popular retirement destination, Arizona has a high percentage of elderly citizens. Not surprisingly, this translates into high demand for CNAs here and excellent compensation and benefits.
  13. Maryland - Average annual CNA salary: $29,700, or around $14.28 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 29,180. When combined with the great pay and job opportunities for CNAs in neighboring DC, Maryland is among the best states in the Mid-Atlantic for these healthcare professionals. If you live in Maryland and are looking to break into nursing, becoming a CNA is a great move.
  14. Rhode Island - Average annual CNA salary: $29,560, or around $14.21 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 9,990. Don't let the fact that it's the smallest state fool you. Rhode Island is the place to be for CNAs who have the proper credentials. By looking for work here, you'll enjoy access to competitive pay and many other perks.
  15. Wyoming - Average annual salary: $29,010, or around $13.95 per hour. Average number of CNA jobs: 2,990. Although Wyoming is large in terms of geographic size, it is small in terms of population. As a result, CNA jobs are scattered across the state, but most of them are concentrated in metro regions like Casper.

Top Metro Areas by Salary for CNAs

Finally, here's a quick rundown of the top 5 metro areas for CNAs in the U.S.:

  • New York City - Annual pay: $34,910, or around $16.78 per hour
  • Los Angeles - Annual pay: $30,420, or around $15.21 per hour
  • Chicago - Annual pay: $27,760, or around $13.35 per hour
  • Houston - Annual pay: $26,900, or around $12.93 per hour
  • Atlanta - Annual pay: $24,870, or around $11.96 per hour

As you can see, opportunities for competitive pay and excellent job security abound for CNAs around the country, so sign up for CNA training today.