Discover the Latest CNA Salary Trends for 2023: State-by-State Breakdown and Salary Range for Certified Nursing Assistants


In recent years, the demand for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) has been on the rise due to the aging population in the United States. As a result, it’s crucial for aspiring CNAs and those who are already in the profession to keep up-to-date with the industry’s salary projections. The ongoing pandemic has further highlighted the significance of healthcare workers, including nursing assistants, in the nation’s healthcare system.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth for nursing assistants is projected to rise by eight percent between 2019 and 2029. As a result, knowing the national average and projected increase in wages can be invaluable to potential and current CNAs. Through this section, we will explore the current state of CNA salary and its projections for 2023.

CNA Salary: Current State

In 2021, the national average hourly wage for certified nursing assistants is $14.10 per hour. However, this wage may vary depending on the state of employment. For instance, CNAs employed in New York earn the highest hourly wage, with an average of $18.23 per hour, while those working in Louisiana earn the least, with an hourly wage of $10.67 per hour.

The salary of CNAs may also depend on the type of employer. Nursing care facilities offer the highest average wage for CNAs, with an hourly average of $14.67, while home healthcare services offer the lowest at $12.91 per hour.

CNA Salary Projections for 2023

According to Payscale, the average hourly wage for certified nursing assistants is projected to increase to $15.58 per hour by the year 2023. Factors such as the increased demand for healthcare services and an aging population are expected to contribute to the growth in the CNA industry and subsequently, to an increase in wages.

However, it is essential to note that the salary projections for CNAs may vary depending on the state, employer, and level of experience. Thus, it’s crucial to research specific information relating to the CNA salary forecast based on one’s location and state of employment.

CNA Salary Statistics

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in the United States in 2021 is $14.84. This equates to an annual salary of approximately $30,830 based on a 40-hour workweek. However, note that CNA salaries can vary according to location, experience, and employer.

The job outlook for CNAs is projected to see a 9% increase in employment from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This increase is due to the aging baby boomer population and the growing demand for long-term care facilities. This employment growth projection is expected to continue until 2023.

While the average income for CNAs is not as high as other healthcare professionals, it should be noted that CNA roles typically do not require extensive education or training. For comparison, the average annual salary for registered nurses is $80,010 and for physician assistants, it is $112,260.

Despite this, CNAs play a critical role in patient care and are highly valued members of the healthcare team. They assist patients with daily living activities, such as bathing and feeding, and also provide emotional and social support to patients and their families.

Factors Affecting CNA Salary

As certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are essential members of healthcare teams, their job requires them to work closely with patients, aiding them during their most vulnerable moments. The role comes with a lot of responsibility and demands good communication, dedication, and compassion. Besides these professional qualities, several other factors can influence a CNA’s earning potential.


Geography is a critical factor that impacts a CNA’s salary. Different states have varying wage rates influenced by cost-of-living, demographics, and available jobs. For instance, CNAs working in California have the highest average salaries, averaging around $35,000 per year, while those in Louisiana earn the least, making about $20,000 annually. In metropolitan areas, the salary is likely to be higher than in suburban or rural regions, generally.


Like many other professions, experience plays a crucial role in determining CNA wage rates. A newly-certified CNA might start out making a median wage of around $11.50 per hour or approximately $24,000 per year. In contrast, a CNA with several years of experience might make close to $20 per hour, more or less $40,000 annually, depending on the region. Furthering education by attending seminars or taking additional courses can help advance a CNA’s career and increase their pay.


In terms of education, a CNA’s salary is significantly influenced by the level of education they have attained. Typically, a CNA with more advanced certifications, such as Patient Care Technician (PCT), Medical Assistant (MA), or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), earn higher salaries than their counterparts. For example, an LPN on average earns over $50,000 annually, while a CNA’s median wage typically does not exceed $31,000. Obtaining additional qualifications and advancing your career can boost your earning potential.


Another important factor that affects a CNA’s earning potential is the industry they work in. Different industries pay differently, based on their revenue models and demand for professionals. For instance, CNAs working in government institutions or hospitals may earn more than those working in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Home healthcare is also an emerging field that pays better than traditional healthcare settings. The industry you work in can significantly impact your CNA wage rates.

List of States with Highest and Lowest CNA Salaries

Here are the top five states where CNAs earn the most and least:

Highest Salaries:

  1. California: $35,000/year
  2. New York: $32,000/year
  3. Massachusetts: $31,000/year
  4. Alaska: $29,000/year
  5. Hawaii: $28,000/year

Lowest Salaries:

  1. Louisiana: $20,000/year
  2. Mississippi: $21,000/year
  3. South Carolina: $21,000/year
  4. Arkansas: $22,000/year
  5. Alabama: $22,000/year

CNA Salary Trends for 2023

As the demand for healthcare services increases, the projected average annual salary for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) is expected to rise in 2023. With an average hourly wage of $14.04 in 2021, the annual salary for CNAs is projected to increase by 8-10% over the next few years.

The increase in job openings for CNAs is largely attributed to the rapidly aging population and the need for long-term care. Additionally, healthcare policies, including Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, play a significant role in the employment of nursing assistants. These policies greatly affect the bottom line for healthcare providers, which impacts their ability to hire and retain CNAs.

Demographics are also a major factor influencing CNA salaries. As baby boomers age, there is an increased demand for healthcare services, including long-term care. This demand will continue to drive up the need for CNAs and, consequently, their salaries.

Market forces, such as competition for talent, also impact CNA salary trends. As the demand for CNAs increases, healthcare providers must offer higher wages to attract and retain qualified workers.

The impact of technology and innovation on the role of CNAs cannot be ignored. Technological advancements, such as electronic health records and telemedicine, have changed how healthcare providers deliver care. CNAs who are proficient in technology and who can adapt to these new methods of care will be in high demand, and may receive higher salaries.

CNA Salary Comparison

In the healthcare industry, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play an essential role in the care of patients. A comparison chart of the CNA salary projections for 2023 with other healthcare roles indicates that CNAs can expect to earn an average salary of $35,847 per year.

The analysis of this chart shows that while the CNA salary is lower than that of registered nurses or nurse practitioners, it is higher than the average wage for a medical assistant or a personal care aide. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% job growth rate for CNAs over the next decade, significantly higher than the national average for all occupations.

Significantly, a career as a CNA provides unique features and benefits, including the opportunity to work with patients, collaborate with healthcare professionals, and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. CNAs also have the opportunity to advance their careers by pursuing additional education and training to become a registered nurse or other healthcare professional.

CNAs play a vital role in the healthcare industry, assisting nurses and doctors in providing quality care to patients. With a competitive salary, job growth projections, and opportunities for career advancement, a career as a CNA is an attractive option for those looking to enter the nursing and healthcare field.

Therefore, if you are looking for a career path that involves helping others, provides stable employment, and opportunities for advancement, consider becoming a CNA.


It is important to stay informed about CNA salary projections, especially if you are considering a career as a certified nursing assistant. By understanding the trends in the industry, you can make informed decisions about your employment and education opportunities.

As the healthcare industry continues to grow and demand for CNAs increases, we can expect to see a corresponding rise in salaries. This makes now a great time to become a CNA and get involved in this rewarding and in-demand profession.

If you are interested in learning more about CNAs and their earning potential, there are many resources available online. Some great places to start include:

By exploring these resources, you can gain a better understanding of the earning potential for CNAs in your area and beyond. With this information, you can make informed decisions about your career in healthcare.

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