Whether you’re just getting out of college, or thinking about a mid-life career change, the job market doesn’t appear to be at its best. However, while career prospects may seem dismal on the surface, with a little digging it’s possible to find some interesting and lucrative opportunities. One sector that is always in need of personnel is medicine. And within this field certified nursing assistants are in high demand.
How Much Do CNAs Make?
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide patient care in a variety of settings under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN). The process of becoming a CNA is less intensive than that of becoming a registered nurse, but the workload is just as intense. It is the job of the CNA to collect vital patient information which is then relayed to the RN. In many ways the CNA acts as the eyes and ears of the RN. CNAs often work demanding schedules in high-pressure environments, but it is the reward of helping those in dire need that makes being a certified nursing assistant worthwhile.
So how does one go about becoming a CNA, and what are the job prospects and how much does a CNA make? The good news is that a career as a CNA can be quite lucrative and personally rewarding. On top of that, there are institutions in almost every city in the country, as well as online schools, that offer certification to become a CNA. These courses typically last about four weeks and are provided by the Red Cross as well as community colleges.
Once certified, CNAs will find that they are in very high demand. This is because there is a high turnover rate in this field. Many people who start out as CNAs eventually move on to become registered nurses. So not only is being a certified nursing assistant a good career in itself, it can also be a springboard to titles with more responsibility and higher wages.
So, specifically, how much does a CNA make? Those fresh out of a certification course can expect to earn around 10 dollars per hour to start. This also depends on the state you work as well as the type of sector. For example, those working in hospitals may earn more than those working in nursing homes. Universities and scientific research settings also tend to pay more. As you gain experience, you can expect to earn about 15 dollars per hour. These figures of $10-$15 per hour (corresponding to approximately 21K to 31 K per year) are very broad and rough estimations.
The variation in salary by state is huge and even comparable to the variation by experience level in the same state. It is actually not easy to come up with definitive statistics on salaries, so that figures given by the Department of Labor and by salary.com, for example, may differ somewhat. This is because of limited sampling of diverse data forces the application of statistical estimation methods and there is some lattitude in this. If you are interested in the details you can go to salay.com, for example, to find out a lot the latest information for 2013, but the bottom line is that certain trends are apparent no matter what the exact methodology is to derive the data. One of these trends is that some of the southern states are the lowest paying ones (the CNA salary in Arkansas has been known to dip below $10), whilst New York, Alaska, and Nevada have been some of the highest paying states, starting salaries in the $15-$16 per hour region are not uncommon. Before you pack your suitcases, however, remember that salary variations in different states for the same job reflect differences in costs of living, which may often cancel out any apparent advantage. However, this also depends on individual circumstances, so it is worth looking into carefully.
When looking at the statistics for salary figures, remember that the median value is a better representation than the straight average, because the latter can be skewed by a minority of high (or low) earners in a sample.
There are also ways to earn more than the typical rate, for example by having specialty training. Depending on the state in which certification is obtained, some areas will offer specialized training that allows a CNA to perform more duties than he or she normally would. Of course, having this specialty training means you can command higher wages. Those who end up working in an administrative capacity will also likely earn more than a typical CNA.
All in all, becoming a CNA is a good starting point to embark on a career in medicine. People can choose to stay in this position or earn more credentials and experience with time.
No related posts.