The other day a co-worker told me about her salary journey as a CNA. After completing her CNA classes she immediately started to look for a job and was a little shocked to see that the pay rates were surprisingly low. But she was confident and decided that she wanted to be a CNA not primarily because of the salary, but in order to help others and hoped that with more experience her salary would go up. Now it is five years later and her CNA salary has indeed increased, however, not as much she’d have liked. In my opinion, it really is a huge problem for many CNA who put their heart and time into this demanding job and the income doesn’t increase much with time. Therefore, here are four options to help you maximize the money you can make as CNA.
Location, Location, Location
Do you know that the starting pay of a CNA varies widely between different states? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CNA earn an average annual salary of $24,190 or $11.63 per hour (2011 data). However, depending on the state you work in the actual salary could be $23,500 (in Iowa) or $32,000 (in New York) or anywhere in-between. Therefore, if you are mobile and want to travel you stand a good chance to increase your salary as a CNA simply by moving to a different state.
Unfortunately, there is a catch. The cost of living in or near New York is notably higher than the cost of living in Iowa. Thus, although your income can be 35% higher in New York, you might end up having less in the bank after rent, taxes and food. However, though they may be an expensive states to live in – who wouldn’t desire to move to New York City or Hawaii?
Consider that if you move to another state, you also have to transfer your CNA license. To do so visit the website of the state’s Nurse’s Aide Registry and find out how you can transfer your license to this state. Alternatively, in case you are still thinking of becoming a CNA and want to explore the United States, You can also move to your preferred state after your initial training and obtain the CNA license there directly. It saves time and money.
Not All Work Settings Are Equal
With a CNA license you can find work in numerous settings. You could start in nursing facilities, community care facilities, hospitals, or possibly even as a home health aide. Depending on the place you go the salary can be quite different.
Many certified nursing assistants have told me that the salary in long term care facilities is typically not as high as that in hospitals. The difference is not excessive, but it is there. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider working in a nursing home. It is a great place to start your career. In addition, there are other opportunities to raise …