Nursing Assistant Salary, Education, And Certification

Recent high school graduates, or even other individuals interested in changing careers, may be interested in knowing what the average nursing assistant salary is. This career can be very lucrative for those who like to help other people, and who are interested in the medical or nursing fields.

Others find it attractive for the variety of work available and flexible scheduling. No matter your reasoning for your interest in the field of nursing assistants, salary, and education may be your most pressing questions.

As with many other career industries, the salary of a nursing assistant can vary depending on the area of the country, employer type, experience, certification and training, and population served. On average certified nursing assistants make at least $15,000 per year working full time. Most nursing assistants have a salary between $20,000 and $30,000 a year for a full-time position.

Nursing Assistant Salary, Education, And Certification

Based on these numbers, the hourly wage works out to be between $12 and $20 per hour. The states that appear to pay nursing assistants the best are California, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York. Working in hospitals and nursing homes usually pays more than working as a private duty nursing assistant.


As the needs of the healthcare industry grow and change, there has been and will continue to be an increased need for nursing assistants in the United States. States such as Virginia, Arkansas, Utah, Delaware, and Ohio, where demand has typically been low for this career, are seeing an increased need for nursing assistants.

This is due to the large aging population, and healthcare taking on more preventative roles. The Office of Occupational Statistics projects that there will be a 28 percent growth in the job market for nursing assistants between now and 2018. Approximately 276,000 new nursing assistant positions will need to be filled by 2018.


To become a certified nursing assistant, you must take an approved course from an accredited provider. Courses are usually provided by local community colleges, and sometimes hospitals and long term care facilities as well.

These courses cover hands-on skills, such as helping clients with ambulation, personal hygiene, bathing, and bed making. The course will also cover diseases, needs, and rights of clients, providing emotional support, infection control, hand washing, and helping nurses.

Once you have completed the course, you will be eligible to sit for your state’s certification exam. It is essential to become certified by your state, as this will make you more marketable and increase your potential salary. Many places will not hire nursing assistants who are not certified.


If you can live off of a nursing assistant salary between $15,000 and $30,000 per year, like to help others and are interesting in a career in the medical field, becoming a certified nursing assistant may be the right choice for you.

With demand only increasing each year, you most likely will not have problems finding a position, especially in certain states. Check with local colleges, hospitals, and long term care centers to find out more about embarking on your career as a nursing assistant today.

Read more:

  • How to become a registered nurse here.
  • Home nursing here.