Yes, to be a CNA you must care for people, but you also want to earn a good living for you and your family. Like any job, your salary expectations should be based on your knowledge of the factors that influence it, not assumptions that can easily let you down when you enter the field.
If you make the right decisions based on a strategy to achieve the highest income possible as a CNA, you will do just that. Four parameters decide how much money you’ll earn as a CNA: experience, additional certifications, employer and location.
As with any industry, the more experience you gain the more your earnings increase. Although your earrings will increase throughout the first four years of your experience and likely plateau around year five, it’s up to you truly when it comes to the experience. If a particular position is not challenging, move on to another employer who can make you more well-rounded. If you feel like you’ve learned all you can at your current stage, move onto the next step and ramp up your certifications.
Many CNAs are content to take care of the standard tasks associated with the position, but if you learn to complete more advanced tasks, you become more valuable to any potential employer. As a result, you will be paid more. All of these certifications will help boost your salary: certified medical technician, basic life support, ASCP certified phlebotomy technician, certified home health aide, emergency medical technician, and others.
General and surgical hospitals pay the most for the help of a CNA, followed by nursing care facilities, community senior centers and home health care agencies.
If you are not making enough in the southeast United States, or in rural areas, move to urban areas or states located in the northeastern or western parts of the country. There is no reason to settle for less if you have nothing grounding you to a particular geographical area.