As a CNA you are not required to have a high school diploma. To start the training to become CNA certified you will need to complete your GED in most cases. Most jobs that do not require a diploma and only a GED pay minimum wage. Many people decide they would like to make more than that starting out but do not want to attend a traditional 4 year college to obtain a degree. There is a way to make more money and not have to go to school for a long time.
A Certified Nurses Assistant need only attend (at most) 3 months of training and pass an exam. The training and exam although easy do take a bit of work. Not nearly as much as a college degree. Some people with a 2 year college degree can not make as much as a CNA can. It is worth looking at the pay scale to determine if this short training program can pay off big time for the potential CNA trainee.
A CNA will start out making between $10-$12 per hour. Depending on the facility you work on this can go up significantly. Starting yearly salary will be between $20,000-$30,000 as well. These statistics will depend on the area you live in and the type of facility you work for. For instance someone in a major metropolitan area such as L.A, Denver, New York, or Chicago would make significantly more then someone who lives in an area where the cost of living is much lower.
Now lets not forget that a career as a CNA will also include benefits and will be full time. Many people with a college degree do not get medical, dental, and vision insurance in their jobs. This is worth a lot. Especially for those who have children or dependants and those who have an ongoing need for a Doctor’s care. If you were to add the benefits into the pay scale it would go up significanty.
Most CNA’s also receive yearly raises for good performance. Many receive more than a cost of living raise. So the long one works as a CNA the bigger the earning potential for that person. The training is cheap and in some cases free. So if you account that you will not have any school loans while others do you can see how much better a choice this career can be than a lot of others.
Another thing to remember about pay is OT ot Over Time. When a CNA is needed for overtime you can make time and a half to double when working overtime or holidays. This increases pay significantly when you can pick up a few extra shifts. Most places are short handed and are regularly looking for people to work extra hours in the week. OT is a great way for a CNA to up their salary or help out in tight times like Christmas.
Lastly, lets not forget that if you decide you do not want to stay in the pay you are in there is opportunity for advancement. Your CNA certification and experience can be used to give you a head start in another nursing program should you choose to further your education when you can more afford it. So if you are looking for a well paying job to get you started in the medical field or even just to keep for a long time then start by enrolling in a CNA training course. You will not regret your decision.