Top-Paying States For Nursing Assistants

When you are on the hunt for a job or considering a new career path, there is a lot to acknowledge. You may be concerned about the nature of the work, how long you will have to be on your feet, how stressful the work environment might be, the amount of travel required, or what the work-life balance is like. However, it is no secret that money likely holds the biggest influence in your job search. Salaries tend to drive people the most in their careers, so it is important to know how much you will be paid and what kind of salary you can expect as you advance.

If you are considering a career as a nursing assistant or are finally starting your job hunt, it is important to know where you should start looking for a job. Maybe you want to stay close to home or in the city to walk to school. However, if you are looking to make the most money, you may want to look in one of these states. These are top 10 best-paying states for nursing assistants in the U.S.

Alaska ($14.36/hr)

Alaska is a great place to be a certified nursing assistant. However, it can offer a bit of a catch 22. While certified nursing assistants can earn an average of $30,000 a year, Alaska is also listed as one of the states with the fewest annual job openings in the field. In 2016, there were only 80 CNA jobs openings across the state. That means that if you can land a CNA job in Alaska, you will be receiving some of the best pay for the position in the U.S. However, getting the job may be difficult.

New York ($13.63/hr)         

New York is a state with a lot to offer. From the bustling city to small towns upstate, there is something for everyone. The state also has the second highest salary on average for certified nursing assistants. In fact, nursing assistants can make up to $43,221 in New York. Of course, wages are going to depend on where you choose to live and work in the state. If you are working at a hospital in the center of New York City, you can expect a higher wage than if you are working in a small town upstate. Additionally, you must also factor in the cost of living when deciding where to apply. While you would make more working in Manhattan, you can expect your housing to cost far more there.  However, unlike Alaska, there are plenty of nursing assistant jobs to go around, which is definitely something to consider when choosing the right state to begin your career.

Connecticut ($13.45/hr)

Connecticut is another great place to be a nursing assistant. The average hourly salary is $13.45, and a CNA can make up to $38,991 a year. Connecticut may also be a tempting place to apply for a nursing job, because the cost of living is far below Alaska or New York. That means your salary will go farther there, even if it is a little less. 

Massachusetts ($12.77/hr)

Nursing assistants in Massachusetts can also expect a great starting wage. And with salaries up to $35,930, this is a great place to start your job search. However, Massachusetts has a higher cost of living than Connecticut, so your wages may not go as far in this state. 

Hawaii ($12.53/hr)

What better place to start your career as a nursing assistant than in the beautiful state of Hawaii? Here, the average CNA salary is $12.53 an hour, and it is possible to make up to $37,241 a year. However, like Alaska, Hawaii can be a tricky place to land to nursing job. While the pay may be among the best in the country, the demand for nursing assistants is not very high. In 2016, there were only 170 job openings for this position across the entire state. But if you are lucky enough to land a job in Hawaii, you can expect great pay and even better weather.

Starting a new career path or beginning to apply for jobs can be exciting and a little scary. However, knowing how much you should expect to get paid and where you want to work can be a great place to start the journey. And if none of these states sparks your interest, other great states to consider applying for CNA positions include:

  • District of Columbia ($12.47/hr)
  • Maryland ($12.47/hr)
  • Delaware ($12.33/hr)
  • New Hampshire ($12.24/hr)
  • Nevada ($12.23/hr)



Are you looking to start your career as a certified nursing assistant? The first step is a world-class education with hands-on experience and training. Contact Woodruff Medical to get started with your career today.


Your Future Starts Here

By submitting this form, I am allowing Woodruff Medical to contact me regarding education programs and services via email, telephone, automated technology, direct mail, or text message at the email address, address, and phone number provided. Data and text message rates may apply. I understand that my consent is not required before enrolling in or attending any educational programs facilitated by Woodruff Medical. Read our full Privacy Policy here