What's the Employment Outlook for a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?

Certified nursing assistant (CNA) employment growth is expected to be strong due to the high demand for healthcare for an aging and elderly population. Read on to learn about what affects demand for these professionals and what the job prospects look like. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Outlook

Job growth for nursing assistants in general is expected to be at a rate of 21% over the 2012-2022 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. This projected growth is faster than the average for all occupations and is expected to create 312,200 new positions by 2022. The BLS expects community rehabilitation services and home health services to have the best job opportunities, because government funding is expected to lead to less demand for these workers at nursing homes.

Factors of Growth

Due to the growing demand for in-home services, home health aides are expected to gain jobs more quickly than nursing assistants. This is due to an increasing elderly population and efforts made by hospitals and insurance agencies to keep costs lower. These agencies are now moving patients out of care facilities more quickly. Patients who require long-term care are also receiving treatment at home using new medical technologies.

Since this career has limited opportunities for advancement, low pay and high physical demands, many nursing assistants are expected to leave their jobs to pursue higher formal training. This will result in more job opportunities for those who have the right training and meet their state's examination requirements.

Salary Information

According to PayScale.com, most CNAs earned between $14,818 and $38,298 in February 2014, and the median salary was $24,410. The BLS reported in May 2012 that nursing assistants in general earned an average wage of $24,650 working for nursing care facilities and $27,690 working for general hospitals. Average earnings were less for those working for continuing care facilities and home healthcare services, at $23,850 and $23,600, respectively. The highest-paid nursing assistants worked for the federal government and averaged $35,930 in May 2012, reported the BLS.

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