What Is the Average Salary of a Nurse Aide?

The average salary for a nurse aide is determined by years of experience, industry and geographical location. Read on to learn more about salaries and the job prospects for this career. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Duties

A nurse aide is a person who provides basic patient care under the direction of a nursing staff. These professionals provide patients help with activities to daily living, such as feeding, bathing, dressing and personal hygiene. They also change linens, help patients in and out of bed and help position patients to prevent bedsores and infection.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education Must finish a state-approved education program and pass an exam
On-the-Job Training Short-term
Professional Certification Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Medication Assistant, or specialty certification available, though offerings vary by state
Key Skills Communication skills; compassion, physical stamina, and patience
Similar Occupations Home health aide, medical assistant, personal care aide

Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nursing assistants, including nursing aides, earned an average pay of $12.62 hourly and $26,250 annually in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The median pay was $12.07 hourly and $25,100 annually. The bottom 10% made $9.03 or less per hour and $18,790 or less annually. The top 10% made $17.39 or more per hour and $36,170 or more per year. Pay is determined by years of experience, geographical location and type of employer.

Hourly Salary by Industry

The BLS reported that nursing care facilities, general hospitals and continuing care retirement communities employed the most nursing assistants in May 2014. Hourly mean wages for these industries were $12.09, $13.67 and $11.78, respectively. Industries paying the highest hourly mean wages included the federal executive government ($17.49), lessors of real estate ($15.23) and insurance carriers ($15.13).

Hourly Salary by Experience

As of September 2015, Payscale.com reports the hourly salary ranges for nurse aides, orderlies and attendants according to experience:

  • 0-5 years: $21,000
  • 5-10 years: $25,000
  • 10-20 years: $24,000
  • 20 or more years: $22,000

Hourly Rate by Location

The BLS reported that the following states had the highest hourly mean wages for nursing assistants as of May 2014:

  • Alaska: $17.87
  • Nevada: $15.86
  • New York: $15.61
  • Connecticut: $15.36
  • District of Columbia: $14.87

Although an hourly average wage isn't given, the BLS reports that the lowest-paying states had mean annual earnings of $20,060-$23,130. Some of these states included Missouri, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia and West Virginia.

Job Outlook

According to the BLS, employment for nursing assistants will grow at a faster-than-average rate of 18% over the 2014-2024 decade. This growth is in response to the growing needs of an elderly population. However, there may be some constrained demand due to slow increases in government funding. The BLS expects 262,000 new positions in this field by 2024.

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