CNA Salary Guide & Career Outlook

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) career will have slightly different job descriptions depending on the country. However, it is required that these professionals work in the health care field and help nurses with their jobs. In US dollars, the average annual pay for those in the United States and New Zealand is around $23,000 dollars while in Canada and Australia the CNA salary is in the $30,000s. The hourly rate in India is Rs 112.86 while in South Africa it is R36.00.

This field requires minimal education and most of the salaries reflect that fact. Experience, industry, and geographic location will all impact their salary. The job outlook and typical employee benefits of CNAs will be detailed below.

nurse assistant using tablet for the patient's chart

How Much Does a CNA Make per Year by Country?

Certified Nursing Assistant Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $11.00 C$18.25 ($13.56) E7.00 ($7.41) AU$20.00 ($14.90) NZ$18.02 ($12.79) Rs 112.86 ($1.66) R36.00 ($2.58)
Annual Pay $23,937 C$42,500 ($31,574) E16,406 ($17,421) AU$46,451 ($34,607) NZ$37,500 ($26,616) Rs 234,753 ($3,419) R97,289 ($6,959)

CNA Salary Influencing Factors

An hourly wage is more common than being salaried in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. The opposite is true in South Africa and India. This is based on the number of people reporting each way of getting paid to Payscale.

1. Location

How Much Does a CNA Make in the US?

The CNA salary in the United States ranges from $14,539 to $37,538. Small additional sources of income for these professionals are a bonus of up to $1,227, a commission of up to $1,987, and profit sharing from none to $3,000 dollars. Their hourly wage is anywhere from $9.25 to $15.16 with an overtime rate of $22.27. The total salary for these professionals is $19,189 to $32,530 dollars.

How Much Does a CNA Make in Canada?

A complete salary of C$23,017 to C$48,453 is earned by CNAs in Canada. Their hourly pay is C$10.33 to C$22.49. The overtime rate is C$29.89. The base salary by reporting individuals is C$23,154 to C$49,807.

How Much Does a CNA Make in the UK?

Hourly, CNAs in the United Kingdom will earn from E6.67 on the low end to E10.27 on the high end. Their overtime rate is E5.00. When looking at the pay for those who receive a salary it ranges from E10,033 to E24,943. The total pay is E12,358 to E21,994.

How Much Does a CNA Make in Australia?

The CNA salary in Australia goes from AU$36,977 to AU$79,463. Hourly, these professionals will earn AU$18.52 to AU$25.97 with an average overtime rate of AU$19.00. Annually, they will receive anywhere from AU$38,593 to AU$57,407 for their work.

How Much Does a CNA Make in New Zealand?

According to Careers Government New Zealand, CNAs working in this country will earn from NZ$35,000 to NZ$40,000. This is an estimated hourly rate of NZ$16.82 to NZ$19.23. This salary includes those who are nursing support and those who are care workers.

How Much Does a Staff Nurse Make in India?

The job title of CNA is not found in India but a similar position of Staff Nurse exists. The salary for these nurses goes from Rs 124,687 to Rs 444,442 with a bonus from Rs 1,021 to Rs 30,201 and profit sharing of Rs 4,000. An estimated hourly rate is Rs 59.94 to Rs 213.67. Their total pay will be Rs 124,776 to Rs 469,142.

How Much Does a CNA Make in South Africa?

The CNA salary in South Africa goes from R60,280 at the low end to R165,703 at the high end. A bonus of R4,000 could be added to the base salary. For those who get paid hourly, the rate is from R33.00 to R43.00. Individuals who work overtime will earn R57.39. The total pay is R59,598 to R174,435.

2. Experience

Experience in New Zealand has a minimal impact on salary as entry-level CNAs start at NZ$35,000 while those with three years of experience will earn NZ$40,000. In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom pay increases minimally with experience as entry-level earners will receive $23,000 and experienced professionals will earn $26,000 dollars in the United States and E16,000 to E18,500 in the United Kingdom.

In South Africa, CNAs can expect a tapering off of their salary as they gain experience. Salary increases from R95,000 to R109,000 but does not increase more after 20 years of working. An opposite pattern is seen in India where the pay increases slowly for the first 20 years of employment, but then increases sharply from Rs 350,000 to Rs 600,000. In Australia, those with more than 20 years of experience see a decrease in pay.

3. Industry

In the United States, these professionals most often work in a nursing home or assisted living facilities, hospitals, and government. These individuals often are responsible for completing necessary but unglamorous tasks. For example, they need to help individuals by giving baths or adjusting them in bed so they do not get bed sores.

When looking at the structure of CNAs within the nursing industry, it can be seen that this is often a stepping stone or first job that individuals take as they progress in their education to become a nurse. Because of this, there is a very high turnover.

As is typical of other industries, the sectors of society that pay the most for CNAs employ a very small percentage. High-paying industries are the federal branch of the government, colleges, research centers, and insurance carriers. Combined, these industries only employ 0.9% of CNAs.

Schedule & Working Hours

A CNAs working schedule is extremely flexible. CNAs can be part of full-time and their schedule will partially be dictated by their place of work. Most CNAs do work full-time. The job can be exhausting as they spend a lot of time on their feet caring for patients. It is typical for CNAs to have to work nights, evenings, and weekends as people need around the clock care.

CNAs who work in hospitals will have a regular shift while those who work in nursing homes or assisted living facilities will have a more variable schedule. Depending on the size of the company, they may be able to easily cover when someone has to take off work while other facilities will ask you to cover your colleagues’ shift.

Bonuses & Benefits

CNAs who work full-time are more likely to receive benefits than those who work part-time. Part-time employees will receive a smaller suite of benefits. An example of benefits for a currently open CNA position in the United States is an additional dollar per hour for those who want to work overnight.

The amount of paid time off increases with years worked as it starts at 15 days per year. After 20 years it increases to 30 days per year. Holiday and overtime pay is 1.5 times the regular pay. This person would also have disability and life insurance, retirement, and the ability to take some of their income out prior to taxes to lower the amount of taxable income.

For countries where the information is available, this table shows the health care benefits for these professionals.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 49 54 12 33 76 52
Dental 41 54 11 5 9
Vision 35 46 4 4

Career Outlook

CNAs will always be in demand for two reasons. The first reason is that the population is aging and CNAs have a very important role in caring for the elderly. The second reason is that there is a high turnover with the position. This is an entry-level position with minimal education beyond a high school degree.

In the United States, the growth is predicted to be 18% by the year 2024. There are more female CNAs than men.

One of the factors that will temper the growth of this profession is that funding of nursing homes and assisted care facilities is tied to the government budget for it.


A CNA career is a way for these professionals to gain entry into the healthcare field and acquire valuable experience. Because of their minimal higher education and job responsibilities, the salary is lower. However, they have a high level of job satisfaction as they get to help patients and they are essential to the healthcare field.

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