The Best (and Worst) States to be a CNA

The Best (and Worst) States to be a CNA

As we’ve mentioned before, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are one of most in-demand and thus fastest-growing professions in the U.S.

But some states offer markedly better hourly wages than others for CNAs, raising the question: Where should you seek work after graduating? With this in mind, NursingLink offers up the 10 best and worst places in America to be a working CNA based on starting hourly salary and number of job openings.

If you’re interested in working as a caregiver, you should check out the results below, which were based off of research from 2008:

Top 10 Best Paying States for CNAs

1. Alaska ($14.36)

2. New York ($13.63)

3. Connecticut ($13.54)

4. Massachusetts ($12.77)

5. Hawaii ($12.53)

6. District of Columbia ($12.47)

7. Maryland ($12.47)

8. Delaware ($12.32)

9. New Hampshire ($12.24)

10. Nevada ($12.23)

Top 10 Worst Paying States for CNAs

1. Missouri ($9.40)

2. Idaho ($9.23)

3. South Carolina ($9.22)

4. Georgia ($9.08)

5. West Virginia ($8.78)

6. Alabama ($8.76)

7. Arkansas ($8.74)

8. Oklahoma ($8.62)

9. Mississippi ($8.16)

10. Louisiana ($7.57)

How did Iowa and Nebraska rank?

Both Nebraska and Iowa ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack. According to, CNAs in Nebraska averaged hourly earnings of $11.07 in 2008, with some CNAs makings as much as $14.36 an hour. CNAs in Iowa averaged slightly more, with hourly earnings of $11.25, with some CNAs making as much as $14.48 an hour.

Of course, the cost of living in Nebraska, Iowa, and elsewhere is significantly lower than the highest paying states like California, Florida, and New York, which the report didn’t take into consideration. Still, it’s interesting food for thought for those looking for work in one of the country’s highest in-demand industries.

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