Nurse Assistant Salary: What You Can Expect to Earn In This Essential Role

Are you considering a career as a nurse assistant? If so, you’re probably wondering about the salary expectations for this essential role. As a nurse assistant, you’ll be on the front lines of patient care, helping to ensure that those who are sick or injured receive the support they need. But what kind of compensation can you expect for your hard work and dedication? The answer may surprise you. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the nurse assistant salary, including what factors can impact your earnings and how you can increase your earning potential. Let’s get started!

What Do Nursing Assistants Do?

Generally, nursing assistants deliver primary care. They are responsible for helping patients with activities of daily living. More often than not, nursing assistants’ duties depend on their training level and the state they work from. They work under the supervision of other healthcare professionals, including licensed practical nurses or registered nurses. As such, their scope of practice includes but is not limited to: 

  • Cleaning and bathing of patients 
  • Aiding patients use the toilet
  • Helping patients dress
  • Transferring patients between beds
  • Measuring vital signs
  • Serving meals
  • Helping patients eat
  • Providing medical staff with updates on patient recovery

As mentioned, their scope of practice might include additional responsibilities, such as administering medication.

Nurse Assistant Average Salary


A nursing assistant earns a median annual salary of $30,310. We must note that the pay rate depends on several factors. As a result, these professionals might even reach a yearly salary of $44,240. 

Salary by years of experience

Nursing assistants’ experience is highly rewarded, just like in other professions. For example, nurses with more than ten years of experience can earn an average of $36,993 annually. Even better, experienced nurses with 20+ years of experience earn $41,935 yearly. 

On the other hand, mid and early-career nurses make around $38,700 and $33,280, respectively.    

Salary by location

Location is another factor that affects nursing assistants’ salaries. The cost of living in different cities or states means employees will receive different salaries. If you’re open to change in your life that will lead to a higher salary, below you can find the top 5 best-paying states you can consider. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we include the 5 lowest-paying states for nursing assistants.


How Can You Boost Your Salary as a Nurse Assistant?

If you have been a nursing assistant for a long time and haven’t yet been able to increase your salary, it is time to think of a way to boost your salary for a better living standard. Increasing your wage is more than just a one-move process. It requires time and effort. But luckily, there are many routes you can take to make it happen. Stay with us as we explore these options. 

Get certified 

Becoming a nursing assistant requires the completion of a state-approved education program. However, a higher wage demands a little more effort than that. To give your salary a boost, you can aim for a certification. 

Certificates are a powerful tool to demonstrate your will and effort to strengthen your skills or learn something out of your scope. Although they are usually optional, taking your education one step ahead with certificates can boost your salary. 

Change industry

Nursing assistants in certain industries may have a higher salary than those who work in other sectors. For example, nursing assistants who work in home health care services or outpatient care centers may have a higher salary than those who work in hospitals or nursing care facilities. This is because the demand for nursing assistants can vary depending on the industry. Additionally, nursing assistants with specialized skills or certifications may earn a higher salary in certain industries, such as hospice care or rehabilitation services. 

It may take time and effort, but doing research on the different sectors and their earning potential can help nursing assistants increase their salaries and advance their careers.

Up your skills

To up your skills for a better salary, you can start by seeking additional training and certifications in specialized areas such as wound care, medication administration, or patient monitoring. 

To broaden your knowledge and expertise, seek opportunities to gain experience in different healthcare settings, such as hospitals or long-term care facilities. 

Consider taking communication, leadership, and team-building courses to improve your interpersonal skills and become a more effective team member. Additionally, staying up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies can help you remain competitive in the job market and position yourself for career advancement. 

Finally, consider seeking out a mentor or networking with other healthcare professionals to gain valuable insights and guidance as you work to advance your career.

Go for better-paying shifts

Working better-paying shifts can be an effective strategy for increasing your salary. When you work shifts that pay more, you essentially earn more for the same amount of time worked. It sounds good, doesn’t it? 

Some industries offer higher pay rates for specific shifts, such as night shifts or weekends. If you’re willing to sacrifice some sleep and time off on the weekends, you can achieve your desired financial stability and security, always being mindful not to burn out to be able to provide the best care for patients. 

Nurse Assistant Salary Compared to Similar Occupations

If you’re trying to decide whether to pursue this job or a similar occupation, in this section, we offer the average salary of other professions in the healthcare industry so you can make an informed decision about your career path. 


Job Outlook for a Nursing Assistant

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of nursing assistants will grow 5% from 2021 to 2031, as fast as the average for other occupations. This growth translates to about 1,406,400 openings during the same period. 

Generally, this projected growth results from the need for worker replacements transferring occupations or retiring. 


In conclusion, becoming a nurse assistant can be a fulfilling career path. While salaries may vary depending on location, experience, and education, there is no denying that it is a lucrative occupation, and this factor plays an essential role in the high demand for this position in the healthcare industry. 

By gaining experience and seeking additional training and certifications, you can increase your earning potential and advance your career. Whether you are just starting or are already working as a nurse assistant, it is essential to understand your salary expectations and explore opportunities for growth and advancement. 

If you’re currently considering becoming a nurse or looking for a new career challenge, we highly recommend enrolling in a nursing program. Get ready, explore, and find what’s best for you!

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