What is a CNA Salary Compared to a Caregiver’s Wages?

“Our Nurse Aide program provides an opportunity for students to be in a new career field in just 5 weeks! The hands-on training keeps the students active and excited to become caregivers, and provides the skills needed to be successful not only in their externship, but once they gain employment in the healthcare field.”Nikki England, Director, SCI San Antonio South


Promise Nyong had two graduations to look forward to—his high school’s, and his certified nurse aide program (CNA) with Southern Careers Institute’s San Antonio South campus. The five-week long program is designed to give students the hands-on-training they need in basic nursing and health and social service needs as well as CPR. These are essential skills one needs to excel in at-home caregiving with a CNA salary.

How much more is a CNA Salary than the Wages of a Non-Certified Caregiver?

Had Promise attempted to join the workforce as a caregiver without getting trained as a certified nurse aide, he would be making about $4,040 – 10,980 less per year, or about $2.43 less per hour. The average hourly rate for a caregiver is about $9.13 in San Antonio, TX. We compare that rate to the rate of a Certified Nurse Aide in the chart below:


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But it’s not just about the CNA Salary…

Getting Certified Will Help You Get the Job

Rhonda Bravo, another recent graduate of the CNA program at SCI, definitely has a heart for the elderly and disabled. She “fell in love with caregiving,” after treating two patients with Down Syndrome working at an assisted living home when she was 18 years old. Yet, even with the experience, she still found trouble finding a job in the home care industry after she retired from military service.

“Everybody wants you to have your CNA.” she told SCI. For her the convenience and the affordability made her choice to attend school at SCI a simple one. It paid off, as she was recently hired with a CNA salary with her top choice of companies, Texas Blue Skies.


What to Expect from a CNA Program

“You’ll get great training,” Promise responds enthusiastically, when asked what one could expect from the certified nurse aide program with Southern Careers Institute. “In 5 weeks, SCI helps with your clinicals, they help you with the job process, your applications and resume.” And although the job outlook for nursing assistants and orderlies is growing at a 17% rate between now and 2024 (Labor of Bureau Statistics), employers want to ensure that new hires have what it takes to be successful in the role. “We require either 1 year of experience as a caregiver or your nurse aide certification,” says Nicole Vielma, Human Resources Coordinator for Griswold Home Care, a nationwide home care service provider headquartered in San Antonio who recently hired Promise as one of their care providers. She emphasizes that people working in the home care service industry have to have a passion for helping others.

CNA is a Career that Cares

If you have a heart for helping the elderly and disadvantaged like Promise and Rhonda and choose to make your living on a CNA salary, you have a great job outlook. With the aging baby boomer population booming at rates that could fuel a 75% increase in Americans aged 65-and-older requiring nursing home care to 2.3 million in 2030, according to Population Reference Bureau.

And how is it going with Promise at his first job since his double graduation this summer? “He’s had a couple cases,” says Nicole from Griswold’s HR department, “and the ones he has picked up are very happy.”

If you are looking for a caring career with a big future, look no further than Southern Careers Institute’s Nurse Aide program, which recently launched in the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi.

Learn more about the CNA program here, or apply below now.