Highest Paying US Cities for CNAs

Your workplace location significantly affects the compensation you receive if you are a certified nursing assistant (CNA) presently working or pursuing a career in this field. Healthcare establishments in progressive states provide financial incentives to get CNAs to join their workforces as the fastest-growing health profession in the nation. Therefore, a new beginning in a different place can be the solution if you need a change of scenery or are dissatisfied with your salary. As a result, here is a list of the highest paying US Cities for CNAs. Read it carefully to find your new job destination.

New York City

The world’s most populous megacity, and at the same time, the biggest metropolitan region by land size is New York City. Around 14% of the population is 65 or older, meaning that almost a million older adults require care at home or in nursing facilities. Over 62 hospitals in New York City have a significant demand for CNAs offering salaries of around $37,000 a year. There are roughly 57,000 CNAs in New York, and the average hourly wage is $19.50.

At the same time, NYC also has some of the best CNA schools where you can continue your education. Some of the most prestigious are ASA College Brooklyn, City College of New York, and CUNY College of Staten Island. Therefore, knowing all this information, you could easily say that NYC is one of the best US cities to work in if you are a CNA.

San Francisco

There are a lot of places with the most opportunities for job seekers in the US. However, not many of them can compare to San Francisco, one of the highest paying US cities for CNAs and not only. To cope with the high living expense, this city by the bay has a lot of employment alternatives. With a population of about a million, San Francisco has a variety of healthcare demands. Also, there are easy ways for CNAs to travel to and from their places of employment in the region, as the public transportation in San Francisco is one of the best in the country. Furthermore, the annual salary for a CNA in San Francisco is around $45,100 per year, with an hourly wage of about $23.40.


One of the highest nurse employment rates in the nation is found in Boston and the surrounding metropolitan region. An excellent healthcare system with a network of research hospitals is located in this historic city. The Boston region is a top location for healthcare education since it is home to over 60 colleges and universities. In addition to having numerous significant hospitals, including teaching hospitals, Beantown also benefits greatly by being close to Cambridge. In Boston, a CNA makes an average hourly wage of $15.50 and a yearly salary of about $29.700.


Orlando’s terrific climate makes it a perfect place for elderly residents. Orlando is a fantastic area to live and work in if you want to pursue a career in healthcare because of how many elderly adults live there. Nine regional hospitals serve Orlando, and the people over 65 comprise around 10% of the population in the city. The state has approved six institutions to provide CNA training, and CNAs in Orlando may expect to earn an annual salary of around $28,200 with an hourly pay of about $14,70.

Los Angeles

Around 75,000 nurses work in the Los Angeles metropolitan region, yet many nursing positions are still available. Southern California provides some of the best pay for nurses, an additional benefit of accepting a position in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is desirable for living in and working in due to its diversity and many alternatives, including food and recreational pursuits. If you choose to work here as a CNA, you can expect an hourly salary of around $19.40 and an annual salary of about $37,400. Therefore, Los Angeles is undoubtedly one of the highest paying US cities for CNAs.


In the upcoming years, Chicago, the largest city in the Midwest and third-largest in the country, is anticipated to have a nurse shortage. Therefore, working in this city could enable you to obtain employment stability. Around 12% of Chicago’s residents are 65 or older, and CNAs in Chicago may expect to make an average yearly pay of $29,800 with an hourly salary of around $15.50.


Miami, a city with strong cultural origins, has a sizable healthcare system with high-paying nursing jobs. Furthermore, leading local universities have medical research and training facilities. The salary range for CNAs is usually between $30,700 and $37,200; however, the average CNA salary in Miami is $33,600 annually. Pay ranges vary significantly depending on critical aspects, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the years you’ve worked in your field.


Houston is the fourth-most populous city in the United States and the most populous city in Texas. Furthermore, over 210,000 people in Houston are 65 or older. Therefore, the need for CNAs has grown in Houston, along with the city’s aging population. Around 28 hospitals and over 80 nursing homes have a high demand for CNAs, which may expect an average yearly salary of $28,450 with an hourly wage of about $14.80.

Final words

Attending the finest school in the best cities opens the door to fantastic career options as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Therefore, launch your career as a CNA in the cities with excellent education opportunities and a great need for the position. Remember, despite the economic slump, there are plenty of nursing possibilities in America. And while comparing the highest paying US cities for CNAs, consider leisure activities, the cost of living, and job alternatives. Only by doing so can you ensure you made the right choice.

Image Credit:

Photo by Los Muertos Crew

Michael Schultz, RN
Registered Nurse | + posts

Michael Schultz is a registered nurse with work experience at Sparrow Health, Holland Home Rehab, Ingham Regional Medical, and Spectrum Health. He has worked as a medical and surgical nurse and has expertise in gastrointestinal medicine.  Michael graduated from LCC in 2003 and subsequently worked admitting patients at Sparrow ER/Urgent Care for 2 years.  After that, Michael worked for 6 years at Ingham Regional Medical Center, followed by 7 years in Gastrointestinal/Genitourinary at Spectrum Health.