How Much Does a CNA Make in Florida?
Certified nursing assistants play a crucial role in providing patients with essential care. CNAs perform a range of duties, including monitoring vitals, feeding patients, helping patients dress and use the restroom, and completing other health-related tasks.
Before enrolling in a Florida CNA program, you may be curious how much CNAs make in the state of Florida. This guide shares the average CNA salary in Florida, explains factors that impact income, and discusses how to maximize your earning potential as a CNA.
CNA Salary in Florida
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income for CNAs in Florida in 2021 was $29,840 per year or $14.35 per hour. Indeed reports the average base salary for a CNA in Florida as $42,128 per year ($18.65 per hour), with up to $4,187 in additional income for overtime.
Remember that location, experience, type of employer, and shift differentials can impact CNA salary. We’ll look at how those factors affect pay in the next sections.
Where Do CNAs Make the Most Money in Florida?
Florida is a diverse state with both rural and metro areas. As a CNA, you can expect income to vary quite a bit based on location. Sarasota, for example, has a higher cost of living than much of the state (and therefore higher wages), while small towns in Northern Florida have a much lower cost of living and may pay less.
The chart below lists the average annual CNA pay in some of the most popular cities in Florida.
|City||Average Annual CNA Salary|
Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Florida CNA Salary by Employer Type
In addition to geographical location, the type of employer you work for can also impact the amount you make. For example, Florida hospitals often pay higher salaries than nursing homes, but you may be required to work longer hours and perform more strenuous tasks as a CNA in a hospital.
CNAs at nursing homes earn an average annual salary of $28,024, while CNAs at assisted living facilities earn similar wages of $34,021 per year.
Here’s a look at what CNAs can expect to earn, on average, at different types of facilities. Note that these numbers are nationwide averages. Location, experience, and other factors may impact income as well.
- Hospitals: $35,190
- Skilled nursing facilities: $32,090
- Retirement communities and assisted care: $31,520
- Home health care: $29,930
- Specialty hospitals: $35,400
Salary isn’t the only thing to consider when comparing employer types. Government CNA positions may offer better benefits. For example, working in a VA hospital or government-run nursing facility may give you access to tuition reimbursement.
How Much Do CNAs Get Paid in Hospitals?
In Florida, CNAs working at a hospital earn an average salary of $49,316, according to ZipRecruiter, making it one of the highest-paid employer types.
CNA Salary for New vs. Experienced Nursing Assistants
As a CNA, your income isn’t just dependent on location and the type of facility you work at. Experience can have a large impact on income as well. How much can more experienced CNAs make? There’s no hard and fast answer for this. However, experience does lead to higher incomes for CNAs.
According to Indeed, Florida CNAs with less than a year of experience earn $17.91 per hour. Those with one to two years of experience earn $18.09, while CNAs with three to five years of experience earn $$19.05. More than ten years of experience will earn you an average hourly rate of $21.52.
How to Make More as a CNA
Location, experience, and the type of employer you work for aren’t the only factors that impact CNA salary. The amount of training and which shifts you work can impact your overall income as well. Understanding these differences early in your career will help you maximize your overall earning potential.
Understand and Utilize Shift Differentials
One of the simplest ways to increase your income as a CNA is to work shifts that come with a higher pay rate. This is called a shift differential and generally applies to less desirable or harder-to-staff shifts.
For example, working nights or weekends can earn you a pay bump of $2 to $3 an hour. Working holidays or early mornings may also come with a shift differential. If you choose to work most of your shifts during these non-standard hours, you can significantly increase your earning potential.
Specialize Your CNA Role
Having specific specialties and experience as a CNA can also help you earn a higher salary. For instance, you could earn 19.58% more than the average base salary if you are a CNA with a surgery specialization or 12.69% more with a psychiatry specialization. Hospice and palliative care CNA roles may pay 7.47% more than traditional nursing assistant jobs. Look to gain on-the-job experience that qualifies you to take on specialized, higher-paying CNA roles.
Pursue Other CNA-Related Careers
You can do other jobs with a CNA license thatearn a similar amount to or more than the average CNA pay. For example, patient care technicians (PCT) generally hold a CNA license and then complete additional training to learn more about administering medication, drawing blood, and operating medical equipment. PCTs in Florida earn an average hourly pay rate of $18.52 ($48,861 per year).
You might also consider becoming a critical care technician to help doctors care for critically ill patients in the ICU or other departments. These positions generally require several years of experience as a CNA and a Basic Life Support certification. Another option is becoming a qualified medication aide, which requires additional medication disbursement and pharmacology training and pays an average of $18.26/hour.
Travel nursing assistant careers often earn a much higher than average salary. As a travel CNA in Florida, you’ll contract with different agencies and travel to areas that need help for a limited period. Salary packages for travel CNAs may not come with benefits but often pay several dollars more per hour—up to $33 in some cases.
Medical staffing agencies working with high-need employers in Florida may also pay more, sometimes advertising 20% higher hourly rates than regular CNA jobs, paying up to $26 per hour.