How Much Does a Nurse's Aide Make an Hour?

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Nurses’ aides perform a variety of tasks throughout their days.
Nurses’ aides perform a variety of tasks throughout their days. (Image: the nurse with a mask on face sits at a table image by Cosmic from Fotolia.com)

Freeing up nurses and physicians to concentrate on the care of their charges, nurses’ aides perform a variety of tasks throughout their days. A typical workload may include cleaning a patient’s room, preparing paperwork, answering patients’ help requests, taking vital signs, preparing meals, performing hygiene work on the patient and helping the patient with basic tasks such as walking.

The Facts

When it conducted a 2009 poll on nurses’ aides throughout the nation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average hourly rate for the profession to be $12.01. Nurses’ aides employed outside doctors’ offices and hospitals earned at higher hourly rates. The BLS’ top-paying industry for the profession was scheduled air transportation, paying almost double the hourly rate at $20.06. Scientific research and development services also paid much more per hour with an hourly mean wage of $16.83.

Location

No specific pattern emerged from the top-paying states for nurses’ aides salaries in 2009. The BLS’ top-paying state for the profession was Alaska, offering an hourly mean wage of $15.57. Nevada also beat the national average at $14.89 per hour, followed closely by New York at $14.83, Hawaii at $14.66 and Connecticut at $14.44.

Considerations

The minimum requirement for earning a salary as a nursing aide is a high school diploma or GED. Prospective nurses’ aides receive training from vocational high schools, community colleges and technical schools offering short-term diploma or certificate programs. On-the-job training is also usually a factor to get the aide up to speed on the particular doctor’s office or hospital-specific procedures. Nursing aides usually must submit to a criminal background check and health screening.

Outlook

The BLS expects to see a continued 19 percent rise in employment of nursing aides, adding 276,000 jobs across the country through 2018. An aging population and increased requirements for long-term care contribute to the demand for nursing aides.

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