The way it seems to work in NW IL is that new CNAs usually have to start off at a LTC facility. They can make anywhere from min. wage to about $12. Once you have at least 1 yr experience at LTC the hopspitals will actually look at your application and you can make anywhere from $12-16 depending - as a PCT I. Then they further train you to become a PCT II.
Doctor's offices usually hire MA or CMA and pay $14-18, depending on if you do phlebotomy.
In my opinion, MA or CMA, have easier work & better hours but CNA can be a stepping stone to Nursing if that is what you're interested in.