Is becoming a CNA worth the money?


I know there was a thread like this but I thought I'd ask because my situation is my own, I'm 15 interested in becoming a certified CNA at 16 + BLS certified. The issue is my family doesn't have a lot of money and we live rurally, the closest college offers the course for approx $1000 dollars. Me and my family discussed it at depth and they are willing to pay the money, but they are already having to pay $350 for my Drivers Ed so I feel guilty. I was thinking that I could work at a local store or restaurant until I saved the $1000+ and some 6 months passed so I would be able to get a drivers license, but I realized after some searching that the pay for CNA work is pretty low. Some places at my area as low as 10.50, some high as $14 and some cents. My sister is encouraging me to go through with it, she's been a CNA for 2 years and makes $17.15 a hour so that gives me some optimism but I'd like to hear the opinions from people in the health care field.

I think it is worth it! Maybe your high school will offer it like mine did and you won't have to pay for it. Check with you guidance counselor to see the school will offer it or will allow you to do joint enrollment.

Specializes in ICU Stepdown.

If it's something you really want to do it, it's invaluable. If you can get a job locally at 16 as a CNA, I say go for it. Have you looked into whether any nursing homes offer it for free if you work with them? I lived in a very rural town when I got my CNA and it was paid for by the nursing home who offered me a guaranteed job contingent on passing the exam.

Specializes in Telemetry, Primary Care. Has 8 years experience.

It's worth it for the experience if you plan on doing nursing, or healthcare related. If you are looking to make money, I would stray away and find a part time job elsewhere to save up money for whatever you need it for.


169 Posts

CNAs are the back bone of long term care but the pay doesn't reflect it. Avoid it like the plague if money is an issue. Lot less stressful and physically demanding jobs out there that pay the same.

If you have the passion and time to care for others, then do it.


3 Posts

The only reason I am interested in CNA work is because I'd be able to help people which is a passion of mine. I will continue to look to see if any places offer to cover the course but if all else fails I'm thinking it's just not going to happen, to have my family shell out $1000+ dollars just for me to get the certification to get the job then make possibly minimum wage isn't a practical idea to me. Thanks all!

I absolutly think it's worth it. I have learned so much! Can you take it threw your local Red Cross?


17 Posts

Look into getting it paid for. In rural areas some facilities will pay for your school; alternatively, in my state, after I worked for 3 months in a medicare facility the state reimbursed my school cost.


190 Posts

My advice would be to get your CNA. The reasons are that you will be earning money in order to save up for college and you will also have some health care experience available to you so that if you decide to go into nursing school, you can do so. You can work in order to get the money together so that you can take the course or you could negotiate with your family and say that I will work and pay half of it and could you help me with the other half if I can do chores in the house or general housework. Whatever you decide will be the right decision because I can tell that you really want to do this. If it is something that you really want to put your time and money into it, then do it. Also, some schools offer scholarships; so you might consider a scholarship since you live in a rural area. I wish you the best and I know that you will do great. Marcy CNA


12 Posts

Could your sister get you a job at her company? How much does her company pay starting CNAs?

Does your town or nearby town/city have a JobsCorp branch?

They typically offer CNA training for free for ppl under 24yrs old.

verene, MSN

1,790 Posts

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

I would say working as a CNA is definitely worth it if you are considering a healthcare career. The only caution I have for you is that most places will NOT hire you at 16 as a CNA. You'll need to be at least 18. (Due to rules around patient confidentiality and HIPPA.) What you may want to look into doing is getting a job for now and then you'll have money saved up and some work experience already behind you when you are able to train for being a CNA.

Specializes in Cardio-Pulmonary; Med-Surg; Private Duty. Has 5 years experience.

I would definitely check to see if you could be hired at 16 first. Check with facilities in your area and ask them if they would be willing to hire you if you had your CNA certificate.

If they only hire 18yo CNAs, then I would get another job waiting tables or something for now, then save that money to pay for the CNA course later.

And definitely check with your school counselors to see if there's a way to earn your CNA through a school program. Schools around here offer "vocational education" programs that can include healthcare. Alternately, there may be scholarships available that you're not aware of. Your school's counselors (or the counselors at the CNA program's school) should be able to help you with that information.