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CNA Pay in New Jersey: Average Incomes & Cost of Living

Are you thinking about moving to New Jersey? Are you worried about finding jobs as a certified nursing assistant (CNA)? As a CNA, you will be interested to know that New Jersey is the most densely populated state, and 17.4 percent of the population is over 65. Since CNAs usually work in nursing care facilities that cater to this population, finding lucrative CNA pay in New Jersey is certainly possible.

You may be wondering if CNA pay in New Jersey is good. Whether you are considering moving to the state or already live there and just want to have the latest information about CNA wages in NJ, this nursing professional pay resource guide is a must read.

This resource provides publicly available information about average CNA salaries in New Jersey. While Nursa currently offers independent contractor CNAs in New Jersey the opportunity to access per diem jobs that pay on an hourly basis rather than access to salaried or wage-based employment opportunities, this information may be a helpful frame of reference for you as you assess the market landscape both in regard to per diem jobs and employment opportunities.

On days off work, CNAs in New Jersey can visit the shoreline.

What's the Average CNA Pay in the State of New Jersey?   

The average certified nursing assistant wage in New Jersey varies depending on the metropolitan area where you live and multiple other factors. However, the mean CNA wage per hour in New Jersey is $18,98, and the annual average is $39,480. This CNA wage is 9 percent higher than the national average.

CNA wages in this state typically range from $32,440 at an entry-level position to $47,230 as you gain more experience. The following list covers the CNA income ranges in NJ:

  • 10th percentile: $32,440
  • 25th percentile: $36,060
  • 50th percentile: $37,980
  • 75th percentile: $43,660
  • 90th percentile: $47,230

These figures show the percentage of CNAs earning less than the descriptive amount. For example, 10 percent of CNAs earn less than $32,440 annually, and 90 percent earn more than $32,440. 

How Much Do Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) Make throughout New Jersey?

As mentioned before, the compensation of a certified nursing assistant in New Jersey varies throughout the state. Therefore, we will cover how much CNAs can make annually, monthly, weekly, and hourly in the different metropolitan areas so you can choose which NJ location is best for you.

Area Mean Annual Wage Mean Monthly Wage Mean Weekly Wage Mean Hourly Wage
New York-Newark-Jersey City $44,720 $3,726.66 $931.66 $21.50
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington $37,780 $3,148.33 $787.08 $18.17
Allentown-Bethlem-Easton $37,010 $3,084.16 $771.04 $17.79
Trenton $37,040 $3,086.66 $771.66 $17.81
Atlantic City-Hammonton $36,470 $3,039.16 $759.79 $17.53
Vineland- Bridgeton $37,910 $3,159.16 $789.79 $18.23
Ocean City $36,390 $3,032.50 $758.12 $17.50

Source: Chart based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (Most recent data as of August 2023)

How Can I Earn More as a CNA in New Jersey?

As shown in the chart above, you can earn more as a CNA by changing your location, like moving from Ocean City to Jersey City. CNA pay also depends on the type of industry you are in, like nursing care facilities or home healthcare services.

Read More about Nursing Assistant and Nurse Pay Here

Which Are the Highest-Paying Cities for CNAs in New Jersey?

As we can see in the previous chart, Newark and Jersey City are the highest-paying cities for CNAs in New Jersey, with a mean annual wage of $44,720. The following highest-paying cities are Vineland and Bridgeton, with a mean wage of $37,910 per year. Under these two cities, we have Camden with $37,780 and Trenton with a yearly income of $37,040.

How Many CNAs Are in New Jersey? 

There are 34,580 CNAs employed in New Jersey, which translates to 8.41 CNAs for every 1,000 residents. Here is CNA employment data by metropolitan area:

Area Employment Location Quotient
New York-Newark-Jersey City 79,570 0.98
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington 32,440 1.32
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton 4,700 1.47
Trenton 1,670 0.80
Atlantic City-Hammonton 1,180 1.08
Vineland- Bridgeton 750 1.40
Ocean City 320 0.91

Source: Chart based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (Most recent data as of August 2023)

Employing 79,570 CNAs, the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area has the highest employment level of CNAs nationwide. Of this metropolitan area, Newark and Jersey City belong to NJ.  

New York-Newark-Jersey City, Ocean City, and Trenton have location quotients under one. In other words, these metropolitan areas have a smaller concentration of CNAs than the national average. Therefore, if you are looking for CNA jobs in Jersey City, Ocean City, or Trenton, you have an excellent chance of finding one.

What’s It Like to Live and Work in Newark or Jersey City?

Since New York-Newark-Jersey City is the metropolitan area with the most job opportunities for CNAs nationwide, let’s zero in on data of cities in this area:

City Median Household Income Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units Commute Time to Work (in Minutes)
Newton, NJ $69,107 $229,100 28.3
Flemington, NJ $78,566 $335,600 21.5
Morristown, NJ $112,570 $469,600 23.5
Somerset, NJ $124,764 $470,500 28.8
Newark, NJ $43,242 $323,200 30.8
Toms River, NJ $87,797 $378,300 30.1

Source: Census Reporter (Most recent information as of August 2023)

Cost of Living Considerations in New Jersey

Knowing how much you can earn in New Jersey may help you choose the best option when considering independent contractor work or applying for salaried or wage-based employment.

Want to know how much you will need to earn as a CNA in NJ to cover basic expenses? If you are a single adult without dependents, you need to make at least $18.71 per hour to cover basic expenses in New Jersey. As a single parent, you need at least $39.65 per hour, and if both you and your partner are working parents, you each must make at least $21.81 per hour according to publicly available information.

How Can I Become a CNA in New Jersey?

Becoming a CNA is an exciting and rewarding career path in New Jersey.

There are numerous CNA programs in New Jersey. The state requires that individuals who want to become CNAs complete the Nurse Aide in Long Term Care Facilities Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). This course is 90 hours long, 50 of which are classroom hours and 40 of which are clinical hours. Please keep in mind that some exceptions may apply and be sure to check with the official New Jersey state regulations.

When candidates complete a course, the state requires them to pass the CNA exam, which has two sections. The first part is the skills evaluation section, and candidates must obtain a score of 80 percent in each of its five tasks to pass. The second section is the written/oral evaluation; candidates have 90 minutes to complete the 60 questions in this section. 

In the following list, you will find colleges with CNA programs in the state:

  • Raritan Valley Community College
  • Warren County Community College
  • County College of Morris
  • Middlesex County College
  • Brookdale Community College

If you are a CNA already and want to continue your studies to become a licensed practical nurse, a registered nurse, or even an advanced practice registered nurse, the following income list based on BLS data will be of interest:

  • A nurse midwife earns an annual average of $119,760 in New Jersey.
  • A registered nurse earns an annual average of $96,670 in New Jersey.
  • A licensed practical nurse earns an annual average of $61,990 in New Jersey.

How Can I Find Independent Contractor CNA Jobs in New Jersey?

When considering how to find CNA jobs in North Jersey, NJ, or how to obtain excellent CNA pay in Newark, New Jersey, more questions arise. 

We already know that an average CNA hourly wage in NJ is $17.50. Nevertheless, this wage varies throughout the state. For example, if you are looking for CNA jobs in Trenton, New Jersey, you will find that in that metropolitan area, CNAs have an average wage per hour of $17.81.

There is also a simple and direct way to find jobs through the Internet. Have you heard about per diem jobs and their benefits? If not, read on to find out what you were missing.

Per diem means “as needed,” meaning that jobs are usually by the shift. In this type of job, facilities contract CNAs in fixed-time conditions, so when your shift finishes, you have the flexibility to find another gig, choosing where and when you want to work.

A per diem job gives you the chance to have a better work-life balance. The best way to find per diem CNA jobs in New Jersey is through Nursa, a nurse open market connecting CNAs with their dream jobs. Learn more about working in New Jersey as a nursing professional here

In the following list, you will find direct links to look for per diem jobs with Nursa in different cities of New Jersey:

There are no reasons not to take advantage of the benefits that per diem jobs can give you as a nursing assistant in NJ. Pick up a per diem CNA job today.

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