Save money on your next flight

Skyscanner is the world’s leading flight search engine, helping you find the cheapest flights to destinations all over the world.

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) can be a fulfilling career choice for those looking to help others in the healthcare field. If you’re considering this career path and live in Hawaii, you’re probably wondering – how much do CNAs make in Hawaii?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The average annual salary for CNAs in Hawaii is around $32,000. However, salaries can range from $27,000 on the low end up to $38,000 per year.

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of CNA salary information specifically for Hawaii, including average wages, factors that impact pay rates, job outlook and open positions for CNAs in the state, and tips for maximizing your earning potential as a nursing aide.

Average Salary for CNAs in Hawaii


New CNAs just entering the field in Hawaii can expect to start out making an average of $14-16 per hour, which equates to about $29,000-33,000 per year. This entry-level pay is quite competitive compared to other states.

Hawaii’s beautiful location and relaxed lifestyle tend to attract CNAs despite the high cost of living.

National Comparison

The national average annual salary for CNAs is $28,500. So Hawaii’s entry-level pay meets or exceeds the national benchmark. Experienced CNAs in Hawaii also do well compared to national averages, typically making $35,000-45,000 per year once they have a few years under their belt.

The increased pay over time provides a nice incentive for CNAs to grow their skills and stick with the profession long-term.

By Experience Level

  • Entry-level (less than 1 year): $29,000 – $33,000
  • Intermediate (1-2 years): $32,000 – $38,000
  • Experienced (3+ years): $35,000 – $45,000
  • Supervisor roles: $45,000 – $55,000

By Employer Type

Hospitals $30,000 – $40,000
Nursing Homes $28,000 – $36,000
Home Health Agencies $26,000 – $34,000

As shown above, CNAs tend to earn the highest wages working in hospital settings, followed by nursing homes. Those working for home health agencies typically make a bit less but may appreciate the flexible schedules. Overall the salaries remain quite consistent regardless of the type of facility.

What Impacts CNA Pay in Hawaii

Location Within Hawaii

Where a CNA works within Hawaii can impact their pay. For example, CNAs working in Honolulu generally earn higher wages than those in rural areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Honolulu metropolitan area has the highest average salaries for CNAs in the state.

Education and Certifications

CNAs in Hawaii with more education and certifications tend to earn higher pay. Having a high school diploma or GED can increase pay compared to those without. Additionally, CNAs who obtain specialized certifications like dementia care or restorative nursing assistant (RNA) may earn $1-3 more per hour.


CNAs working in specialty units like the ER, ICU, or operating room earn some of the highest wages for CNAs in Hawaii. These units require extra on-the-job training and skills like familiarity with specialized equipment. According to PayScale, ICU CNAs in Hawaii earn an average of $19 per hour.

Overtime Pay

The option to work overtime as a CNA can significantly impact total pay. In Hawaii, state law requires overtime pay at 1.5 times the regular rate for any hours over 40 per week. Facilities with staffing shortages often rely on existing CNAs to cover extra shifts, allowing them to earn overtime premiums.

Job Outlook and Open Positions for CNAs in Hawaii

Projected Job Growth

The job outlook for CNAs in Hawaii is very positive. According to projections from the Hawaii State Department of Labor, employment for nursing assistants is expected to grow by 18.5% between 2016-2026. This is much faster than the average job growth rate across all occupations.

With Hawaii’s large elderly population and increased demand for long-term care services, CNA jobs will continue to be in high demand.

Turnover Rates

While job prospects look good for CNAs, turnover rates are high. One 2021 survey found the average turnover rate for CNAs nationwide was 44%. High stress levels and low pay contribute to many leaving the field. However in Hawaii, turnover may be slightly lower thanks to better working conditions.

But facilities still struggle filling open positions. Using incentives like higher pay, improved benefits, and tuition reimbursement programs could help.

Current Job Openings

There are abundant CNA job openings across Hawaii right now. A search on showed over 700 open CNA positions statewide as of December 2022. The most openings are in Honolulu, no surprise as it’s the state’s largest city.

But neighbor islands have openings too – over 100 on Maui and around 50 on Hawaii Island. With high demand, new CNAs usually get multiple job offers and have flexibility choosing where to work after completing training.

Tips to Maximize Your Salary as a CNA in Hawaii

Gain Experience in Your Field

One of the best ways to increase your salary as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Hawaii is to gain more on-the-job experience. According to research, CNAs with 5-10 years of experience typically earn 10-15% higher wages than entry-level CNAs.

Consider sticking with one healthcare facility longer term instead of switching jobs frequently, as this allows you to build specialized skills and take on more responsibilities. With time, you may be promoted to lead CNA positions with increased pay.

Additionally, the connections and relationships built with colleagues over years in a facility can lead to new job opportunities.

Earn Additional Certifications

Beyond the basic CNA certification, consider earning credentials in specialized areas like geriatrics, hospice care, or dialysis care. These certifications typically require 75-100 hours of additional training but can boost your pay significantly.

For example, CNAs with gerontology certifications may earn $2-4 more per hour. Some facilities may even reimburse you for these certification programs. Additionally, certifications in areas like phlebotomy or EKG technician can qualify you for dual CNA/medical assistant roles with higher salaries.

Consider Specialty Areas

Look into higher-paying CNA specialty areas like operating room assisting or psychiatric care. According to, operating room CNAs in Honolulu earn an average of $43,339 annually, over $9,000 more than the average CNA salary.

Before transitioning into specialty areas, research the additional requirements and credentials needed through informational interviews and browsing sites like Hawaii’s Board of Nursing.

Keep Up To Date on Healthcare Trends

Finally, continuing education and skills training can maximize your earnings potential as a CNA. Look out for high-demand skills like familiarity with electronic medical records, telehealth technology, written documentation, customer service, and care coordination with other providers.

Consider taking additional coursework focused on trending areas like mental health, chronic disease management, or cultural competencies. Staying up to date on the latest technologies and care approaches makes you more valuable to healthcare employers.


Becoming a CNA in Hawaii can be a rewarding career option, especially considering the state’s beautiful location. While average starting wages tend to fall around $27,000 per year, there is room for growth – experienced CNAs can make up to $38,000 annually.

By continuing your education, specializing in certain areas of patient care, and seeking job opportunities at hospitals and other healthcare facilities that may offer higher pay rates or more room for advancement, you can maximize your salary potential within this growing career field.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts