CNA Classes in Illinois
CNA Classes in Illinois are available with various programs that only take between 4 and 12 weeks. There is no federal certification process, so each state has slightly different requirements. In addition to helping find programs that suit your need, this article will lay out the Illinois requirements.
Find a CNA Program
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CNA Requirements in Illinois
- Complete an approved nursing assistant training program.
- Pass the competency evaluation examination from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
- There is a Knowledge and Clinical exam
- Must be fingerprinted
- Some criminal convictions will prohibit you from being allowed to be a CNA, but there are waivers.
- Must be at least 16
CNA Salary Expectations in Illinois
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics provides average salaries for all of the most common positions. It’s important to remember that these are averages and not guarantees. However, they can prove helpful for people determining whether to invest 4-12 weeks in a series of CNA classes.
Average Pay: $33,230
Top 25% Pay: $36,840
Top 10% Pay: $37,460
These results were accurate up to May 2021, however, anecdotal reports have shown that wages are rising for many industries, including Certified Nursing Assistants. We will update the data here when it becomes available, but keep in mind that given this trend, it is possible that potential pay is likely higher now than when this survey was completed. As just one example, the average pay for Nursing Assistants at Illinois Junior Colleges is $61,310. Other top paying sectors for CNAs include insurance carriers, federal jobs, or jobs for scientific researchers.
Industries with High Employment in Illinois
As you might expect, all CNA jobs are not the same. While you will ultimately want to consider a job that is best for your skills, passions, and location, many prospective CNAs are interested in understanding which industries have the highest level of employment and they want to know the corresponding pay. We’ve compiled that data from the BLS. Please note that the average pay is nationwide and Illinois’ pay is generally considerably higher than national pay.
|Industry||Employment||Percent of industry employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)||471,160||33.48||$ 15.43||$ 32,090|
|Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly||140,850||15.80||$ 15.15||$ 31,520|
|Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals||26,100||9.67||$ 17.02||$ 35,400|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||386,510||6.91||$ 16.92||$ 35,190|
|Home Health Care Services||83,560||5.52||$ 14.39||$ 29,930|
Pros and Cons of a CNA in Illinois
- Fast Start: Rather than spending up to two years to earn an associates degree, a CNA Program can be completed in as few as 4 weeks and almost all programs take fewer than 12 weeks. This allows for one of the absolute fastest transitions to the healthcare industry.
- No prerequisites: Finding CNA Classes in Illinois is a simple process. This is largely because there are extremely limited prerequisites. You do not have to pass any tests, prove subject-level competency, or obtain any prior education. This is considerably easier than RN programs that can be very challenging to even get accepted into or even LPN programs that often have tests to prove your science and math background knowledge.
- Many job openings: There are nearly 1.5 million CNA jobs currently and the BLS projects those numbers to rise 8% this decade. This creates a much more desirable situation for someone considering whether it is worth it to spend the time to complete the CNA classes.
- Nursing Test Run: Individuals who think they may want to go into nursing but aren’t ready to commit to a longer program can try out work as a CNA to help them make an informed decision, while being paid. Once you begin a career in the nursing industry, you can make a better decision about what your next steps will be. Many students ultimately go on to become LPN/LVN or even RN and nurse practitioners. However, the time and financial commitment for those careers can be substantial and an CNA allows you to begin that transition and learn about the industry before you commit your most valuable resources.
- Satisfaction: The day to day work in all healthcare jobs can be very challenging. You will ultimately feel tired and pushed to your limits. However, you will also feel like your job matters and that you are making a difference.
- Physically Challenging: A lot of the work a CNA does involves lifting, bending over or stretching, and being on your feet for long periods.
- Demanding: Working with patients facing health challenges can be extremely rewarding but also stressful. People are often facing problems and stress and they aren’t always focused on being polite to CNAs. Additionally, doctors, nurses, etc., will often put work that they don’t have time for on your plate. This is a reality you must be prepared for.
- Requires more education for growth: A CNA cannot really get promoted (outside of administration) without pursuing more education.
- Scheduling difficulties: Many CNAs report regularly being required to work weekends as part of their employment. Some also have rotating shifts, meaning they work different days or times each week. Individuals looking for consistency may find this challenging—especially after doing it for a while.
Finding a Job
Once you have your certification from the state of Illinois, there are a lot of places to find jobs. Right now, there are over 3500 CNA openings on LinkedIn alone. If you would like to understand the CNA Job better and understand what the job does and does not entail, check out our article.