The Average Costs of CNA Certification

Planning a career switch to become a Certified Nursing Assistant? Before you enroll in a training program, you’ll need to get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to complete the certification process. If you keep an accurate account of your expenses, it will be much easier to apply for reimbursement once you have found a job as a CNA. Here are some of costs for CNA certification that you can’t avoid.

Training Expenses 

95% of training programs require students to pay tuition. While there are some free CNA training courses, they are rare and fill up quickly by need-based enrollment. The average training course for CNAs costs about $800-900. Most programs also charge extra for textbooks, uniforms, medical equipment and testing fees. Some schools may offer a better deal if testing fees and textbooks are included in the price of tuition, so make sure you know what your tuition covers. In some states, you can find training for as little as $600 or as much as $3,000. There are many different training programs that vary in quality, so don’t always choose based on price. Every CNA is eligible for tuition reimbursement if they find a job, so don’t save on tuition if the program has low-quality teachers and reviews. 

Application Fees

Some states require an application fee to the Nurse Aide Registry to pay for the administrative processes of handling certification. These fees are usually small, ranging from $15 to $45. Each state has different policies, so an application fee may not be necessary if you’ve paid your exam fee. 

Exam Fees

To take the certification test, you must pay an exam fee. These fees are between $80 and $150 in the United States. To take both the written test and skills test, the average cost is $100. If you must schedule a retake on one of these, the cost to take only the written test is about $35 while the cost to take only the skills test is about $70. Exam fees vary depending on state and may be covered in the price of your tuition.

Background Checks

Each CNA is required to pass a background check. There are several types of background checks, from state-level checks to federal checks. Some states (like California) require the use of third-party background checking services. These fingerprinting services charge about $40 to be processed and included on their database. For a state-level background check not performed by a third-party, the fees are between $10 and $30. A federal background check costs about $30. All in all, the price of the background checks needed for CNA certification should fall between $30 and $50.

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