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CNA Job Outlook

Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides 24%

Nursing assistants 11%

Nursing assistants and orderlies 11%

Orderlies 8%

Total, all occupations 7%

Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of orderlies is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to assist and care for elderly patients in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Older people are more likely than younger people to have disorders such as dementia, or to live with chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. More nursing assistants will be needed to care for patients with these conditions.

Demand for nursing assistants may be constrained by the fact that many nursing homes rely on government funding. Cuts to programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, may affect patients’ ability to pay for nursing home care. In addition, patient preferences and shifts in federal and state funding are increasing the demand for home and community-based long-term care, which should lead to increased opportunities for nursing assistants working in home health and community rehabilitation services.

Job Prospects

The low pay and high emotional and physical demands cause many workers to leave the occupation, and they will have to be replaced. This creates opportunities for jobseekers.

Employment projections data for nursing assistants and orderlies, 2016-26
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program