Difference Between CNA & HHA

You are looking for opportunities in the nursing field and you are confused about the two entry positions CNA and HHA, this article will help you clear your doubts about the two positions.

What is HHA – CNA vs. HHA -Difference Between CNA and HHA

You are interested in the nursing job but you are wondering about the difference between CNA and HHA; if this is you, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss the difference between the two entry-level occupations in health care that is, CNA and HHA. Both these positions are considered to be important but most of the times people get confused about the two positions.

Although both these positions are similar in a way; however, they both have some key differences. Some of the differences are listed in this article, making it easier for you to choose the right career path.

What Exactly is HHA

Home Health Aides are known to care for those who are mentally, emotionally or physically ill patients in the patient’s own residence. The HHA is supposed to check the vitals of the patients which includes pulse, respiration, blood pressure, temperature etc. He/ she is supposed to keep the patient’s room neat and do duties that include, bathing, feeding and administering medications to the patients.

The HHA is also supposed to dress wounds and support patients who are unable to move due to their illness. An HHA works in homes, old age homes and other types of residences. They work with patients who have been recently discharged from the hospitals and need short-term care or work with critically ill patients. HHAs might also have to assist their patients with their daily chores like laundry, cooking, shopping groceries etc.

Requirements to Become an HHA

In order to become an HHA, get the certification and serve patients in their home, you will need the following –

1. High School Diploma

Although there is no such formal requirement to become an HHA, still it is best to pass your high school and get a diploma. Graduating from high school is important for you if you are looking forward to a career in nursing.

2. Enroll in the Required HHA Training Program

Find an institution either school or college that offers HHA training program and enroll yourself in it. You can search the internet for the information or get in touch with your state’s nursing board. This way you will be able to find out all about the HHA training programs provided by the colleges and schools in your state.

3. Get Certified

In order to become an HHA, it is important to get certified by completing the required amount of hours of training. Some states need HHAs to complete 75 hours while other states need 120 hours of training. Find out the required number of hours you need to complete visit Phinational.org to know the number of hours of training you need.

4. Criminal Background Check

It is important to get your background check done before you begin your career as a Home Health Aide.

The Course of HHA Training Program

Before we go ahead and understand the difference between HHA and CNA let us first understand the course of HHA. When it comes to home health aide’s training program, the course includes learning some basic skills of patient care as the HHA will have to take care of their patients in the patient’s home they will also have to learn some basic housekeeping techniques.

Some of the subjects that HHA training program deals with are listed below –

  • Basic care
  • Basic safety techniques
  • Emergency response
  • Clinical training
  • Nutrition
  • Housekeeping

HHA Certification Cost

The Tuition cost for HHA program is different in different schools and colleges. For example, in some places like the Lake Tech in Florida, the tuition cost is $475 and the internal and external costs are $183.90 and $213.65 respectively which makes the total of $872.75. Whereas, the total cost of the training program in Nursing Unlimited Inc is $405 which includes the cost of study material. Find out the cost of the HHA training program in the colleges near you via the internet.

There is another way in which you can obtain training for Home Health Aide. You can obtain the training online via various colleges that offer online courses. For example, Ashworth College offers online HHA training program which costs in between $659 to $799. The cost of online course provided by Kennesaw State University is $1,595. Obtaining training online helps you save time, it provides you with flexibility wherein you can continue your training while you work.

Differences Between CNA & HHA

Both CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and HHA (Home Health Aide) are similar jobs in many ways. Both these job positions include duties like checking the vitals, helping patients recover, change bandages, helping the patients take baths, helping the patients with their meals and more.

Both these positions are stepping stones for most people who are interested in the healthcare field. The difference between the two positions lies in the training procedure and the place of work.

An HHA works in the home of the patients and deals with one patient at a time. HHA’s work independently or under agencies. They may either work in various homes or work with one patient on a full-time basis. You will find HHAs in homes for old people, schools for disabled and residents.

Sometimes HHAs can be asked to do extra work like shopping and a little bit of housekeeping like doing laundry and cooking for the patient in the absence of close friends and family. On the other hand, a CNA is known to take care of patients under the administration of a Registered nurse. A CNA works with multiple patients at a time and works in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes etc.


Both the professions need you to undergo some form of training. The major difference between CNA and HHA is that the training period of CNAs is longer than that of HHAs. Training programs are available in technical schools, vocational schools, and community colleges.

HHA & CNA Salary

When it comes to wages of the two occupations, both these positions help you earn a good living, however, there is a great difference between the two earnings.

As per BLS, the national estimates for Nursing assistants are as mentioned below –

Employment RSE Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage Wage RSE
1,453,670 0.5% $13.72 $28,540 0.2%

Whereas the percentile wage assessments are –

Percentile 10% 25% 50% (Median) 75% 90%
Hourly Wage $9.94 $11.22 $13.23 $15.49 $18.57
Annual Wage $20,680 $23,330 $27,520 $32,220 $38,630

As per BLS, the national estimates for Home Health Aide are listed below –

Employment RSE Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage Wage RSE
820,960 1.4% $11.67 $24,280 0.4%

The percentile wage assessments are-

Percentile 10% 25% 50% (Median) 75% 90%
Hourly Wage $8.87 $9.92 $11.16 $12.79 $15.03
Annual Wage $18,450 $20,640 $23,210 $26,600 $31,260

The highest-paying states for the job of nursing assistants are listed below –

Area Name Annual Mean Wage
Alaska $37,950
New York $35,080
North Dakota $32,880
California $33,560
Connecticut $32,970

Whereas the highest paying states for the job of Home Health Aides are as follows-

Area Name Annual Mean Wage
North Dakota $33,940
Alaska $32,350
California $31,610
Massachusetts $30,740
Delaware $29,270

The salary for these two positions varies depending on the geographical area and your educational background.

Make Your Decision

So, if you are trying to get into the nursing field and earn a good amount of pay, if you love to take care of people then you should know all about HHA and CNA. These two entry positions can take your career to new heights in the healthcare industry. Sit back and decide about your career, choose any one of these two positions and enroll yourself in the training programs offered by the colleges in your state. Search the internet to know about the institutions that offer these training courses. Wait no more, make your decision and see your career bloom as a nurse in the nursing field.
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