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Nursing Assistant Jobs Are Plentiful in SoCal. Here Are Some Pros And Cons Of Entering The Field

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Jessica Williams lifts a fellow student using a strap during a CNA training program. (Jill Replogle/LAist)
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Certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, are in huge demand. California is expected to have a deficit of nearly 13,000 nursing assistants each year through 2024, according to the research and policy group California Competes: Higher Education For A Strong Economy.

It's relatively easy, fast and inexpensive to become a CNA. There are dozens of training courses offered in the L.A. area, ranging from several thousand dollars to free.

But CNAs have been among the most exposed to COVID-19. And, they generally don't get paid much -- around $17 an hour, on average, in the Los Angeles area.

Eduard Izatov, 46, was a ballroom dance instructor until the pandemic hit. "The studios are still closed right now, so I completely lost my business," he said. Now's he's training to become a CNA and hopes to work in a hospital.

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The hourly pay is a lot less than what Izatov charged for an hour of dance lessons. But he figures if he works full time at a hospital, which he's hoping for, and picks up some overtime shifts, he can make a decent living.

"If you can calculate for, like, four days of 12-hours shifts, it's going to be in a year around $65,000," he said.

READ MORE ABOUT THE PROS AND CONS OF BECOMING A CNA:

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