Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Purpose: 63
  • Social: 54
  • Creative: 8
  • Supported: 6
  • Analytical: 5

What Nursing Assistants and Orderlies Do

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Work Environment

Nursing assistants and orderlies work in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals. They are frequently physically active and may need to help lift or move patients.

How to Become a Nursing Assistant or Orderly

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam to become certified. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Because of the growing elderly population, many nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to assist and care for these patients.

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    Growth & Trends

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    This occupation supported 1,534,399 jobs in 2012 and 1,545,100 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 0.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 20.9% in 2022 to 1,855,600 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 1,598,600, compared with an observed value of 1,545,100, 3.3% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 17.5% in 2024 to 1,812,899 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 1,919,800 jobs for 2024, 5.9% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.