Nursing assistants provide basic care and help patients with activities of daily living. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.
Most nursing assistants and orderlies work in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals. They are physically active and may need to help lift or move patients.
Nursing assistants often need to complete a state-approved education program and pass their state’s competency exam to become licensed or certified. Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma.
The median annual wage for nursing assistants was $30,850 in May 2020.
The median annual wage for orderlies was $30,030 in May 2020.
Overall employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to help care for an increasing number of older patients.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for nursing assistants and orderlies.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of nursing assistants and orderlies with similar occupations.
Learn more about nursing assistants and orderlies by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.