Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Career Overview

Nursing assistants (aides) offers patients basic care including cleaning patients, helping them to bathe and use the bathroom, measuring vital signs, helping them to eat meals, and listening to their concerns. Orderlies help patients to move around in the hospital. They may also stock supplies, clean equipment, and change linens.


It may be necessary to complete a program to become a nursing assistant. These programs may be found in high schools or colleges. A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary to become an orderly. Orderlies are typically trained on the job.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$20,000 /yr
$26,000 /yr
$38,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Math
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Science - as much as possible, including biology and psychology!
  • Anatomy
  • Foreign Languages
Work Environment

Nursing assistants and orderlies typically work in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals. These jobs can be physically demanding because they are on their feet most of the day and they may be required to lift or move patients.

Future Outlook

The job outlook for this position looks good over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada