CNA Classes in California (CA)

To become a CNA in California, you must take training programs of at least 75 hours. They must be completed in a six week period. Most of the programs are 150 hours. The classes are divided between classroom lectures and hands-on learning. The California Department of Public Health works with Aide and Technician Certification (ATCS) and the Pearson Vue group, who help with testing. They use the guidelines of the National Nurse Assistant Assessment Program (NNAAP). The guidelines can be found here.


  • You must be 16 years old
  • You must have no criminal history.  To prove it, you must pass a background check.
  • You must complete a nurse’s aide training program.
  • You must pass your certification test.

To Apply: 

Get an application from the ATCS office. If you have

  • taken training or earned certification from another state,
  • a registered or vocational nurse license, or
  • taken training programs that are like the programs of California,

then, you can earn advanced nursing credentials. This includes things like RN, etc. To do so, request an application from the ATCS office.

In California, you must take at least 150 hours of training. This is divided between the classroom lectures and in-hand learning. It usually takes over 6 weeks to finish training.


Cost is between $600 and $1800. Testing fees include:

  • Written and Skill fee: $90
  • Oral and Skill fee: $105

There are two parts to the test. It has a written (oral) test and a skills test. There are 70 multiple choice questions. It also has 5 randomly chosen nurse aide skills. After passing both parts, your name will appear on the California Nursing Assistant Registry.


  • You must pass the written and skills tests within two years of completing the program.
  •  CNA licenses expire every two years and must be renewed. You will get a reminder in the mail 4 months before it expires.
  • If you are taking a training program, you can work as a CNA without having the CNA certificate.
  • You are required to have 48 hours of CE units and proof of paid employment of at least 8 hours.

Traditional Classes Training Centers

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