What is a dental assistant?
Dental assistants are dental health professionals who work closely with a dentist. They acquire their formal education through the dental assistant certificate programs for 9 to 11 months and become eligible to work as a dental assistant in the dentistry field.
What do dental assistants do?
Dental assistants work closely with a dentist in the dental office. They perform many different tasks like taking care of patients, taking X-rays, scheduling appointments, record keeping, etc. Their roles and responsibilities differ by location and by the dental offices where they are allowed to do the work. Usually, they do the following:
- Make sure that the patients are seated comfortably in the dental chair.
- Prepare patients for the dental treatments and procedures.
- Assist dentists by giving them the instruments while performing the treatments.
- Sterilize dental instruments.
- Process X-rays and finish lab tasks, under the supervision of the dentist.
- Keep records of all the dental treatments.
- Instruct patients about proper oral hygiene.
- Arrange patient appointments and work with them on payment and billing.
Is dental assistant a good career choice?
The dental assistant career path is highly demanding, interesting and the average salary for a dental assistant is also too good. Choosing the dental assistant jobs is a wise and good choice because it never goes out of the trail, even during the times of financial crisis. As a matter of fact, numerous jobs for the dental assistant is being created and the salary is rapidly rising because of the increased people looking for this profession all over the world.
What is the average salary for a dental assistant?
The dental assistant pay hourly usually begins from $9.27 and goes up to $25.54. On average, dental assistants make around $15.20 per hour.
According to the Occupational Employment and Wages statistics, the average salary for the dental assistant on an hourly basis was $35,205 annually. This is based on traditional 40 hour work week. Dental assistants can earn from $31,246 to $38,922 a year from overtime, bonuses, and profits.
The dental assistant salary hourly rate is very much attractive. However, variations in salary happen because of different factors. Here they are:
(1) Education from a dental assistant school
Your education plays an important role in determining the average salary for a dental assistant. This includes from which dental assistant training school you got certified by. Getting training from renowned and reputable, the best school for dental assistant could probably mean, you can get into a right dental assistant establishment and also, attract good salary.
(2) Exams and certifications
Because the dental assistant field is heavily competitive, it can be tough to get a right dental assistant job and a good salary. Therefore, if you want to get a higher salary and achieve success, then it is important to become a registered dental assistant.
When you become a registered dental assistant, it can open up several job options for you and hike your salary higher. You are more likely to get hired to work in specialized dentistry such as orthodontics or oral surgery. There are more possibilities of getting promoted and this could probably increase your earnings also. The average registered dental assistant salary range from $34,740 to $44,486 annually.
Certification from COA (Certified Orthodontic Assistant), CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) and CPFDA (Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant) can increase the pay scale in this field.
(3) Location of the job
The average salary for dental assistant depends on the place you work, whether you are working in a big metropolitan city or a small town. Here is the average salary for dental assistant in some locations:
- Florida – $31,561 – $34,923
- Chicago – $32,804 – $40,863 (average is $36,960)
- Texas – $23,150 – $48,330 (average is $34,390)
- Ontario, CA – $37,000 – $38317
(4)Variation from state to state
Dental assistant pay per hour can differ from state to state. Some assistants may earn more in one state compared to the others. If the average dental assistant salary is higher in a particular state, then it could mean that it is the best location for practicing dental assistant.
(5) Job experience
One more factor that determines the average salary for a dental assistant is the experience in the field. Whether you have previous work experience or freshly practicing your dentistry, it greatly affects your salary in this field. Years of clinic experience can give you hike in your earnings.
(6) Private clinic or well-established employer
A newly established, startup dental clinic may pay you lesser compared to a long standing dental office that is well-established for many years. A newly created dentist office may not be in a position to pay you well compared to the established dental office. In addition, the average salaries in government hospitals will be higher compared to the private organizations.