Dental Assistant Employment and Salary

Many people experience fear at the thought of visiting the dentist. A dental assistant can help a patient feel at ease while sitting in a dental chair. If you like to help people of all ages, learn new things every day, and wish to perform a meaningful job, then dental assisting may be the career for you. Dental assistants are in high demand, as people realize that regular dental visits are necessary to maintain healthy teeth and gums. What are the job duties of a dental assistant? How much money does a dental assistant make? What type of training is required, and is a dental assistant degree necessary? Let us take a closer look at this type of work.

Job Duties

A dental assistant’s job is never boring. The job duties include the following: helping the dentist while he examines and treats patients; taking X-rays; taking the patient’s medical history as well as pulse and blood pressure; sterilizing instruments; educating the patients on oral care; taking impressions of patients’ teeth; and performing administrative duties. Most dental assistants work full-time, and some work in more than one dental office.


According to the 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, dental assisting is one of the fastest-growing occupations. Due to increased workloads, dentists are expected to hire more dental assistants, especially those with more experience, or who have graduated from a dental assistant school. As of May 2010, the median annual salary of dental assistants was $34,140. This figure will vary depending on location, education, and years of experience. To improve your chances of receiving a higher salary, you should consider enrolling in a dental assistant degree program at an accredited dental assistant college.

Training and Education

Many dental assistants receive on-the-job training, and can work in the field without receiving a college degree. However, some states require that they be licensed, and may have to pass an exam. Dental assisting is a program offered at local community and technical colleges. You can also do an online college search. Programs may last about a year, and two-year programs leading to an associate degree are also offered. The time and money invested in a degree will be worth the effort.

A career in dental assisting offers a promising future. It is a great starting point for a successful career in the medical field. Medical careers are recession proof because people will always need dental services. The dental assistant is there to comfort them and to make the job easier for a dentist. Investing in a degree at a dental assistant school is a wonderful opportunity for those seeking a meaningful career.

Doing a college search for dental assistant schools or dental assistant colleges? Check out popular Kansas healthcare colleges or a college in any other state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

Salary and wage information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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