Dental Assisting

Some facts about a degree in Dental Assisting:

  • It is one the fastest growing occupations in the health care industry.
  • A Dental assistant can be trained on the job, but most are trained in programs that take up to two years complete.
  • The average annual income for a dental assistant ranges between $17,000 and $36,000.

Job Profile of a Dental Assistant

The works of a Dental assistant should not be confused with that of dental hygienists, who are licensed to execute more advanced clinical procedures on patients. A dental assistant’s job is typically two-fold, working both in the front of a dental office organizing patient records, and alongside the dentist, to help in examining patients.

During the patient visit, assistants often prepare X-rays, sterilize and give dental tools for dentists, prepare patients’ for the dentist, and instruct patients on oral health care. Most dental assistants work 35-40 hours a week within a dentist office and the job depiction differ from office to office.

Job Outlook for a Dental Assistant

The dental assistant profession is projected to be one of the top growing fields in the next ten years. Several opportunities are estimated to open up for entry-level aspirants in the area.

Income Potential for a Dental Assistant

The Annual salary for a dental assistant ranges from $17,000 – $36,000, depending on experience. A large amount of dental assistants are paid on an hourly basis, rather than an annual salary. Health and retirement remuneration differ from office to office.

How Can One become a Dental Assistant?

Nearly all dental assistants are graduates of dedicated training programs accessible through community or junior colleges. Accredited programs offer students practical internship experience in dental schools and offices and can last from a number of months to two years. Every dental assistant certificate and diploma program needs a high school diploma or GED and other require science or computer-related course for admission.

Examining the schools in your area and meeting with a program advisor is the best way to know how to be accepted into a program and what are the requirements that insure a dental assistant’s training and knowledge of the work.