Overview of the Job Outlook and Salary of a Dental Assistant
Over the past few years making a career as a dental assistant has gained enormous
popularity in the United States. In fact, it has emerged as one of the few professions in
the health care industry that has pulled the interests of many people in last few years.
The tasks of a dental assistant include patient care, as well as office and laboratory
responsibilities. While the specific duties of a dental assistant differ depending on the
work setting, training and experience level, all primarily work closely with dentists to
make sure that each dental process gets completed effectively.
The main responsibility of dental subordinate is to help dentist execute different
dental procedures. In most of the cases, responsibilities generally revolve around
managing tasks that require to be done proceeding to a dental procedure, such as a
filling, crown, ties or tooth extraction. Adding to this, it is also the responsibility of
assistant to clean the chair and equipment so that it is ready for the patient. The other
responsibilities also include: sterilizing, washing instruments and apparatus and
informing patients about postoperative and basic dental health.
Apart from all this, dental assistant who works in the office is equally responsible
for scheduling and reminding patients of appointments, checking patients in, managing
bills and payments, and ordering dental materials. It is important to understand that the
profile of a dental assistant is not similar to a hygienist. It differs significantly from
hygienists. In fact, hygienists are licensed professionals with clinical duties.
The job outlook for dental assistant is excellent and in next few years the field is
expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. As per the
recent observations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this profession will be
the third fastest growing occupation. It is projected to be one of the fastest growing
jobs over the next several years. Several job openings will arise due to the growth of
employment and the need to replace transferring assistants, retiring assistants or others.
Definitely, this is great news, especially for those who are just entering or looking
forward making career in this field. While assistants can choose to complete dental
subordinate training programs, this is one occupation for which on-the-job training is common.
In terms of salary, this profession also offers a decent income. As a general benchmark,
these are the most recent salary figures for dental assistants in the United States:
1. 50 percent of dental assistants earn between $29,785 and $36,564 per year
2. The top 10 percent of dental assistants earn over $39,400 per year
3. Dental assistant hourly rates generally start at $11.55 straight out of school and
can exceed $20 with experience
Though, the pay for dental assistants varies based on experience and qualifications.
The compensation levels for dental assistants also fluctuate from state to state. This is
primarily due to the differences in cost of living and other local factors. Another factor
that influences dental subordinate salaries is industries like Dental Laboratory,
Orthodontics, Cosmetic and Dental Prosthetic Service. As per the current scenario,
comparing Dental Assistant Salary by Industry shows that assistants who work in cosmetic
dentistry tend to earn higher salaries.