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Dental Assistant Salary: What to Expect

Aug 26, 2017 | Harrison College

Dental Assistant Salary: What to Expect

Have you been thinking about becoming a dental assistant? What's not to love? You get to help people get and keep their beautiful smiles.

While you may find the work rewarding, there is also the matter of salary to consider when embarking on a new career. So before you sign up for classes, read on to find out what you can expect when living on a dental assistant salary.

What You'll Earn on a Dental Assistant Salary

A dental assistant earns around $17.76 per hour. The current average salary is around $36,940 per year. 

However, there are possible ways to earn extra income as a dental assistant. They are:

  • Commissions for bringing in new patients
  • Tips (if allowed)
  • Overtime
  • Bonuses
  • Profit Sharing

It's possible to earn as much as an additional $3,000 per year if the dental practice you choose to work for has these options. 

What Else Can Affect Your Dental Assistant Salary?

There are several factors that will determine how much you'll earn as a dental assistant. First, your education will determine your salary. The more education and certifications you obtain, the higher a salary you can command.

Another factor that largely determines your salary is how long you've been working as an assistant. The more experience you have as a dental assistant, the more likely it is you'll earn more money. Another huge factor in determining your salary is where you live.

Another huge factor in determining your salary is where you live. If you live in a small town in Iowa the chances are that your salary will be much lower than if you live in New York City. That's just because the cost of living in those two areas is vastly different.

Lastly, another huge factor that determines your annual wage is how successful the dental practice is. A well-run practice will always have more cash flow on hand to be able to afford a professional dental assistant.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

A dental assistant is different than a dental hygienist. Some typical duties that are performed by a dental assistant are helping with surgeries and other procedures under the direction of a dentist. An assistant is also required to clean and sterilize the dental equipment. 

But that's not all, a dental assistant is responsible for running the office. They make appointments, seat patients, take and develop x-rays, and maintain records and supplies. 

What Schooling Does a Dental Assistant Need First?

To become a dental assistant, it's important to get a good education first. That way, you can be assured you'll make a good salary when you graduate. You'll also be more confident in your skills.

Most accredited programs take as little as one year to graduate from. There is also an exam each person must take to receive their certification.

Most assistants choose to take the Dental Assisting National Board's (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination. Students are eligible to take this certification exam after completing their schooling.

Are you ready to make your mark in this world? Earn your Dental Assistant Diploma from Harrison College. Apply to enroll today.

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